How did you recognize National Recovery Month? For 25 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has organized a national awareness campaign to help destigmatize mental health and substance abuse disorders. The main goal of this month is to “laud the gains made by those in recovery from these conditions, just as we would those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.” This helps the public understand that addiction really is a disease, which can be treated, but which takes active treatment for the rest of one’s life.
In honor of National Recovery Month 2014, nearly 1,000 events were held during September in towns and cities across the country, ranging from community walks to special film screenings. With this springboard for discussion, healing and change can begin to take place on a community, and an individual, level.
What are some ways you can honor each month as Recovery Month in your life? The truth is if you are an addict or alcoholic in recovery, or you love someone who is walking the road of sobriety, it is important to acknowledge and recognize the changes made in your or your loved one’s life.
- Set aside time to write a letter of gratitude on your sobriety date each month
- Organize a recovery-based event each month with sober friends or those who support your sobriety
- Volunteer in your community to support those in need of recovery
- Be an example each day of living a positive and true life
- Each month attend at least one new recovery meeting
- Make a goal to get the phone number (and call!) a new friend in recovery each month
For many people, the topics of addiction and recovery are not discussed publicly. By hosting community-wide events that are endorsed on a national level, the positive message is spread that, “behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.” Go ahead and incorporate the spirit of National Recovery Month into the fabric of your daily life. If you want help finding that path, contact the Pat Moore Foundation for help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.