The Four Major Dimensions Of Addiction Recovery

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on April 15, 2023

Many Ohio residents live with addiction. Fortunately, this disease is treatable. To succeed in treatment, it helps to focus on the four major dimensions of addiction recovery. These dimensions, which were established by SAMHSA, include health, home, purpose, and community.

Drug addiction (also called substance use disorder) is a serious disease. Fortunately, like many other diseases, it’s treatable. 

To help people get sober, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) established four major dimensions of addiction recovery. By focusing on these dimensions, you or your loved one can build a fulfilling, drug-free life. 

The Four Major Dimensions Of Addiction Recovery

According to SAMHSA’s working definition of recovery, recovery is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” 

It involves four major dimensions: health, home, purpose, and community.

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To achieve long-term recovery, you must take care of your physical and mental health. When starting your journey, seek help at a substance abuse treatment program. There, behavioral health care providers will create your personalized treatment plan.

After completing treatment, you must take steps to maintain good health and reduce your risk of relapse. For example, you should schedule regular check-ups with your primary physician. 

Along with monitoring your overall health, your physician can help you recover from any health problems caused by your drug use (such as liver disease from frequent alcohol use). 

You should also seek treatment for any co-occurring mental disorders that may have contributed to your drug abuse, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or bipolar disorder. When left untreated, these conditions can significantly raise your risk of relapse. 

Other holistic ways to boost your health and well-being include:

  • getting at least seven hours of sleep per night
  • eating plenty of nutritious foods
  • staying hydrated 
  • staying physically active
  • engaging in self-care activities, such as journaling, meditating, or going for walks
  • limiting social media use
  • spending time with supportive loved ones


It’s much easier to maintain sobriety when you have a safe, stable place to live. Early in recovery, many people live at inpatient treatment centers, especially if they have moderate-to-severe addictions or lack supportive homes.

After inpatient treatment, you might have trouble readjusting to society. Indeed, daily life is often filled with triggers. A trigger is anything that makes you want to misuse drugs again. For example, you might get triggered if you smell alcohol, run into someone you used to do drugs with, or encounter a stressful situation. 

To avoid triggers, many people move to sober living homes. 

Sober living homes are safe, structured facilities designed for people who have recently completed substance use disorder treatment or transitioned from inpatient to outpatient treatment. They give you an opportunity to strengthen your recovery skills before you return to normal life at home.

If you are experiencing homelessness, you can call 2-1-1 to reach a free, confidential helpline that offers assistance with housing, food, and other services. If your home is unsafe due to domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


Throughout the process of recovery, you may feel hopeless at times. You can manage these feelings by creating purpose in your life. In other words, commit to meaningful daily activities, such as:

  • going to work
  • going to school
  • taking care of your family
  • volunteering

These activities can fill you with a sense of self-determination and empowerment. They can also lift your mood and reduce your risk of relapse. 

If you struggle to find work after rehab, try using a job board such as The Department of Labor CareerOneStop. You could also seek help from a therapist, addiction specialist, sponsor, or loved one. 

Many people also find meaning in hobbies and creative endeavors, such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument. At the height of your addiction, you may have lost interest in such activities. 

By picking them back up, you can make your life more exciting and meaningful. You could also try out some new hobbies. 


Recovery is not easy. To succeed, you need a strong support network that offers love, hope, and understanding. For many people, this network consists largely of family members and friends. 

These individuals can check in with you and provide encouragement throughout the recovery process. They can also keep you company and prevent boredom (a common cause of relapse). 

You can strengthen your social network by attending recovery-oriented peer support groups. There, you’ll meet people who truly understand the challenges of recovery. 

They can hold you accountable, share valuable coping skills, and introduce you to other recovery support services. Some groups also offer support for co-occurring mental illnesses.

In addition, at certain support groups, especially 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, you can find a sponsor. Sponsors are people who have achieved success in recovery. They use their experience and knowledge to guide those who are just starting their own recovery journeys. 

If you or someone you love has a substance use problem, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. Our inpatient addiction treatment programs offer medical detox, behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based treatment options to help you or your loved one thrive.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Treatment and Recovery
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Find Immediate Homelessness Assistance
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Recovery and Recovery Support

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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