Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), sponsors National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to increase awareness and understanding of mental and/or substance use disorders. This celebration promotes the message that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people do recover.
Why National Recovery Month?
A substance use disorder can affect anyone. These conditions do not discriminate by age, race, ethnicity, gender, or income status and are as prevalent as many other health issues. It is estimated that behavioral health conditions – which include mental and/or substance use disorders – will surpass physical conditions as the major cause of disability in the United States by 2020. Again, recovery is affordable for people with a substance use disorder.
The 2013 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness,” represents 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. The theme highlights that people are not alone on this journey to seek total health every day. Family, friends, and community members can support individuals throughout the entire recovery process. The theme also emphasizes that there are many paths to wellness, including professional treatment, medical care, self-help, and group support, and each person embarks on his or her own unique path.
The annual Recovery Month observance aligns with SAMHSA’s mission to reduce the impact of substance abuse on America’s communities. It supports many of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiatives, including preventing substance use disorders, promoting recovery and resilience, and increasing public understanding.
Learn more about recovery and substance abuse at BlackDoctor.Org.
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