What is ROSC?

Establishing a Unified Working Definition of Recovery and Set of Principles

Definition of ROSC, Elements and Guiding Principles of Recovery

In August 2010, leaders in the behavioral health field, including people in recovery from mental health and substance use addiction problems and SAMHSA met to explore the development of a common, unified definition of recovery. Prior to this conversation it was very apparent as to the need of a common definition. In fact, SAMHSA had separate definitions for recovery from mental and substance use conditions. These different definitions, along with other government agency definitions, complicate the discussion as we work to expand health insurance coverage for treatment and recovery support services. After many conversations and hard work with our partners in the field, a working unified definition and set of principles for recovery has been developed.

The development of a standard, unified working definition of recovery will help assure access to recovery-oriented services for those who need it, as well as reimbursement to providers. Additionally, SAMHSA recognizes the importance of measuring the outcomes and quality of behavioral health services. As a result, SAMHSA is working to develop a set of measures to help assess a person’s recovery with an emphasis on developing indicators that assess quality of life.

ROSC Defined

ROSC stands for Recovery Oriented Systems of Care. The central focus of a ROSC is to create an infrastructure or "system of care" with the resources to effectively address the full range of substance use problems within communities. A ROSC is a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is person-centered and builds on the strengths and resiliencies of individuals, families, and communities to achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life for those with or at risk of alcohol and drug problems.

Recovery - a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential. 

Principles of Recovery

4 Major Domains that Support Recovery

There is no set time requirement for recovery. This is an individualized process whereby each person’s journey of recovery is unique and whereby each person in recovery chooses supports, ranging from clinical treatment to peer services that facilitate recovery. SAMHSA expects additional comments from the field as this definition evolves, and we continue to work together to help assure recovery services are being provided, reimbursed and measured in a consistent way. Check out SAMHSA’s Recovery Support Initiative for more information on recovery.