Every year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of mental and substance use disorders while celebrating the successes of those in long-term recovery.
GateHouse Treatment is a drug and alcohol rehab dedicated to helping those with substance abuse issues. We also stay updated on all things related to recovery, which includes recognizing that September is National Recovery Month.
The History Behind Recovery Month
Before the well-known group Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) was founded in 1935, there were actually several “alcohol mutual aid” societies to help addicts with recovery. Native American tribes used healing practices in the 1750s that helped treat alcoholism.
In 1784, physician Benjamin Rush categorized alcoholism as a disease that must be treated. In 1935, A.A. was formed by Bill W. and Dr. Bob S., both of whom suffered from alcoholism. The group expanded quickly, leading to more than 90,000 people joining A.A. in 1950. As an organization, A.A. earned a Lasker Award in 1951, given by the American Public Health Association to recognize advances in human health.
As drug use became more prevalent over time, society made important advances to combat drug addiction. The American Medical Association declared all drug addiction a disease in 1987. The F.D.A. approved Buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction through Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in 2002. And it was the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 that mandated insurance companies provide substance abuse and mental health treatment and services with the same benefits as any medical care.
Since 1989, September Has Been Devoted to Recovery from Addiction
In 1989, marking September as a month devoted to recovery began with “Treatment Works! Month.” In 1998, the name changed to “National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.” Most recently, to make the campaign more inclusive, it was updated to “National Recovery Month in 2011.”
Each year, many proclamations are made by organizations and governments to commemorate National Recovery Month, such as this year’s White House Proclamation on National Recovery Month, 2022.
What You Can Do During National Recovery Month
Here are four actions you can take during National Recovery Month:
- Get informed: Read about how you can help yourself, your loved one or anyone going through addiction and recovery. Get more knowledgeable about what an addiction is, how to treat it and the journey to recovery.
- Get involved: It’s always a good idea to support National Recovery Month by volunteering and being part of events near you.
- Get ready to spread awareness: When you understand that addiction is an illness and how to help, apply your knowledge and let people know!
- Wear Purple: Using the official color purple in ribbons or attire shows your support this month.
National Recovery Month: Its Importance
During National Recovery Month, we support people who have fought addiction and the ones who are still fighting. Thanks to National Recovery Month:
- People have raised awareness of alcohol and drug addiction, giving space and knowledge for ideas to make a change.
- Many going through recovery have been supported and understood, which is an important aid to those at risk.
- The stigma of addiction has been lowered. This cause has helped make a change in people’s lives.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on National Recovery Month
SAMHSA’s website is helpful in a variety of ways, including:
- Helping individuals find treatment
- Discussing topics involving substance abuse
- Offering data and scientific proof regarding substance abuse studies
- Acting as a resource to find and attend events local to you
- Providing tips and tricks for hosting a local National Recovery Month event
No matter your need, SAMHSA’s resources are an excellent tool for anyone suffering from or wanting to learn more about addiction and recovery. They aim to increase public awareness about mental health and addiction recovery.
Since National Recovery Month began, SAMHSA has timed initiatives and grant-funding announcements during National Recovery Month while collaborating with private and public organizations to celebrate individuals during their recoveries.
Social Media and National Recovery Month
Social media has become a source of information and promotion for National Recovery Month. Not only can it spread awareness and information about addiction and recovery, but it can show support. If you want to post on National Recovery Month, use these hashtags:
GateHouse Treatment Supports You
National Recovery Month has become a beacon of hope for many suffering from addiction. By highlighting the achievements and journeys of long-term recovery, National Recovery Month encourages the expanded effort of impactful prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. We encourage all to continue contributing to this cause and efforts by attending events, making donations, and keeping the conversation about addiction going.