September isn’t just a time to think about back-to-school and the start of fall. September is also National Recovery Month. National Recovery Month is a time for celebrating sobriety, whether you’re in recovery or perhaps are just sober curious. This September marks the 30th year of celebrating National Recovery Month and the event theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”
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.
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 is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The goal of Recovery Month is to increase the awareness about substance use disorders and celebrate successful recovery. Recovery Month is also a time to promote education about treatment options for substance abuse as well as mental health services.
Other objectives of National Recovery Month include:
- Promoting the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery not only for addiction but also mental 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
How You Can Get Involved
If you’re interested in addiction awareness, you’re in addiction recovery, or you’d like to promote the messages of the event, there are many different ways to get involved.
Host an Event
The SAMHSA site offers lots of National Recovery Month event ideas or you (or your organization) could host your own. If you host an event, you can post it on the Recovery Month website so others can find it. SAMHSA has logos, banners and customizable materials you can use in your community, as well as on your social media profile or website to promote your event.
Resources for organizations are also available on the Recovery Month site to help plan events. They also offer tips and tools for fundraising.
Attend an Event
An online directory is available on the Recovery Month website to help you find sober events and recovery support events in your community. There are also online events if there aren’t any in-person National Recovery Month activities in your local area.
You can filter events and search by keywords, state, or type of event.
Examples of Recovery Month events include:
- F.I.S.H. of SANCAP is hosting an event in Sanibel, Florida that’s open to the public on September 18, 2019, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
- Recovery Walk & Celebration from the Center for Community Alternatives will be held in Syracuse, NY, on September 7, 2019, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- The Washington Recovery Summit will take place from Monday, September 23, 2019, to Wednesday, September 25, 2019, in Stanwood, WA.
- The Big Texas Rally for Recovery will be held in Arlington, TX on Saturday, September 21, 2019.
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
- 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 2019 Recovery Month hashtags are:
Encourage a Proclamation
Encouraging a proclamation is something you can do to show support for National Recovery Month and also to 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 then commit in writing to improve access to treatment programs, and you’re increasing awareness.
SAMHSA offers a guide to proclamations on their site. You can also find links, organized by state, to organizations that have issued related proclamations.
Educate a Friend
Education and awareness are powerful tools. You can share your recovery stories with a friend, or just provide education about addiction. You can also encourage friends and loved ones to access addiction recovery stories from others or 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 access the treatment they need. Opening a conversation is an important step toward helping people understand addiction is a disease, but that recovery is possible.
If you’re struggling with addiction and are ready to find your 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.