Ready to celebrate and spread the word? September is National Recovery Month (often referred to as just Recovery Month) and it’s a month-long campaign designed to help honor all of those in recovery from a substance use disorder and to help others who might need that extra nudge to get the mental health support and proper treatment they need.
Recovery Month: Then and Now
A little history: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) started the observance in 1989, under the name “Treatment Works! Month. The original goal was to honor the work of addiction treatment professionals. In 1989, it was renamed National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month to include individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. In 2011, it became National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) and also included all aspects of behavioral health. Its goal: to stop the stigma and raise awareness about the benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery from mental and substance use disorder.
Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment and recovery programs and facilities from around the country celebrate the strides made in the recovery community with events ranging from walks and runs to cookouts to movie screenings. There are a variety of online activities, too, including webinars, online chats and live Tweeting. It’s pretty similar to the way we’ve come to celebrate other diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities,” and it highlights the value of family and community support throughout recovery. Folks in recovery as well as their loved ones are encouraged to speak up and share their experiences. You can share your story on Recoverymonth.gov under the “Voices for Recovery” section.
Fast Facts for Recovery Month
During Recovery Month, SAMHSA also releases the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which is the primary source of information on the prevalence and impact of mental and/or substance use disorders across the country. The survey provides valuable statistics that add credibility to Recovery Month and that help people better spread the word.
A few findings from this year:
- By 2020, mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.
- The first behavioral health symptoms typically precede a mental and/or substance use disorder by two to four years, offering a window of opportunity to intervene early and often.
- In 2013, 72.6 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 reported having seen or heard drug or alcohol prevention messages from sources outside of school. The prevalence of past month illicit drug use in 2013 was lower among youth who reported having exposure to prevention messages compared with youth who did not have such exposure.
- According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.
- Two-thirds of Americans believe that treatment and support can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives.
- Research shows that family supports play a major role in helping to prevent mental and/or substance use disorders, identifying when someone has a problem, and connecting those in need with treatment resources and services they need to begin and stay on their recovery journey.
- Several studies have concluded that helping others improves one’s own prognosis for recovery. By sharing their experiences, peers bring hope to people in recovery, and promote a sense of belonging within the community.
Celebrate National Recovery Month With Us!
Recovery Month is the perfect time to get the help you need to recover from addiction and get your life back. Or, encourage a loved one to seek help for a substance use disorder or mental health disorder. To learn about our programs, call today: 305-595-7378.