The Recovery Bill of Rights

The Recovery Bill of Rights is a statement of the principle that all Americans have a right to recover from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It was developed and adopted by Faces & Voices of Recovery?s board of directors and has been endorsed by allied national organizations. We call on all Americans and our elected officials to take action to build communities of recovery that will support the more than 22 million Americans and their families still needing help and to end discrimination facing millions in long-term recovery.

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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 ways 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, wholistic 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 and 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 or morally flawed. If we relapse and begin treatment again, we should be treated with dignity and respect that welcomes our continued efforts to achieve long-term recovery.

7). We have the right to a health care and social services system that recognizes the strengths and needs of people with addiction and coordinates its efforts to provide recovery-based care that honors and respects our cultural beliefs.

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 a reasonable opportunity 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 sentence.

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

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