September is National Recovery Month, a time when people around the United States learn about substance use disorders and celebrate recovery. This month recognizes treatment providers and people who’ve overcome addiction, as well as those still healing or struggling to ask for help.
What Is National Recovery Month?
National Recovery Month focuses on prevention, treatment, and recovery from addiction and co-occurring disorders. The goal is to foster an understanding of how addiction works and increase awareness that recovery is possible.
Awareness is fueled by education. Participants in National Recovery Month educate the public about addiction and effective treatment methods. Many lives have been saved through addiction treatment, and the right care can drastically improve a person’s quality of life.
Sharing recovery success stories is an important part of celebrating recovery during National Recovery Month. These stories can be about people who’ve just begun to progress in treatment as well as those who’ve lived substance-free for years.
People with substance use disorder are often met with shame when they admit they have a problem. This stigma can prevent them from getting the help they need, but the education, hope, and compassion shared during National Recovery Month encourages them to reach out and believe in a better life.
You can participate in National Recovery Month in many ways:
- learn about addiction and recovery
- attend a National Recovery Month webinar
- share information about proven treatments and recovery models
- invite friends and family members to recognize in National Recovery Month
- spread the word that recovery is possible
- share a recovery success story (your own or that of someone you know)
- encourage people to seek treatment for addiction and mental illness
- treat addicted individuals with compassion
- celebrate a loved one’s progress in recovery
History Of National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month began in 1989 and was originally called Treatment Works! Month. Its purpose was to recognize addiction treatment professionals who helped people break free from substance abuse.
In 1998, it became National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, which also celebrated the people in recovery and their progress toward freedom from addiction.
The movement expanded further in 2011 to include mental illnesses other than addiction.
Until this year, National Recovery Month was sponsored solely by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It’s now organized by Faces and Voices of Recovery, a group of organizations that promote healing from addiction.
National Recovery Month 2020
National Recovery Month has a theme each year. In 2020, it’s “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.”
While the overall goal of National Recovery Month remains the same, the changing theme shifts the main focus to a specific area of recovery. “Celebrating Connections” acknowledges that most people can’t recover alone and need others to help them through.
SAMHSA has several informational webinars planned for National Recovery Month 2020:
- Integration of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Treatment and Recovery Support talks about combining medication and therapy in different settings for a successful recovery.
- Transforming Lives Through Supportive Employment explores how employment improves recovery outcomes and outlines supportive employment services that can help.
- Communities Supporting Recovery highlights community services that help people at all levels of recovery.
This year’s theme celebrates people who stand by their loved ones during the difficult process of recovery. It also recognizes the importance of community and bravery of addicted people who reach out to others for help.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and want to learn about personalized addiction treatment options, our specialists at Ark Behavioral Health are here to help you today.