Four Major Dimensions of Recovery

Recovery identifies four dimensions to support a healthy life. These include health, home, purpose, and community.

An important foundation for all these dimensions is HOPE.

Do you believe that recovery is possible? That you can move through challenges while taking steps to improve your health and wellness?

Imagine living your best life where you direct the path and others join you in support on your journey.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the four areas:


It is important to establish care with a primary physician to regularly screen and get medical care for health-related conditions.

The many-consequences-of-alcohol-and-drug-misuse can include immediate direct consequences such as induced psychotic episodes, overdose, death, and indirect consequences related to reckless and risky behaviors. Impaired judgment contributes to driving while under the influence, unprotected sex, and sharing injected drugs. Longer-term health consequences include health conditions such as liver disease, respiratory distress, and heart-related problems in addition to untreated co-occurring mental health conditions.

A therapist can support good health by addressing the emotional and behavioral components.


Access to a safe and stable living situation is important to the recovery process. Sober living options can help provide access. Here is one resource:

Homelessness, intimate partner violence, and lack of affordable living options can keep one stuck on unhealthy patterns of abuse and codependency. Reaching out to an advocate such as can help plan for safety and connect to resources.


Finding meaning in life and having a sense of purpose helps provide the strength, encouragement, and motivation to keep going. Spiritual or religious support, exploration of values, connecting with nature, and taking time to know yourself can be options.

Engaging in meaningful daily activities while fostering independence are actions that can contribute to purpose and a new identity.


Community is a beautiful source of support. Relationships (e.g., friends, family) and social networks within local, national, and global communities can provide ongoing support. Meaningful in-person friendships with those who can “become the champions of their loved one’s recovery” are especially important. Checking in on their mental health can be crucial to keeping them on their journey.

If you are not yet connected to recovery peer support, here are some options to check out:

If you or a loved one is struggling with recovery, consider what pillar could be missing or needs improvement, and try to focus on strengthening this area. #RecoveryMonth #RecoveryIsPossible

Written By : Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC

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