September is recognized as the National Recovery Month for those in recovery from addiction. The month provides a platform for professionals to educate American citizens about treatment options for substance abuse. Through seminars, awareness hikes, documentaries, and public proclamations, the human face behind addiction is established to help eliminate the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health.
History of the National Recovery Month
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration launched the National Recovery Month in 1989 to celebrate the success of recovering addicts while creating awareness. The onetime event evolved into an annual event to recognize the accomplishments of people overcoming such struggles.
Each year, thye choose a new focus theme to help spread the message about treatment and recovery. In 2020, the theme will inspire people across the country to recognize the strength and resilience of individuals in recovery while providing support to those with co-occurring disorders to seek treatment.
Importance of the National Recovery Month
It is estimated that drug use is directly and indirectly responsible for 11.8 million deaths in the globe. In the US, 5% of the country’s population above the age of 12 struggles with alcohol abuse. Of these, 11.2 million have a serious mental illness, which puts substance abuse and mental illnesses as alarming pandemics. In addition to the usage, stigmatization is highly prevalent in the US, which prevents people struggling from substance abuse and mental illnesses from seeking addiction treatment.
Despite the alarming number of illnesses in the US, addiction and mental health treatment help millions of lives. With the heightened levels of awareness during the National Recovery Month, it is apparent that recovery is possible.
How to Observe the National Recovery Month
To promote the 2020 theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections, you can engage in various activities that will you create awareness and encourage those struggling to seek addiction treatment. Below are ideas of creative activities to undertake during the month:
Take Walk, Hike, or Run
There is no better way to celebrate recovery than to work out through a hike, walk, or run. You can gather a few friends along with your family members for a walk through a new nature trail or an old favorite trail.
Hold a Family Field Day
Addiction and recovery are a family affair. It affects every family member in one way or another when one of their own suffers from addiction. To celebrate your victories, you can gather the entire family for a picnic to a favorite park. While enjoying each other’s company, you will be creating awareness to help your family breakdown the internal barrier of stigmatization at the community level.
Have a Beach Bonfire
A beach bonfire at a local beach creates a platform where you will not only celebrate but also create awareness. You can gather your peers openly discuss issues relating to substance abuse and mental illnesses. If you have a relative or friend you suspect to be suffering silently, encourage them to seek treatment.
Join a Parenting Group
Parenting is hard enough as it is and complicating it with addiction makes it daunting. Thus, you can connect with others who have a family member in recovery to ease the burden. A local AA chapter will have parents seeking a support group. During the month, you can dedicate a few hours for meetings in a local park where you discuss addiction and treatment-related issues.
It is the National Recovery Month, the perfect time to get back on track. If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, take the next step. Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center, we are here to guide you through recovery.