Expand Positive Recreation Opportunities

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Introductory Paragraph

Positive recreation and activity may benefit mental health and protect against substance use. For those with substance use disorder finding positive leisure and recreation activities may promote healing and reduce mental health and substance use stressors. Engaging in positive recreation activities in general reinforces positive health and social well-being.

Key Information

Finding activities that you enjoy that don't involve substance use is an important part of recovery and play a role in relapse prevention. Positive recreation reinforces social and community supports that enhance and support recovery.

Recreation in recovery contributes to positive self-esteem and reduction in stress promoting a foundation of change and longevity in sobriety through newly defined activities. Leisurely activities and recreation include fitness, recreational therapies, social and community activities, and hobbies.

By the time an individual enters addiction treatment, their leisure and social activities most likely revolve entirely around alcohol and drug use. People recovering from drug and alcohol abuse must learn how to manage stress and have fun in new ways. Finding leisure activities they enjoy can provide them with a constructive use of their free time.

Recreational activities are an excellent tool for teaching individuals how to achieve goals, solve problems, socialize while sober, and handle stressful situations without the use of drugs or alcohol.[1]

Relevant Research

Associations Between Multiple Leisure Activities, Mental Health and Substance Use Among Adolescents in Denmark: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study [2]

The Dynamic Association between Healthy Leisure and Substance Use in South African Adolescents: A State and Trait Perspective[3]

Impactful Federal, State, and Local Policies

Indiana Community Integration and Habilitation Home and Community-Based Services waiver CIH Waiver allow flexibility in providing the supports necessary to help individuals gain and maintain optimum levels of self-determination and community integration.[4] Recreational therapy is funded via the CIH Waiver. [5]

Available Tools and Resources

Using Sport for Drug Abuse Prevention Handbook for the use of sport to prevent substance use problems among youth.[6]

Have Fun in Recovery Staying Sober and Having Fun[7]

Recreational Therapy Practice Recreational therapy also referred to as therapeutic recreation is a type of therapy that involves using social activities to help promote the overall health and wellness of individuals with disabling conditions, addictions, and illnesses.[8]

SAMHSA Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Use Disorder Treatment[9]

Promising Practices

New Choices-a substance-abuse recovery program with staff who specialize in treating adolescents age 13 to 17, and now, young adults up to 21.[10]

Sans Bar Sans Bar started a revolution by challenging the way we think about socializing and creating community.[11]

Great Lakes Recovery Center Expanding Coping Skills Through Recreation[12]

Department of Justice: Promising Strategies to Reduce Substance Abuse[13]