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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

To provide effective mental health and substance abuse treatment, Sunrise Native Recovery utilizes Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a foundation for the quality of care that each patient’s needs to recover from Substance Use Disorder(SUD) and maintain healthy mental stability. 

What is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? 

Since 1943, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been one of the most cited theories in mental health as a foundation for treating mental illness. His theories can be depicted as a pyramid or five-tiered pictograph that places physiological needs – air, food, water, shelter, clothing, and warmth – at the base, followed by safety, belonging, and esteem needs moving up the pyramid or tiered structure.  

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Sunrise Native Recovery

At the top of Maslow’s pyramid is the need for self-actualization, described as the desire “to become everything that one is capable of becoming” (Maslow 1943). This has striking similarities to the overarching goal of the mental health recovery paradigm, which is for people to “strive to reach their full potential” [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) 2011]. 

The Take-away of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 

The take-away from Maslow’s theories is that one must fulfill the basic needs that are at the base of the model before they can achieve the top tiers. Mental health specialists use this model as a foundation for their treatment plans because without the basic needs met by their patients, their treatment plans are not effective or abandoned due to unstable physiological needs.  

Without the first 2 tiers met, – physiological needs and safety needs – patients will not continue to attend appointments, take prescriptions as required, follow treatment plans, and/or provide honest feedback needed for progress in treatment. 

According to the National Health Care for the Homeless, “housing is a major social determinant of health, and lack of housing has been shown to negatively impact physical and behavioral health among individuals experiencing homelessness. Addiction can cause and prolong homelessness, and the experience of homelessness complicates one’s ability to engage in treatment.” [National Health Care for the Homeless Council. May 2017.

Care at Sunrise Native Recovery 

Like all mental health specialist, our medical and behavioral health professionals utilize Maslow’s theories to provide quality care for effective treatment.  

Sunrise Native Recovery fulfills our patient’s physiological needs by providing structured sober living housing that will provide 3 meals a day, transportation to medical appointments, clean bedding and space for personal belongings. This is available to all patients in our care as requested by their licensed therapist.   

Sunrise Native Recovery also fulfills the patient’s need for safety as a house manager maintains a mind-altering substance-free residence, medical staff and security to keep residence safe, and safe transportation to and from medical appointments.  

To fulfill the higher tiers – belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs – of Maslow’s model, Sunrise Native Recovery’s mental health specialist develop treatment plans for their patients that are in compliance with the DMS5, addresses the patient’s needs according to Maslow’s theories, and encourages cultural and spiritual practices of their community and heritage.  


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