What is National Recovery Month?
National Recovery Month is an opportunity for a national observance that is held every September to provide Americans with education and resources to address and heal from substance use disorders. By promoting an understanding of drug and alcohol addiction, it works to break the stigma associated with substance use disorders and recognize the strength and resiliency that those struggling with substance abuse have while honoring those professionals that work to support those living with substance use disorders. Recovery month offers opportunities and a platform to share new evidence based treatment and recovery programs and therapies while hearing recovery stories that demonstrate the inspiring and courageous road that those struggling with substance abuse take. Over the course of Recovery Month, there are events and activities that are taking place across the nation to help spread awareness and continue to break the stigma of drug addiction and alcohol addiction.
Why Recovery Month Matters
Drug addiction and alcohol addiction occur within millions of peoples lives each day. However, although there is a high predominance of people living with substance use disorders, there is a sense of shame or societal stigmas associated with substance abuse. National Recovery Month helps to open up communication about the struggling with substance abuse and break the stigma and barriers that are put in place for those living with substance use disorders. The power of education and awareness can go a long way with people struggling with addiction as it supports an inclusive community that supports people struggling with addiction and their journey with addiction recovery. Our country is at a time where drug addiction is misunderstood and judged while Americans are also facing an opioid crisis that is taking the lives of thousands of Americans from opioid overdose. Recovery Month provides individuals with the knowledge and support to access resources and education about how to support loved ones or others struggling with substance abuse.
The Current State of Addiction in The US
Substance abuse among Americans continues to rise. In 2017, there were 19.7 million Americans that were living with substance use disorders and of those Americans 74% of adults were living with an active alcohol addiction. Of those Americans, 1 in 8 of those individuals were people struggling with drug addiction and alcohol addiction together. The economic costs of substance abuse is a rising concern as alcohol addiction and drug addiction cost Americans 740 billion dollars annually from loss of workplace productivity, crime costs, and health care costs. These staggering numbers are a representation of the crucial need for addiction treatment to support those people struggling with substance abuse. If you have never experienced a substance use disorders before chances are you know someone who is struggling with substance abuse and the need for awareness and education about the resources and supports for addiction recovery is more crucial than ever.
5 Ways to Get Involved in Recovery Month
If you are interested in becoming involved in recovery month or are in addiction recovery and want to learn more about the services and resources available, there are a variety of events and activities happening that you can become involved in. Get involved with recovery month by:
- Hosting an event
- Attending events and activities within your community
- Develop an understanding of the addiction recovery resources available to those people struggling with substance use disorders
- Help to promote awareness and education about substance use disorders to support to break the stigma
- Share recovery stories that provide messages of hope, resilience, and strength