National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month which is now known as National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September. It is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). The national observance works to educate Americans on how addiction treatment and mental health service can be an effective tool for people with substance use or mental disorder to live a normal, healthy and rewarding life.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) was one of the main, founding sponsors of Recovery Month over 20 years ago. Up to this day, the NCADD is still an active partner in planning Recovery Month. The national observance informs the public that prevention works and treatment is effective so drug and alcohol addiction can be solved. It also works to encourage local action in order to help expand and improve the availability of recovery services to anyone who needs it.
In the past years, National Recovery Month has inspired people from all over the country to raise awareness about substance abuse and mental disorders. Stories of recovery are shared and people are encouraged to seek services which are available everywhere. Recovery Month started in 1989 when it was still known as Treatment Works Month which was for honouring the work of substance use treatment professionals. The observance then became National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month after 10 years and it expanded to include the celebration of the accomplishment of people in recovery from substance disorders. In 2011, it evolved to National Recovery Month (Recovery month) which already included all aspects of behavioural health.
Purpose of National Recovery Month
National Recovery Month aims to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services are available and can be effective for those who have a mental and/or substance use disorder. It can allow them to live a healthy and rewarding life. The national observance is also for celebrating the gains made by people in recovery, just as health improvements are celebrated by those who have health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc. The national observance is also for reinforcing the positive message that behavioural health is crucial to overall health, prevention is effective, treatment works and people can and do recover with the right treatment.
What You can do on National Recovery Month?
Here are some ideas on how you can contribute to National Recovery Month:
- Donate to local organizations affiliated with National Recovery Month
- Organize an educational campaign to help with the goals of the national observance
- Use social media to spread the word about National Recovery Month
- Volunteer for local groups or organizations that support alcohol and drug recovery
- Contact your local radio and television stations to make a public service announcement related to National Recovery Month
- Write an article about alcohol and drug addiction recovery and get it published in your local newspaper
- Organize an activity in your community for National Recovery Month
Message on National Recovery Month
There are millions of lives that have been changed through recovery. For those who are suffering from alcohol and/or drug addiction, the message is that there are treatments like recovery programs which can help you. Of course, prevention is also crucial so it is important for relevant groups and organizations to promote alcohol and drug addiction prevention especially among the youth. We all need to work together to increase awareness and improve understanding about diseases of substance use and mental disorders.
Special Tips on National Recovery Month
Here are some tips for those who want to start the recovery process for alcohol or/and drug addiction:
- Learn to accept your alcohol/drug addiction
- Find a treatment specialist or center to get the help you need
- Look for support groups that can help with your recovery
- Learn to accept yourself by practicing compassion toward yourself
- Get treated for co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression
- Practice mindfulness and learn to live in the moment
- Avoid triggering events and individuals until you are secure enough in your recovery
Everyone should know that prevention works and there are effective treatments that can help people recover from alcohol and drug addiction. Each individual can help and become a supporter to help expand and improve the availability of recovery services that are effective. During this national observance, everyone is encouraged to help raise awareness of the fact that effective recovery services are available.