Every September, we celebrate National Recovery Month. This month is dedicated to bringing awareness to mental and substance use disorders and celebrating those in recovery. This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.
What does the 2018 theme mean for the addiction treatment community? Big things. This theme explores the ingredients that contribute to effective treatment, including integrated care, a strong community, a sense of purpose and leadership.
Let’s learn more about the importance of National Recovery Month and how you can give back to the community.
Latest Statistics on Substance Abuse
According to the latest government research, 21.5 million Americans, ages 12 and up, battled a substance use disorder in 2014. Nearly 80 percent of Americans who struggled with drug addiction also struggled with alcohol addiction. Substance abuse continues to be a prevalent problem in our society, with no signs of slowing down. Here are a few more sobering statistics.
- Drug and alcohol addiction costs our nation close to $200 billion in healthcare, criminal justice, legal fees, and lost production.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drug and alcohol addiction affects 5.4 percent of people worldwide.
- In 2014, almost 8 million American adults battled a mental health problem and an addiction, also known as a dual diagnosis.
- Addiction is believed to be 50 percent inheritable and 50 percent environmental.
- The earlier people abuse drugs and alcohol, the greater the risk for addiction because of effects on a growing brain.
Participating in National Recovery Month
If you’re interested in planning an event for next year, you can! Find all the information you need in this guide. In the meantime, plenty of events are held throughout the month to celebrate those in recovery and generate awareness for the many people in need of support. Here are some of the activities you may be able to find in your area.
- Walk, run or rally for sobriety
- Cookout, dinner, or picnic
- Memorial dedication
- Forums or discussion groups
- Facebook Live, Google Hangout, or Twitter chat
- Podcasts or webinars
- Proclamation signing
As you can see, there are many ways to get involved, even if it just means sharing your story. You never know who you could have an impact on. Find an activity where you’re most comfortable and let others know where you stand in the community.