Our nation observes September as National Recovery Month, a celebration dedicated to individuals who are in recovery from a substance use disorder and to encourage those who are still struggling to seek the treatment and support they deserve. The theme for National Recovery Month 2022 is “Recovery Is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”
What is National Recovery Month?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month with the goal of increasing awareness of the various treatment options individuals have at their disposal. In this way, education plays a vital role at both the individual and community level.
By highlighting treatment options, the hope is that individuals who find themselves battling substance use disorder will take that first step towards getting help. This year’s slogan communicates an inclusive message, providing an open invitation for anyone in need of professional support.
How can we end the stigma surrounding substance use and mental health disorders?
While our society has definitely come a long way towards leaving stigma associated with substance use and mental health disorders behind, there is still a long way to go. As long as there is stigma surrounding substance use and mental health disorders, it will continue to be a barrier to treatment.
If you want to help reduce the stigma, consider these ideas:
- Become involved in activities related to National Recovery Month. Visit the SAMHSA website to learn how to get involved in your community.
- Be open with others. The more open we are with each other about mental health issues or substance use disorder, the less shame and stigma we feel. We can help each other by being open and compassionate.
- Support efforts that increase community awareness. Attend local awareness events and consider hosting an event yourself. Maintaining awareness for local programs and efforts can have a lasting impact in your community and reduce the stigma.
6 ways to be supportive for a loved one in recovery
Another goal of National Recovery Month is to encourage Americans to show support for loved ones in recovery. If you have a loved one in recovery, consider giving these a try:
- Join them for family therapy: While your loved one is still in treatment, there are many opportunities to participate in family-focused events or therapy sessions. Doing so lets them know you support their journey.
- Learn more about substance use disorders: You and your family will benefit from being better informed about how substance use disorders develop and how they impact the brain.
- Set healthy boundaries: Avoid enabling behaviors by establishing clear rules and boundaries and enforce them consistently.
- Keep communication open: Individuals in early recovery face challenges in their sobriety journey. Create an environment for open communication and make sure your loved one knows you are always available to chat with them.
- Avoid using substances around them: Provide a supportive environment for your loved one in early recovery by being sensitive to their potential relapse triggers.
- Enjoy healthy activities together: You can help your loved one make the transition to a sober lifestyle by engaging in healthy activities along with them, such as hiking, volunteering or going to the movies, for example.
In the spirit of National Recovery Month, why not make a special effort to support its goals? Consider sharing SAMHSA’s important public messages on your social media or within your own community to help inform and engage those around you.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.