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National Recovery Month: Celebrate Recovery

September is National Recovery Month, “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.” Around the country, initiatives are taken to increase awareness and promote positive messages about the importance of behavioral health in total wellness.

This is the 25th year that Recovery Month has been observed. Since the beginning, when Recovery Month was actually TreatmentWorks! Month, thousands of successful campaigns have taken place informing, educating, encouraging and supporting those who are in recovery from substance use disorders or mental illness.

Celebrating Recovery

Every September, treatment providers, counselors, recovery centers, and prevention programs do due diligence in sharing their success stories with others to increase public awareness about recovery. Instead of allowing the hard work, dedication and inspiration of those who have transformed their lives through recovery go unnoticed or to slip through the cracks, Recovery Month provides a vehicle to celebrate and share the joy of recovery with others.

The theme for Recovery Month 2014 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out.” The idea is to encourage others to talk about their recovery journey, to share their success with others and to help encourage others to reach out for help. Sometimes, mere recognition that help is available and that it really DOES work is enough to motivate people to try—Recovery Month reinforces the message that recovery is possible!

How Can You Help

If you’re an individual who is in recovery, share your story with others and get involved in the community events being sponsored by treatment centers and outreach programs in your area. Check the Community Events calendar for information on Recovery Month activities taking place in your region. If you don’t see any events taking place, consider starting a Recovery Month awareness event in your city or town.

If you’re suffering from addiction or mental illness, talk with someone about your problem and know that there is help available to you! Get inspired by the Voices of Recovery; here you will find hundreds of inspiration stories of recovery, proof that the treatment available to you is effective if you are committed and willing to try.

If you know someone who is in recovery or suffering from addiction, share the community resources and recovery stories produced by SAMHSA to help encourage a celebration of recovery between those you love and care about. Get involved, become a part of National Recovery Month and celebrate the joy of millions of people finding their way past the perils of addiction and into a life of recovery.