The numbers are as startling as they are sad – from 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people have died from drug overdoses in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the numbers continue to rise. The majority of those overdoses involve opioids, many originating from legal prescriptions.
There is some good news, however, coming out of this drug epidemic. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery — successes that often go unnoticed by the broader population. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recognizes that fact every year by designating September National Recovery Month. The entire month is dedicated to a national observance to educate Americans that substance abuse treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. 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’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities, highlighting the value of family and community support throughout recovery and inviting individuals in recovery and their family members to share their personal stories and successes and encourage others. Now in its 27th year, Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible.
Here at Community Health Connections, our mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals encourage the communities of northern Worcester County – and throughout the country – to reach out and support individuals in need of services, as well as their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information that can help them reclaim their lives.