Recovery: Consumer Resources

Recovery is possible at all stages of a mental illness or substance use disorder. The earlier action is taken the easier it is to get better. 

Six tips for tackling recovery

  1. Embrace the idea of change. Making lifestyle changes is difficult for everybody, but you will need to prepare yourself for the fact that change is necessary (and worth it) in order to achieve recovery.
  2. Understand the resources available. Therapy and medication are the two most widely known treatment options, but recovery is about more than treatment. Other resources and services include: case management, supported employment, supported education, family supports, warmlines, peer support specialists, and psychoeducation. 
  3. Engage peer support. Peer support services put someone in your corner who has “been there, done that” and can help you find your own way through the recovery process. 
  4. Establish a support network. Think about who among your friends and family members you can turn to for support. The person or people you choose should care about you, believe in you and believe in your worth. Having someone you can call or meet up with if you are feeling lonely or starting to struggle can help you to feel better and stay accountable to yourself and your recovery goals.
  5. Set yourself up for success. Create recovery plans that you are confident you can stick to. Try this exercise: Think about a change you want to make to help you reach a recovery goal. Now rate your confidence in your ability to make that change on a scale of 1 (not confident) to 10 (positive you can do it). If you aren’t confident at a level of 7 or higher, revise your plan. Start with smaller changes that you are sure you can make, and build up to tougher changes to reach your goals over time. 
  6. Forgive yourself for failure. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and there are going to be days that are going to go really well, and other days that are going to be crappy. Having a crappy day, or showing signs of relapse or recurrence, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made any progress or that you should give up trying to get better. Be kind to yourself and keep fighting for the life you want.

Recovery resources

Mental health

Substance use

  • Addiction Recovery Guide - Information to assist individuals struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism find the help that best suits their needs
  • Addiction Resource - A collection of resources to help individuals overcome addiction
  • Alcoholics Anonymous - Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem
  • Association of Recovery Schools - Information on the recovery high school movement
  • Celebrate Recovery - A Christ-centered recovery program
  • Faces and Voices of Recovery - An organization that offers resources on recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs
  • Gamblers Anonymous - Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her gambling problem
  • Healthy Living, Substance Abuse - Information from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Heroes in Recovery - A celebration of heroic efforts of those who seek the addiction help they need without feeling ashamed or isolated, including stories from individuals in recovery
  • Make The Connection - Resources for veterans
  • Narcotics Anonymous (Wisconsin) - A group of recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean
  • Oxford House - A network of democratically run, self-supporting, and drug free homes
  • Peer-Run Respites - These places offer a supportive, home-like environment during times of increased stress or symptoms
  • Psychology Today's Therapy Directory - Find detailed professional listings for psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, group therapy, and treatment centers
  • Racing for Recovery - This organization aims to prevent all forms of substance abuse by promoting a lifestyle of fitness and health for all those affected by addiction
  • Recovery Campus Magazine - Information for young adults seeking to continue their recovery and complete their education
  • SMART Recovery - An organization that provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors
  • Sober Nation - Information on recovery and addiction treatment centers
  • Transforming Youth Recovery - An organization that supports educators, parents, and community members in helping students in recovery thrive in the fullness of everyday life
  • Wisconsin Association of 12 Step Clubs - This organization promotes the interests and effectiveness of 12 Step Clubs in Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Voices for Recovery - This is a statewide group advocating for people in recovery
  • Young People in Recovery - This organization supports young people in or seeking recovery by empowering them to obtain stable employment, secure stable housing, and explore continuing education
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Tools to measure mental health, substance use recovery

Use these tools to gauge the quality of your recovery and to gain perspective on your recovery.

Last Revised: August 31, 2018