With the change of season to fall, September is National Recovery Month, a time to honor and support those in recovery. Various events and activities have been planned throughout the country to promote and develop new evidence-based treatments for patients with addiction. Furthermore, recovery practices are also being emphasized this month, in addition to the need for a strong recovery community and service providers who can assist those in recovery.
Find out how National Recovery Month began and how it emphasizes drug and alcohol addiction, treatment, and recovery.
History of National Recovery Month
As part of its mission to increase public awareness around mental health and addiction recovery, SAMSHA launched National Recovery Month in 1989. Originally it was named Treatment Works! Month to illustrate to those still fighting substance abuse disorders that recovery is possible, SAMSHA wanted to give those in recovery a chance to honor and celebrate their success stories.
During National Recovery Month every September, service providers and community members are recognized for their efforts to make a recovery accessible by promoting and supporting evidence-based treatment. Additionally, National Recovery Month promotes the benefits of behavioral health for overall health and emphasizes how effective prevention and treatment are for those in recovery.
Remember, recovery is possible, and National Recovery Month celebrates these accomplishments.
This event was renamed National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in 1998 to honor not only the work of healthcare professionals in the addiction field but also to highlight the work of those in recovery.
In 2011, National Recovery Month was adopted as its modern form. A recent change was made in an attempt to include more than just healthcare professionals and patients.
In September 2021, President Biden has proclaimed September as National Recovery Month. The proclamation can be found here.
Due to the nation's opioid epidemic, skyrocketing overdose rates, and increased public awareness regarding mental health resources and services, Recovery Month has grown exponentially over the years.
In fact, since the onset of atTAcK addiction in 2013, Delaware has lost 3,100 loved ones to opioid overdoses. The number of opioid overdose deaths in Delaware increased by 15% in 2021, to 515. The number of Americans who have died since the turn of the century has exceeded 1,000,000. Delaware and the national death rate continue to increase, which is even more concerning
In addition to event planning, materials, sponsorship, marketing, and Recovery Month promotion, SAMHSA works with more than 300 partnering organizations every year to provide a Recovery Month Toolkit to organizations and individuals across the country.
How to Observe National Recovery Month
There are many different ways to get involved, whether you're interested in addiction awareness or in addiction recovery.
1. Learn more about addiction.
Get to know how you can support someone going through recovery. Whenever possible, volunteer to help people with addictions.
You can, for instance, join Al-Anon or Nar-Anon for support. It is possible to get support from Alateen for children and teens. There are also a number of resources available through SAMHSA designed to provide insight into addiction and support to families.
2. Attend an event.
SAMHSA's website lists many events that are held to commemorate National Recovery Month.
Look through the list to find an event you can attend with family and friends. Events such as these often feature great discussions and speakers who educate the community about addiction recovery and how to get involved.
3. Host your own event.
If you prefer, you can plan and host an event yourself.
Your event can also be listed on the Recovery Month website, making it easier for others to find. Banners and customizable materials can be used on your website or social media profiles to promote your online community.
4. Promote National Recovery on social media.
Taking part in National Recovery Month is as simple as sharing it on social media. In fact, social media can be used to promote recovery support and education in the following ways:
Take advantage of Recovery Month materials for your blog, website, or social media profiles.
You can share your recovery journey on social media or links to other recovery journeys.
Get involved with National Recovery Month via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Use your social media profiles to share links to recovery resources.
Remind people of the importance of prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Promote Recovery Month events on social media.
Use hashtags in your social media posts to promote National Recovery Month. The official hashtag for recovery month is #recoverymonth.
5. Write to your local government officials.
Ask your local representatives and government officials to sign Recovery Month proclamations in support of improving access to addiction treatment programs. By doing this, they are essentially signing a statement that affirms their commitment to raising awareness about substance use disorders by improving access to existing treatment services.
National Recovery Month FAQs
Is there a recovery ribbon in a particular color?
Purple is the color of recovery.
In order to recover from addiction, what are the stages?
Recovery consists of four stages: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action.
What is sobriety?
The goal of sobriety is to live a drug and alcohol-free life at home and work.