For many in recovery from addiction, 2020’s challenges and uncertainty have been a trial and a testament to their sobriety. Though our lives may be thoroughly disrupted, the recovery journey continues. September is National Recovery Month, a time to celebrate and support sobriety, whether you’re in recovery or perhaps just sober curious. This September marks the 31st year of National Recovery Month, and the event theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.

National Recovery Month provides important visibility to the recovery community. It’s an opportunity to share addiction and recovery stories. Sharing these stories helps to break the stigma surrounding addiction and spreads hope that recovery is possible, even in a pandemic.

National Recovery Month is also a valuable time for the loved ones of someone in recovery to participate by sharing their own stories or learning more about how to best support someone in recovery. Everyone can participate and take action this September.

What Is National Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month 2020 is sponsored by Faces & Voices of Recovery, a recovery advocacy organization. The goal of Recovery Month is to increase awareness about substance use disorders and celebrate successful recovery. Recovery Month is also a time to promote education about treatment options for substance abuse and mental health services.

Other National Recovery Month objectives include:

  • Promoting the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery not only for addiction but also mental health disorders
  • Celebrating people in recovery
  • Appreciating the contributions of treatment and service providers
  • Spreading the message that recovery is possible
  • Sharing the idea that behavioral health is essential for overall health
  • Letting people know treatment is effective, and people can and do recover

5 Ways You Can Get Involved

If you’re interested in addiction awareness, you’re in addiction recovery or you’d like to promote the event’s messages, there are many different ways to get involved. 

1. Host an Event

The National Recovery Month site offers lots of event ideas, or you (or your organization) could host your own. If you host an event, you can also post it on the Recovery Month website so others can find it. The site has banners and customizable materials you can use in your online community, like your website or social media profiles.

2. Attend an Event

An online calendar is available on the Recovery Month website to help you find virtual and in-person sober events and recovery support events. You can filter the calendar and search by type of event, location or cost.

Examples of Recovery Month events include:

  • The Recovery Village is partnering with Opera del Sol to host a 5-part webinar and performance series, “How Music Can Help Heal Wounds of Addiction.” 
  • SAMHSA is hosting a webinar series on recovery support every Thursday in September at 1:30 PM (EST). 
  • Addiction Recovery Team is hosting a 30-Day Challenge to celebrate recovery, mindfulness, and inspire others. Complete each day’s challenge and share your story online with #recoverymonthchallenge or #oprfchallenge. 
  • The United in Recovery Virtual 5K will feature multiple distances, and you can run or walk anytime, anywhere between September 1-21.
  • People Advocating Recovery (PAR) & Young People in Recovery (YPR) are hosting a weeklong virtual event, Rally 4 Recovery, from September 21-26.
  • National Addiction Professionals Day is observed on September 20 as part of National Recovery Month to recognize the hard work done to support recovery.

3. Promote National Recovery Month on Social Media

One of the easiest ways to support National Recovery Month is by sharing on social media. Specific ways to promote recovery support and education on social media include:

  • Use Recovery Month materials on your own blog, website or social profiles
  • Share your recovery journey or links to other recovery journey stories on social media
  • Engage with National Recovery Month’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
  • Share links to recovery resources on your social media profiles
  • Share positive messages about prevention, treatment and recovery
  • Promote events on social media that relate to Recovery Month or online recovery support

Another easy way to promote National Recovery Month on social media is by using hashtags with your social posts. The 2020 Recovery Month hashtags are:

  • #RecoveryMonth
  • #NationalRecoveryMonth
  • #RM2020

4. Encourage a Proclamation

Encouraging a proclamation is something you can do to show support for National Recovery Month and bring attention to relevant issues like drug laws and the drug epidemic. There are organizations, city and state governments, and tribes that have issued their own proclamations or statements of support for National Recovery Month.

By encouraging your local leaders to issue a proclamation, they have an opportunity to commit to improving access to treatment programs. This also increases awareness of these issues in your local community..

5. Educate a Friend

Education and awareness are powerful tools. You can share your recovery story with a friend or just provide education about addiction. You can also encourage them to share their own experiences that might relate to substance use disorders or mental health issues. 

By talking about drug education and sharing recovery stories, we can reduce the stigma and encourage people to seek the treatment they need. Opening a conversation is an important step toward helping people understand addiction is a disease and that recovery is possible.

Getting the Help You Need

If you’re struggling with addiction and are ready to find your path to recovery, contact The Recovery Village. We offer evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders to meet the specific needs of the individual. Recovery is possible. Start yours today.