Live Well Scrabble tile textLiving with substance use disorder can be isolating and traumatic. The road to recovery is often long and full of setbacks. That’s why we celebrate those in recovery for their tenacity, bravery, and hope. Some research has shown that with time, people in recovery continue improving their lives, well-being, and relationships in ways that in turn further supports their recovery.1 At the Pittsburgh Recovery Walk 2023, PERU volunteers asked participants to write their answers to the question, “What does recovery mean to you?” Some of their inspiring answers can be found below.

What does recovery mean to you?

Recovery to me is making and helping foster a healthy and positive change in your or someone else’s life. It’s a very powerful thing!


Happiness, peace of mind, and joy.


Recovery for me…is being free and healing from anger, fear, control, and trust. Recovery has brought me to a place where I can live my best life free from the effects of trauma.


Recovery to me means being a strong, independent, healthy, and happy woman. Being the empathetic and caring and dependable person I REALLY am on the inside!


A better life that we can be around and enjoy family and friends, and not be alone.


Means I can be present with my granddaughter as she scribbles.


PERU staff had a great time volunteering at the walk and gathering stories from participants who stopped by the table.

Volunteers standing behind a University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy table at the recovery walk 






1Eddie, D., White, W. L., Vilsaint, C. L., Bergman, B. G., & Kelly, J. F. (2021). Reasons to be cheerful: Personal, civic, and economic achievements after resolving an alcohol or drug problem in the United States population. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 35(4), 402.