September of 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of National Recovery Month, a month-long observance designed to increase awareness about addiction, celebrate the successful recovery of millions of Americans, and improve access to addiction treatment programs. Even if you’re not in recovery, you can still participate in this annual observance and help others get the help they need to recover.
What is National Recovery Month?
National Recovery Month is a nationwide observance throughout September. It is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is designed to draw attention to substance use disorders and the many people who are in recovery. The 2019 theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”1
During this month-long observance, people all over the U.S. are encouraged to share their personal stories of addiction and recovery on many different platforms. Though this is meant to be encouraging for those who have yet to overcome their addiction(s), it is also an important part of breaking the stigma that is associated with addiction. By talking publicly about addiction and other issues related to substance abuse, we can break down the barriers like shame and isolation that keep people from getting the help they need to recover.
Whether you’re in recovery yourself, you’re curious about sobriety, or you are a loved one of someone who is addicted or in recovery, National Recovery Month is a great opportunity to get involved and learn more about how to support people who are suffering from addiction.
How to Get Involved in National Recovery Month
SAMHSA created a Recovery Month toolkit that is available online and lists several different ways you can get involved in National Recovery Month
Share your story.
Whether it’s at a local event, on your blog, or via your Instagram account, sharing your story is one of the best ways you can get involved in National Recovery Month. The more we spread the word about addiction and recovery, the more normalized it will be. Many people struggle with addiction but refuse to come out of the shadows because they are ashamed and afraid of how others will treat them if they know the truth. Sharing your personal story with addiction and recovery can provide affirmation that they are not alone and encourage them to make a change for the better.
Host or attend an event.
SAMHSA lists many different Recovery Month events on its website, including organized community walks and rallies. You may also organize your own event if you prefer. All the necessary tools, tips, and resources, such as logos and marketing materials are available on the SAMHSA website, so the work involved in putting something together isn’t as intensive as it could be.
Write to your local government officials.
You can also encourage your local representatives and government officials to commit to improving access to addiction treatment programs by asking them to sign proclamations in support of Recovery Month. Essentially, doing this asks them to sign a written statement affirming their commitment and intentions to increase awareness of substance use disorders by improving access to existing care for those who need it most. You can find a sample proclamation here if you need help getting started.
Connect with your community.
You can also connect with other members of the faith-based community, schools, and the organized recovery community to share tools, tips, and resources related to addiction treatment and recovery. This may seem like a simple act, but doing so will continue the conversation about treatment needs and the real impact of substance use disorders in our country.
Share information with loved ones.
If you have a friend who is suffering from addiction or a family member who is supporting an addicted loved one, sharing information about treatment or providing details about local recovery resources can show them that recovery is possible and help is available.
National Recovery Month is an important part of the nationwide recovery movement and is an essential tool to help end addiction stigma. If you or a loved one needs help overcoming addiction, don’t wait any longer. Call (512) 605-2955 to speak with an admissions representative at Nova Recovery Center today.