Every year, thousands of people across the globe develop a substance abuse disorder and suffer from the physical and psychological effects of being addicted to a harmful substance. If statistics are to be believed, approximately 4 million people in the United States over the age of 12 received treatment for substance abuse disorder in the last year. Additionally, more than 21 million Americans were diagnosed with addiction and were in dire need of treatment. Considering the figures, it is not wrong to say that you might know someone who is suffering from this brain disease.
Furthermore, out of the 21 million Americans who are in need of treatment, not everyone opts for or choose to proceed with the medical attention required to tackle this disorder. The stigma around addiction and the inappropriate labeling of addicts as a bad influence on society has made those suffering skeptical about their decision of going for treatment. They hold themselves back and in order to not be identified as an addict, they refuse to seek medical attention.
This issue is a growing concern even in developed countries like the United States and usually stems from the lack of knowledge and misinformation about addiction in the people. To put more focus on this issue and make sure the awareness is spread across everyone in the society, National Recovery Month is celebrated each year in the United States.
What is National Recovery Month?
National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month or Recovery Month in short is celebrated annually in the month of September to recognize the efforts of those who have successfully defeated addiction and are now moving ahead with their healthy and sober life. Also, this occasion appreciates the efforts shown by addicts who are still in recovery and to motivate them in their journey to achieving long-term sobriety.
People who have suffered from addiction or have known someone who has, know exactly how difficult the recovery phase is in the whole of the addiction treatment process. Most of the patients who are in recovery breakdown and start consuming the substance they are trying so hard to get rid of. This is known as relapsing and is a very common element of the recovery process. The people who relapse often get demotivated and leave their treatment altogether thinking they just cannot do it.
This is where Recovery Month comes in and tries hard to spread a beam of motivation and encouragement to let the patients know that even though hard, recovery is certainly not impossible. Also, by acknowledging the efforts of those who have fully recovered, this event sends out a strong positive message to the whole of the recovery community. This is very important because of motivation and encouragement two very important factors in the life of an addict.
Additionally, Recovery Month also celebrates the efforts of the clinicians, staff, and all the people of the medical community who are involved in handling and treating people suffering from addiction. It is not easy to handle patients who are suffering physically and psychologically. Furthermore, this event also focuses on educating the masses about the disease that addiction is, and how can one fight back should it happen to anyone around them. This is also very important considering the stigma around addiction and the ill-treatment of those suffering from substance abuse disorder.
Who Hosts National Recovery Month?
For 30 years, the event was hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). However, starting from 2020, the responsibility to conduct and host the event was handed over to Faces & Voices of Recovery. It is an organization that helps people to move on from their addiction and live a healthy and sober life. Faces & Voices of Recovery focuses on providing education, resources, and all the help needed by those suffering to leave their addictive traits behind.
How Can One Benefit From Recovery Month?
People are educated, motivated, and encouraged throughout the course of this month-long event. Many seminars, webinars, and fun activities are conducted for people, the sole objective of whose is to spread awareness about addiction. This year’s Recovery Month was although not quite similar to the previous ones, but the message remained the same.
The year 2020 was the 31st year of this 30-day event, and the theme was to Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections. Although there is also a color dedicated to representing the National Recovery Month, it is the same for every year – purple. This year’s recovery month was also affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as all things have, and thus there were no social gatherings at a higher scale. Although the rallies were moved outside, the majority of work was done online.
Social platforms were used to conduct many fun events such as video and photo competitions where the participants had to upload the snippets of how they celebrated their recovery. Meetings and seminars were shifted online and many organizations also took part in this grand event to do their part of speeding awareness.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducted a series of webinars with four episodes throughout September 2020. The topics included were:
- Integration of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Treatment and Recovery Support was conducted on September 3.
- SAMHSA Transforming Lives Through Supported Environment was conducted on September 10.
- Communities Supporting Recovery was conducted on September 17.
- The Importance of Integrating Recovery Support Services: The Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Model was conducted on September 24.
If you have missed the event, you can find more details on the official website of Recovery Month. Webinars conducted, details about them, and other events organized are all listed on their online platform for people.
Addiction is one disease along with many that are seeing a constant spike every year. The number of people who fall prey to addiction is soaring at concerning rates and so are the people who are dying from it. This is mainly due to a lack of knowledge about substance abuse disorder because the symptoms of this disease are unlike any chronic disease out there. Unless you pay attention and are capable to fully understand what addiction is, you will not be able to track it.
The reason why it is important to get rid of the stigma around addiction and educate more and more people to understand how dangerous this brain disease is. National recovery month does the exact same thing by making sure the message reaches out to the masses so the next time when you see anyone suffering from addiction, you’ll know how, when, and what to do.
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