September 1, 2013
National recovery month banner

September is National Recovery Month—an annual recognition of the fact that millions of Americans suffer from addiction and other mental disorders, which can be successfully treated, allowing people to live healthy, rewarding lives. It is also an occasion to encourage people to do what they can to widen the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for the many individuals who need them.

During Recovery Month (formerly National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month), participating treatment, prevention, and recovery-related organizations and associations—including Federal, state, and local government entities will use traditional and social media to disseminate information on treatment and recovery services. The aim is to help local communities reach people in need of help, as well as their friends and families, and encourage them to seek out the treatments and supports that are available.

Stigma and widespread misconceptions about the nature of addiction and its susceptibility to treatment are major obstacles to getting needed services to people with substance use disorders and those at risk. Other mental health conditions face similar obstacles. Recovery Month spreads the message that mental health is an essential part of a person’s overall health, that prevention and treatment are effective, and that recovery is a reality and that it can take many forms.

Just as many people successfully manage other chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and asthma, people with substance use and other mental disorders can do the same, and restore their lives, especially if they are fortunate enough to receive treatment and the support of family, friends, and others in recovery.

For more information about National Recovery Month, I encourage you to visit www.recoverymonth.gov.

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