Mental and/or substance use disorders affect all communities nationwide, but with commitment and support, people with these disorders can achieve healthy lifestyles and lead rewarding lives in recovery. By seeking help, people who experience mental and/or substance use disorders can embark on a new path toward improved health and overall wellness. The focus of National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) this September is to celebrate their journey. Recovery Month spreads the message that behavioral health is essential to health and one’s overall wellness, and that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover.
The impact of mental and/or substance use disorders is apparent in our local community, and an estimated 6.8 out of 100,000 people in Virginia suffering from drug overdose fatalities. According to the 2013 National
Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.7 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem (8.6 percent of people aged 12 or older). Of these, 2.5 million (10.9 percent of those who needed treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility. Also in 2013, out of the 43.8 million Americans aged 18 or older who had any mental illness in the past year, 19.6 million (44.7 percent of those with any mental illness) received mental health services in the past year. Through Recovery Month, people become more aware and able to recognize the signs of mental and/or substance use disorders, which can lead more people into needed treatment. Managing the effects of these conditions can help people achieve healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally.
The Recovery Month observance continues to work to improve the lives of those affected by mental and/or
substance use disorders by raising awareness of these diseases and educating communities about the prevention,
treatment, and recovery resources that are available.
For a listing of resources near you – click here
For a list of events during Recovery Month – click here
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance that educates Americans on the fact that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. The observance’s main focus is to laud the gains made by those in recovery from these conditions, just as we would those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
Recovery Month, now in its 25th year, highlights individuals who have reclaimed their lives and are living happy and healthy lives in long-term recovery and also honors the prevention, treatment, and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible, and also encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need.
Celebrated during the month of September, Recovery Month began in 1989 as TreatmentWorks! Month, which honored the work of the treatment and recovery professionals in the field. The observance evolved to National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in 1998, when the observance 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 include all aspects of behavioral health.
Each September, thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and services around the country celebrate their successes and share them with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues in an effort to educate the public about recovery, how it works, for whom, and why. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. These successes often go unnoticed by the broader population; therefore, Recovery Month provides a vehicle to celebrate these accomplishments.
(excerpts from Recovery Month website: www.recoverymonth.goc