It’s easy to feel hopeless and defeated when you’ve struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years. The addiction cycle keeps many people trapped for months, years, and even decades. One report from the National Institutes of Health revealed that 10% of U.S. adults have drug use disorder at some point during their life.

The addiction problem in the United States is no secret; drug and alcohol abuse affects people of all ages, genders, economic statuses, and more. Chances are, you probably know someone who struggles with addiction…however, you probably also know someone who overcame addiction to find freedom in recovery.

Recovery offers hope and the belief that anyone can not only overcome but more importantly survive addiction. Those who conquer their drug or alcohol abuse serve as living proof of the possibility of recovery. Every September, organizations across the United States recognize National Recovery Month. It’s an opportunity for those in recovery to receive the celebration they deserve and to educate others about the important role that substance abuse and mental health treatment services play in saving lives.

An estimated 21 million people in the United States ages 12 and older needed substance abuse treatment in the last year. Of those who needed treatment, only about 4.2 million received the services they needed. When only 1 in 5 people who need treatment receive it, the opportunity for recovery is clearly limited.

Overcoming drug and alcohol addiction is no easy feat but recovery offers people another chance at life and all that it has to offer. National Recovery Month is an important time to recognize the increased need for treatment, especially during these challenging times, and learn more about how treatment can be a life-saving resource to those who are struggling.

Why National Recovery Month is Necessary

National Recovery Month is an important tool to open conversations about addiction and mental health treatment. Despite the incredible strides made toward reducing the stigma surrounding addiction, statistics show there is still plenty of work to do. Recovery Month promotes the importance of and need for evidence-based methods within treatment programs.

A major highlight of National Recovery Month is the celebration of individuals in recovery. For most, it has felt impossible to escape the cycle of addiction when you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol for years. Many have given up hope of ever overcoming their fight with addiction.

National Recovery Month recognizes those who have found their way out of the cycle of addiction. No matter how they overcame their struggle, whether, through treatment, a community support group, or another avenue, they’ve done the work and made the changes necessary to achieve and maintain recovery. Celebrating these achievements is a reminder that recovery is possible for anyone.

The History of National Recovery Month

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) started National Recovery Month in 1989. Under its original name, “Treatment Works! Month,” SAMHSA shined a light on the tireless work that substance abuse professionals were doing at the time. Clinicians then didn’t receive the same recognition for working with this segment of the population as they do today. It is such a rewarding job for clinical professionals to see people recover!

The concept of recovery wasn’t as recognized or even perhaps accepted in the past as it is today, and SAMHSA wanted to draw more attention to the struggles of overcoming addiction. “Treatment Works! Month” was one of the first important steps in the direction of shattering the stigma surrounding addiction treatment recovery.  Later, in 1998, SAMHSA expanded the awareness campaign, not just from the providers, but also to include people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. They renamed the event “National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month” to acknowledge the expansion of their focus.

Then, in 2011, SAMHSA again widened the scope to also recognize those living with mental illness. Changing the name to its existing iteration, “National Recovery Month,” which recognized the ever-evolving landscape of recovery including those with co-occurring mental health issues.  This past year, SAMHSA transitioned the responsibility for sponsoring and managing the “National Recovery Month” event at large over to the recovery community. This marks an important milestone in the campaign’s history now, celebrated as the “Faces & Voices of Recovery” in local communities.

Celebrating National Recovery Month Today

This year marks the 32nd year of National Recovery Month but the mission remains the same as it was at the start. Recovery Month celebrates the achievements of individuals in addiction recovery and most recently including those in mental health recovery. Additionally, an achievement in the behavioral health industry is acknowledging the dedicated professionals and programs that are supporting those in need and providing services with the latest evidence-based methods for achieving long-term recovery.

The Recovery Month theme for 2021 is “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.” It’s a nod to the understanding that addiction and mental illness can affect anyone, no matter who they are regardless of age, gender, economic status, or anything else, addiction or mental illness can develop.

This year, President Biden released a proclamation that officially deemed September as National Recovery Month. It emphasized the White House’s support of both those who have found recovery and those still doing the work to achieve it. This nationwide recognition of Recovery Month is vital to increasing awareness as well as improving access to treatment services.

Today, Recovery Month continues its work to promote the vital message that drug prevention programs work, addiction treatment services are effective, and people can recover from drug and alcohol addiction. No matter how many times someone has tried to quit before, there is always the possibility that they can achieve long-term recovery and wellness

Getting Involved in National Recovery Month

Getting involved with organizations and events that recognize National Recovery Month is a great way to show support. Prevention, treatment, and recovery programs across the country unite to organize a wide range of events during National Recovery Month. There are many options available for you whether you’re looking for ways to get involved locally or online.

You can find the official listing of National Recovery Month events here at the calendar on their website. From Twitter chats to other virtual events, local resources, including 12-step meetings, speaker panels, and educational events, there are many options to choose from. Your support for these events shows that the work these organizations do every year is appreciated, important, and necessary for the years to come as well as most importantly highlights YOU as a person in recovery!

Finding the Right Treatment Resources for Recovery

National Recovery Month emphasizes the need for evidence-based treatment methods within addiction and mental health treatment programs. These services are backed by studies and research resulting in clinical best practices which are proven methodologies to achieve the highest recovery outcomes when implemented in a treatment program. Finding the right treatment options for your recovery includes ensuring any facility you consider centers their programming around evidence-based methods with qualified clinical professionals.

For over 31 years, Lifeskills South Florida has been a trusted treatment provider focused on treating individuals and supporting their loved ones, who are seeking to overcome drug and/or alcohol abuse as well as mental health issues. We are dually licensed within the state of Florida to treat both substance abuse and mental health which sets us apart from many other treatment providers. Our clinical staff is comprised of doctoral level and master’s level licensed professionals with additional specialty training/certification to ensure each client’s individual needs are met. We support our clients as they begin their overall journey to psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing within our various clinical pathways and continuum of care.

To learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs we offer, reach out to us today. We will speak with you to learn more about your struggles and find the right approach that’s the best fit for you. You do not need to deal with your addiction alone – Lifeskills South Florida is here to help.