This article was written by Nick Goldberg and published by RCA
The Significance of National Recovery Month
September is National Recovery Month (Recovery Month, for short). Certified as a national event by presidential proclamation in 2017 and in 2020, it is now run by Faces & Voices of Recovery, with active support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which contributes to the occasion through the creation of a National Recovery Month toolkit. Now in its 33nd year, the event is a month-long celebration of those in recovery.
We all cheer for those who overcome or successfully manage conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. We do the same for those with addiction or substance use disorder (SUD). Similarly, we celebrate the wider recovery community, including treatment providers, public service organizations, 12-step groups, and anyone who contributes to the larger, shared recovery effort.
In addition to this celebratory aspect, the observance of Recovery Month extends to several supporting aims. One is to increase awareness and understanding of substance use disorder and encourage those in need of help to seek treatment. Another is to promote the best in evidence-based addiction treatment and recovery practices. A further aim is to emphasize that addiction often coincides with mental health struggles, such as anxiety, depression and others, and intersects with them as co-occurring disorders.
This year, Recovery Month centers on the theme, Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community, highlighting the universality of the experience of addiction and recovery and stressing the always pressing need for inclusion and diversity in our recognition of the sweep of substance use disorder.
How to Participate in National Recovery Month
Whether you’re in recovery yourself, support someone who is, or simply wish to promote the cause, there are many ways to get involved:
- Events: Attend an event or start your own. Please note that since inclusion on this list is voluntary, there are bound to be many others organized by local recovery organizations and communities.
- Social media: Show your support, promote events, and share images of them on social media using the hashtag #recoverymonth.
- Proclamation: Write to local and national representatives, encouraging them to sign proclamations in support of Recovery Month, and upload your own proclamation to the National Recovery Month 2022 website.
- Apparel: Sport an official recovery mask, hoodie or t-shirt.
- Emblems: Download letterheads, web banners and logos to circulate the imagery.
While the large-scale, multi-tiered endeavor of addiction prevention, treatment and recovery precedes and follows September, the observance of Recovery Month allows for crucial recognition of the milestones we’ve reached and reminds us how far we have yet to go.