September is National Recovery Month. We celebrate the millions of Americans who are living their lives in recovery from mental and substance use disorders and honor those who work to make recovery possible. We also take time to remember the people who have lost their lives and those who still need help.
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I am person in long term recovery, meaning I haven’t used alcohol or drugs in over 23 years. When I started on my recovery journey, there was no “recovery movement” and we did not talk about being in recovery. We were silent. Today, I am proud to be a part of the ever-growing recovery movement in our country.
Once again, communities and individuals across the country are joining together in September to observe and celebrate SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). For the past 26 years, Recovery Month has celebrated the journey and achievements of the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders. Communities across the country are planning Recovery Month events, bringing people together to share real life experiences about the power of recovery.
Participating in athletics has many benefits, such as building fitness, teamwork and self-confidence. Participating in sports or fitness activities with others aligns with two of SAMHSA’s major dimensions of recovery—health and community. SAMHSA supports local communities in hosting wellness events—which can include fitness activities—during National Wellness Week, the third week in September. A growing body of research supports the idea that physical exercise is associated with decreasing the risk of depression and reducing its symptoms.
On October 4th, tens of thousands of people representing organizations and families from the prevention, treatment, criminal justice, health and recovery communities across the country will UNITE to Face Addiction on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
We are coming together to end the silence and let policymakers, the media, our friends, families, co-workers, and neighbors know that addiction is preventable and treatable that people can and do recover when they get the help they need.
This week, SAMHSA released its strategic plan for the next four years, Leading Change 2.0: Advancing the Behavioral Health of the Nation 2015 – 2018 (Leading Change 2.0).