Many prescription pain medications carry the risk of developing physical dependency. In some cases, the use of these medications can result in addiction and substance use disorder, especially when misused. Luckily, substance use disorder and addiction are treatable. Treatment and recovery are never easy, and the process is a lifelong undertaking. But once people are able to access and engage in primary treatment and connect with recovery support services, they can achieve and sustain long-term recovery and become productive contributing members of their community. We acknowledge and celebrate the strength and success of the thousands of Ohioans who are currently living in long-term recovery.

Achieving Long-Term Recovery

Recovery is defined as “The personal process of change in which Ohio residents strive to improve their health and wellness, resiliency, and reach their full potential through self-directed actions.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has delineated four major dimensions that support a life in recovery:


Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.


Having a stable and safe place to live is critical for those working toward recovery. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals, which is why it’s essential to live in an environment that supports positive change.


Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope are essential. Recovery from substance abuse cannot be done in isolation, particularly during the early stages.


Conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family care-taking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.


Peer Support Services - People with mental and/or substance use disorders have a unique capacity to help one another based on a shared affiliation and a deep understanding of this experience. In self-help and mutual support, people in long-term recovery from substance use disorder or mental illness can offer this support, strength, and hope to their peers, which allows for personal growth, wellness promotion, and recovery.

BRSS TACS - Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy promotes the widespread adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems for people in recovery from substance use and/or mental health conditions.

Heroes in Recovery - The Heroes in Recovery project seeks to to eliminate the social stigma that keeps individuals with addiction and mental health issues from seeking help, to share stories of recovery for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration, and to create an engaged sober community that empowers people to get involved, give back, and live healthy, active lives.

SAMHSA Ten Fundamental Components of Recovery - Recovery emerges from hope. The belief that recovery is real provides the essential and motivating message of a better future – that people can and do overcome the internal and external challenges, barriers, and obstacles that confront them.

Access to Recovery Program - The State of Ohio has been awarded a three-year, $7 million Access to Recovery IV (ATR) grant award from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide vouchers for recovery support services and treatment services to more than 4,300 criminal justice-involved adults and military services members.

Success Stories

Young People in Recovery: James Mahowald - (video)

Young People in Recovery: Sarah Nerad - (video)

Read Personal Stories of Recovery - Read the personal stories of people recovering from mental and/or substance use disorders, or submit your own success story

Road to Recovery Television Series - The Road to Recovery series is created and hosted by the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The series airs eight episodes featuring panels of nationwide experts from the field of recovery