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Recovery Bill of Rights
(From Faces and Voices of Recovery)

  1. We have the right to be viewed as capable of changing, growing, and becoming positively connected to our community, no matter what we did in the past because of our addiction.  

  2. We have the right, as do our families and friends, to know about the many pathways to recovery, the nature of addiction and the barriers to long-term recovery, all conveyed in a way that we can understand. 

  3. We have the right, whether seeking recovery in the community, a physician’s office, treatment center or while incarcerated, to set our own recovery goals, working with a personalized recovery plan that we have designed based on accurate and understandable information about our health status, including a comprehensive holistic assessment. 

  4. We have the right to select services that build on our strengths, armed with full information about the experience, and credentials of the people providing services and the effectiveness of the services and programs from which we are seeking help. 

  5. We have the right to be served by organizations or health care social service providers that view recovery positively, meet the highest public health and safety standards, provide rapid access to services, treat us respectfully, understand that our motivation is related to successfully accessing our strengths and will work with us and our families to find a pathway to recovery. 

  6. We have the right to be considered as more than a statistic, stereotype, risk score, diagnosis label or pathology unit, free from the social stigma that characterizes us as weak and morally flawed. If we relapse and begin treatment again, we should be treated with dignity and respect that welcome our continued effort to achieve long-term recovery.

  7. We have the right to health care and social services system that recognizes the strengths and needs of people with addition and coordinates its efforts to provide recovery-based care that honors and respects our culture beliefs.  This support may include instruction to religious, spiritual, and secular communities of recovery, and the involvement of our families, kinship networks and indigenous healers as part of our treatment experience. 

  8. We have the right to be represented by informed policymakers who remove barriers to educational, housing and employment opportunities once we are no longer misusing alcohol or other drugs and are on the road to recovery. 

  9. We have the right to respectful, nondiscriminatory care from doctors and other health care providers and to receive services on the same basis as people do for any other chronic illness, with the same provisions, copayments, lifetime benefits and catastrophic coverage in insurance self-funded/self-insured health plans, Medicare and HMO plans. The criteria of “proper” care should be exclusively between our health care providers and ourselves; it should reflect the severity, complexity and duration of our illness and provide reasonable opportunities for recovery maintenance.

  10. We have the right to treatment and recovery support in the criminal justice system and to regain our place and rights in society once we have served our sentences. 

  11. We have the right to speak out publicly about our recovery to let others know that long-term recover from addition is a reality.