Observing Recovery Month in September

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This month is Recovery Month.  Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Recovery Month aims to increase awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues nationwide every September, as well as celebrate the millions of Americans who are in recovery.

2019 Recovery Theme

The 2019 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support recovery.  From community members to first responders, emerging leaders to the healthcare community, this observance reminds us that mental illness and substance abuse affects us all, and that we are all part of the solution.

Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month, which honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field.  It then evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in 1998, when it expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders.  The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to also include mental illness.

Now in its 30th year, Recovery Month highlights inspiring stories of those in recovery to show people facing mental and substance use disorders that hope, help and support are available, and that one can find the healing and personal growth needed to recover.  The Recovery Month observance also helps raise awareness of those who struggle with these two disorders, as well as reduces the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of them, which can discourage others from seeking help.

Looking Forward to Recovery

Over the years, Recovery Month has inspired millions of people to share their stories of recovery and encouraged others, who are still in need of services and support, to reach out for help.  It has also increased awareness of mental illness and substance use disorders, which is important since their effects are being felt all around the country and in our communities.  In 2017, an estimated 35.4 million adults (14.3 percent) in U.S. households had mental illness in the past year and 18.7 million had a substance use disorder, according to a recent SAMHSA study.  Approximately 8.5 million had both a mental and substance use disorder (co-occurring disorders), proving that these are very significant public health issues that are worthy of help and support from the community.

For more information on this year’s Recovery Month, please visit https://recoverymonth.gov/.

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