What is National Recovery Month?
More than 20 million people are currently recovering from substance use disorder today, and the month of September is dedicated to the awareness, education, and celebration of these individuals and the strides they have made toward living a life free from addiction.
Recovery is given not just a national day, but an entire month because it provides an important platform for services and professionals in the substance abuse and mental health fields to educate the public about treatments and services available to those in recovery. The stigma surrounding “drug addicts” and substance use disorder is often just as big of a hurdle for these individuals to overcome as the addiction itself. It is thanks to the dedication of these service providers that so much progress has been made in the development of recovery resources.
If resources were more readily available to those with limited economic mobility and people felt less ashamed about asking for help, the number of people struggling with addiction would greatly decrease.
6 Ways To Participate in National Recovery Month
- Embrace Education About Recovery
If you don’t know a lot about treatment and recovery or addiction, then being open to education or seeking it out for yourself is a powerful way of celebrating National Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Month. Many people still don’t understand that substance use disorder is a medical disease of the brain, not a choice, and that mental health and substance abuse treatment is effective for those with substance use disorder. To raise awareness of these recovery practices and openly discuss them, the stigma around addiction to drugs and alcohol will continue to decrease.
- Support a Recovery Month Event
If you hear about an event supporting recovery near you, the easiest thing you can do is attend and show your support. While you are there, there will likely be opportunities to donate to providers and communities, sign petitions for funding or recovery resources, and meet people in recovery. It can mean so much to them to be greeted with a friendly face instead of judgment when being open about their recovery story and struggle with addiction.
- Use your Social Media Platform
You don’t have to have a massive following to spread education about brain disease awareness, addiction treatment and recovery practices. Getting through to those closest to you who might have outdated views about mental health and substance use disorder can be very impactful. Dedicating your platform to a Recovery Month awareness day can open a dialogue and possibly inspire new voices of recovery to emerge. Announcing yourself as an advocate and ally of people in recovery can also be the sign of hope someone needs to believe treatment is effective and seek help themselves.
- Attend Recovery Meetings
If the recent social distancing has pulled you as someone in recovery away from in-person meetings, this month could not be a better time for you to start attending again. The support of a strong and proud recovery community and the dedication to show up to meetings can really help those in the early stages of recovery. If you are not in recovery, but still want to show your support or gain more education, open meetings are a great way to do that and hear about the journey someone goes through in recovery.
- Tell Your Recovery Story
It’s so easy to believe that you are alone when dealing with addiction. Those in recovery or attempting to recover often experience feelings of shame, worthlessness, and isolation. If you have an addiction story, becoming one of the outspoken voices of recovery, your lowest moments but also how far you rose out of them, can be incredibly inspiring and helpful with suicide prevention and harm reduction to those struggling with recovery. This also helps contribute to the proud recovery community that we hope will someday be able to reduce the stigma around substance abuse and mental illness.
- Reach Out to Those in Recovery
If you know someone is recently entering recovery, or even has many years under their belt, reaching out to show that you acknowledge their journey, that you support them, and that you love them is a great way to participate in this month of awareness and education. For closer family and friends, don’t be afraid to have an appreciation day for them and outwardly celebrate their recovery.
Join the Recovery Community at Serenity Oaks
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is South Florida’s premier addiction treatment provider with an Alumni program and is an avid supporter of the providers and communities that are dedicated to brain disease awareness and treatment. We at Serenity Oaks believe that it is the creation of a strong and proud recovery community for individuals after they leave treatment that plays a huge role in reducing relapse, suicide prevention, and self harm reduction. Returning to life in recovery can be a difficult transition for many, but this awareness month and increased access to behavioral health services can have a positive impact on these individuals.
As a patient at Serenity Oaks, you will automatically gain a community of other people who have remained successful in recovery, along with 24-hour phone support with our professionals who are ready to provide advice, encouragement, information about meetings and other recovery resources. Many of our staff members are in recovery themselves, and can empathize with the journey you are currently on.
Even if you did not attend residential treatment or receive treatment for addiction to drugs and alcohol at our wellness center, we are still available to help at any stage in recovery with relapse prevention treatment, therapy services, connection to meetings or mentors, and addiction resources. We invite you to call us at any time and speak with our recovery family.