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September 17, 2021

September Is National Recovery Month

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September 17, 2021

We all agree that substance abuse and addiction destroy lives. It’s like a pebble dropped into a pond. The concentric circles of lives touched by substance abuse spread past family to friends, employers, the clergy, first responders, and more.

Technology, research, and treatment options have multiplied over the 32 years that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA has sponsored National Recovery Month. Awareness was never the problem.

Failure to accept and to help are the problems. Health professionals have worked with all their might to explain why accepting those with substance abuse problems and helping them will help them to recover.

Add to this the stigma attached to anyone possessed by drugs and alcohol. From high school and college students to dispossessed veterans to the homeless, the examples are there. Society would rather turn their heads away than help. That’s what National Recovery Month is about.

"Celebrate Good Times, Come On!"

Anyone remembering the Kool and the Gang anthem from disco days knows that the song is used by any business or movement celebrating hard work and the resulting success at something. Technology and research have given us the tools with which to work hard and achieve success at recovery.

National Recovery Month is about celebration. From the time someone admits they have a problem to the time they walk with head held high out of a recovery program, National Recovery Month is about digging deep into yourself to slay your demons and walk away from your dependence on drugs or alcohol.

It’s about recognizing that no one does it alone. The dedicated professionals that staff recovery programs want nothing more than to see you walk out of their establishment with your head held high. Your family wants only to see you healthy and happy. They, along with many more people in your lives, have banded together to help you slay those demons. “It’s a celebration!”

How Is Recovery Month Celebrated?

Over the 32 years of its operation, National Recovery Month has educated Americans regarding mental health as well as substance abuse. It has raised the bar even during the opioid crisis and COVID-19, along with unprecedented overdose fatalities. How have they done it?

Awareness marches, marketing, sponsorship of events, documentaries, public service spots, and seminars are among the many methods of raising awareness of mental health and substance abuse problems. Shattering the stigma obstacles to induce people to help is the goal.

Even President Biden has gotten on the bandwagon. He has issued a proclamation dated August 31, 2021 stating:

“This year’s theme, “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” emphasizes that recovery is possible for all Americans. My Administration honors the many pathways to recovery and will support individuals and their families at every step along their journey, in whatever form it takes. Everyone can support and encourage those working toward recovery.”

How Can You Help?

Seek out awareness events in your community. Take part in awareness marches, attend seminars, and watch documentaries. Employers could establish programs supporting those in recovery. Churches and civic establishments could found programs to raise awareness and to support those in recovery.

Those in recovery could post on social media the level of recovery they enjoy. Become a speaker at events aimed at raising awareness. Those recovering from substance abuse and mental health problems should celebrate their recovery. Invite others to celebrate with you. Be a support mechanism to help others recover.

Remember SAMHSA’s mantra: Prevention works. Treatment is effective. People can and do recover. Emblazon this mantra on your T-shirts. Put a sticker on your car stating the mantra. Answer your phone with the mantra. This is how you can help.

Where To Seek National Recovery Month Information

Check the “” website of your state. Check your state’s “addiction recovery” site, as well as the “” site, if any. Your local, county, and state newspapers will have articles and ads regarding National Recovery Month. Your local, county, and state Facebook and/or Twitter pages will have information on events. Listen to the evening news and radio for spots advertising National Recovery Month.

Final Thoughts

No one is alone. Substance users or mental health sufferers think they are, though. There’s a lot of love, understanding, and support out there, if only substance users and mental health sufferers could tap into it. We want to put our arms around you, listen to you, and offer help for your recovery.

It’s not as difficult as many make it out to be. Simply knowing that there is help for you is the first step. Reaching out is the second. Help has been around for 32 years, and it will be there for 32 more and beyond. You’ve got this. Recovery works. It can and will work for you.

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