An annual event since 1989, Recovery Month takes place every September to promote and support “new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the strong and proud recovery community, and dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.”
Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Recovery Month focuses on how treatment services can change lives for people struggling with substance use and mental health disorders and celebrates the strength of those in recovery. The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) states, “The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.”
This year commemorates the 30th anniversary of Recovery Month, with the theme “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.” Emphasizing that “together we are better,” SAMHSA explains the theme “reminds us that mental and substance use disorders affect all of us and that we are all part of the solution.”
To better emphasize their purpose, Recovery Month now features a new “r” logo, symbolizing recovery. Organizers ask anyone recognizing the month to use the new logo to “signify support for recovery, educate others and spread awareness about the effectiveness of treatment and recovery. Your efforts can help reduce the stigma around the impact of mental and substance use disorders, and support individuals living in recovery.”
The organizations behind Recovery Month
The organizations that help make Recovery Month possible include more than 300 federal, state and local government groups, nonprofit organizations, and other mental health and substance use disorder associations.
Organizations and programs affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental health and/or substance use disorders can reach out to local affiliates or chapters in their state for guidance on Recovery Month activities and events.
Find events, get inspired or share your success story
Throughout September, thousands of people dedicated to saving lives through prevention and treatment share resources, success stories, and best practices.
Events and personal stories are a big part of Recovery Month. For many people struggling with substance use or mental health challenges, reading success stories can make all the difference. If you are in recovery and want to give hope to others by sharing your story, consider posting your story on social media or YouTube.
If you’d like to celebrate recovery in your life, there are thousands of Recovery Month events throughout the month. Visit the SAMSHA site to:
- Post an event
- Find events in your area
- Plan an event
Getting help and hope to those in need of treatment
According to results of the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, of the approximately 21 million Americans age 12 and over in need of substance use treatment, only about 3.8 million received needed treatment within the past year.
The SAMHSA website has published alarming statistics from 2017 regarding suicide, student depression, substance use disorder (SUD), mental disorders, and co-occurring disorders. Especially disturbing is the high rate of co-occurring substance use and mental disorders. Of the 5.1 million youth and young adults with a SUD, 46.8% also had a mental illness, while 45.6% of the 19.7 million adults with a SUD also had a mental illness.
Recovery Month Toolkit
The SAMHSA Recovery Month Toolkit provides valuable resources for individuals and organizations seeking to raise awareness about the power of recovery. The kit offers tools and tips for planning events in your community to reach those in need to seek treatment and recovery services. Help celebrate those in recovery, while spreading the word that treatment and support are available, and that recovery is attainable.
The Toolkit is divided into sections targeting different audiences, so you can tailor your outreach appropriately. The Toolkit also includes media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.
Additional resources offered by SAMHSA include:
- New banners and customizable materials: promote Recovery Month on your website, social media, or in your community.
- Proclamations: encourage local government officials to sign proclamations in support of recovery.
- Public Service Announcements: use TV and radio PSAs from 2019 or any previous year to raise awareness, to support and encourage those in need of treatment and recovery services, and to honor those living their lives in recovery.
- Road to Recovery Series: view and share TV and radio programming from 2016 through 2018 featuring panels of nationwide recovery experts.
The Recovery Month website provides additional resources:
- Logos, r is for Recovery symbol
- banners, posters, and customizable flyers, posters, T-shirt designs, and one-pager
- An event calendar to post and share your Recovery Month events or locate events in your community
- Social media outreach through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Note some materials are available in English and Spanish.
Help raise awareness, give hope to those in need, celebrate those in recovery, and recognize those who are dedicated to making recovery a reality by participating in Recovery Month.
Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987.