National Recovery Month (Recovery Month)
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) (http://www.recoverymonth.gov) is a national observance that educates Americans on the fact that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. The observance’s main focus 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. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
Recovery Month, now in its 24th year, highlights individuals who have reclaimed their lives and are living happy and healthy lives in long-term recovery and also honors the prevention, treatment, and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible, and also encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need.
Celebrated during the month of September, Recovery Month began in 1989 as TreatmentWorks! Month, which honored the work of the treatment and recovery professionals in the field. The observance evolved to National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in 1998, when the observance expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to include all aspects of behavioral health.
Each September, thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and services around the country celebrate their successes and share them with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues in an effort to educate the public about recovery, how it works, for whom, and why. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. These successes often go unnoticed by the broader population; therefore, Recovery Month provides a vehicle to celebrate these accomplishments.
The 2013 Recovery Month observance emphasizes the many ways that people can prevent behavioral health issues, seek treatment, and sustain recovery as part of a commitment to living a mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy life.
Currently, 203 Federal, State and local government entities, as well as non-profit organizations and associations affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and substance use disorders, comprise the Recovery Month Planning Partners’ group. The Planning Partners assist in the development, dissemination and collaboration of materials, promotion and event sponsorship for the Recovery Month initiative.
Materials produced for the Recovery Month observance include print, web, television, radio and social media tools. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials provide multiple resources including SAMHSA’s National Helpline - 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for information and treatment referral and SAMHSA's Treatment information at http://www.samhsa.gov/.