September is National Recovery Month. This month serves to increase awareness and understanding of substance use disorders and mental health. It encourages people needing recovery services and treatment to seek the help they need. Recovery Month does spread not only awareness but also celebrates those living in recovery. Finally, Recovery Month allows us to take the time to recognize the dedicated workers who provide the prevention, treatment, and recovery support services that help make recovery possible.
The National Recovery Month’s theme is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.” We want to remind people in recovery and those who support them that recovery belongs to all of us. Addiction is not a disease that discriminates; it does not affect only one person. Its touch scars entire families, businesses, and communities. We need to broaden our understanding of recovery to be inclusive for all people.
Why Do We Celebrate Recovery Month?
In 2020, an estimated 44,606 people died of an overdose, according to the CDC. This number has continued to increase, with reports of 50,943 overdose deaths in 2021. The rate has continued to grow with the additional stresses caused by economic, political, and environmental issues.
Too many people still see addiction as a choice and not a disease. Because of this, many are unwilling to support those affected by addiction. Building awareness of the disease of addiction and sharing the stories of those in recovery can help reduce the stigma. Showing up as a community of support will go a long way in encouraging those struggling with addiction to reach out for the help they need.
What Can I Do to Help?
“Recovery is for Everyone,” the theme for National Recovery Month, was chosen to help emphasize the fact that anyone can help spread awareness and support. One place to start is to educate yourself on the disease of addiction and the meaning of recovery. Many communities are hosting local or online recovery-focused events. You can also find and share encouragement and information via social media, using #RecoveryMonth and #Recovery. Volunteering with recovery organizations in your area is another way to help further the message of this month. Visit the National Recovery Month website to find events and organizations in your area.