This September marks the 30th National Recovery Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to this year’s toolkit, one facet of this year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes that the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support the many paths to recovery affirms the vital role that young people play in this effort. An estimated 345,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 had a substance use disorder and a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. Young people (ages 12-25) who show passion, drive, innovative thinking, and a commitment to their communities represent a key population that can promote fresh, creative ideas in the prevention, treatment, and recovery from mental and substance use disorders. Not only does this age group have the resilience to recover, but they are also building blocks for the future. By providing a platform and voice for the nation’s emerging leaders, we show that investing in the future is just as important as honoring the past.
Free, confidential help is available 24 hours daily through SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). More information can be found at Recovery Month. Locally, counseling is available at the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., at 585-593-6738.