This September marks the 31st National Recovery Month, an observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as society celebrates health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. A major difference, however, is that the successes of the millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery often go unnoticed by the general population. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections,” is meant to remind people in recovery and those who support them that all people have victories, as well as things we wish we had done differently. Regardless of who we are, we all experience peaks and valleys in every area of life, and resilience is made possible through the strength, support, and hope from those we love, including our communities.
Previously, Recovery Month was sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In June, SAMHSA announced its decision to retire its annual convening of Recovery Month stakeholders, the development of future themes and assets, and the management of the events calendar. More information on Recovery Month can be found here. NAADAC (National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) is currently “carrying the torch” for Recovery Month.
Local counseling is available at the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., at 585-593-6738. Together, we can stop the stigma surrounding mental and substance use disorders, and help more people find the path to hope, health, and overall wellness!