September means many things, such as going back to school, the kick off of football and the end of summer. However, for anyone in recovery of substance use and mental health disorders, September is all about celebrating their success and promoting the message that recovery in all forms is possible.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sponsoring its 29th year of Recovery Month, highlighting the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the drug treatment and recovery center’s providers who make recovery possible. The 2018 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective rehab programs that sustain the recovery of persons with mental health and substance use disorders.
There are millions of people whose lives have been transformed through recovery from substance abuse. An estimated 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older (18.3%) had a mental illness in 2016 according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey released by SAMHSA. Too often, the success of those in recovery goes unnoticed by the broader population. Therefore, Recovery Month provides a platform to reinforce that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, alcohol and drug treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
For the tens of thousands of prevention, addiction treatment, and recovery programs and facilities, September is the ideal time to pause and celebrate by sharing stories with neighbors, friends, and colleagues. This awareness increases a greater understanding about the diseases of mental health and substance use disorders. Check out events near you (https://recoverymonth.gov/events/find-events-list) where SAMHSA features hundreds of local community gatherings including picnics, rallies, walks, informational luncheons and dinners. If you are interested in participating or leading a recovery event, contact your local addiction recovery facilities or groups. We urge you to participate so that your community supports people in recovery and draws attention to critical prevention, treatment and recovery support services.
At Crossroads Centre Antigua, we applaud those who have maintained their commitment to sobriety and encourage those who are still struggling with substance use to seek out the help they need. Recovery is a lifelong process, and there is no wrong way to approach a 12-Step recovery program. It is up to each participant to determine what works best for their individual needs.
Through carrying the message of recovery and hope to others, being of maximum service to your fellows, trusting a power greater than yourself, there is hope. Addiction treatment and recovery centers are effective. Help is available. Create a better future for yourself and your loved ones.