By: Abraham B. Ruiz, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Since 1989, our nation has recognized September as National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), a time to celebrate the journey that millions of Americans take from to from mental and/or substance use disorders to recovery. In its 24th year the Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness,” emphasizes that there are many unique ways people can prevent behavioral health issues, seek treatment, and sustain recovery. The theme also highlights the importance of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, as well as the value of family, friends, and community members throughout the recovery journey.
On September 4, 2013, SAMHSA and the Recovery Month Planning Partners kicked off Recovery Month with the release of the 2012 results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health followed by the Recovery Month Luncheon. The Luncheon, hosted by National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) and the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), featured speakers from across the nation and was live webcast to more than 1,750 online viewers.
As Recovery Month continues to grow and expand, SAMHSA is excited to see increased international support of the effort. Since 2010, countries and cities from around the world have hosted events celebrating recovery in their communities. The 1st Annual Recovery Rally held in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by Orchard Recovery Center and Faces and Voices of Recovery, Canada, had over 1,000 people in attendance and received SAMHSA’s 2013 National Recovery Month Community Event Award.
If you would like to get involved in helping to spread the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover, there are many actions you can take. Take the Pledge 4 Recovery as a start, get involved with Recovery Month, participate in a community event, and be sure to check out our 2013 toolkit, which is full of resources to help increase awareness of the power of recovery.