Why Recovery Month is Important

COSA-NCADD Celebrates Recovery Month in September
August 7, 2014
COSA-NCADD Plans Week of Recovery Month Events
August 25, 2014

The prevalence of mental and substance use disorders is high – nearly 1 out of every 5 adults in the United States – about 43.7 million people – has a mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders, or schizophrenia,(1( and approximately 22 million have been classified with substance dependence or abuse (2). In spite of high prevalence, most Americans believe that recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders is possible, (3,4) and that we can counter these statistics by engaging important segments of our communities in making behavioral health a priority.

Faith leaders, youth and young adults, first responders, and policymakers all play unique roles in society and have the power to support healthy lifestyles. Members of the recovery community can lead the charge to educate these audiences about how they can provide support, starting with the basics of recovery.

For many people, recovery:(5)

  • Emerges from hope, which is fostered by friends, families, providers, colleagues, and others who have experienced recovery themselves;
  • Occurs via many pathways, which may include professional clinical treatment, use of medications, support from families and in schools, faith-based approaches, peer support, and other approaches;
  • Is holistic, meaning recovery encompasses a person’s whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community;
  • Is supported by relationships with peers and allies, and on social networks;
  • Is culturally based and influenced;
  • Is supported by addressing trauma, including physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, war, disaster, or profound loss;
  • Involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibilities; and
  • Is fostered by respect.

These principles of recovery can help people establish a blueprint for their own journey. However, it’s important for people living with these conditions to become aware that they are not alone in their efforts (6) The right support system can help ensure that those in need are addressing the four key aspects of recovery:(7)

  • Health: The person learns to overcome or manage his or her condition(s) or symptoms – and make informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being;
  • Home: It is also important to have a stable and safe place to live;
  • Purpose: A person in recovery participates in meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteer opportunities, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and has the independence, income, and resources to participate in society; and
  • Community: Relationships and social networks should provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

 

SOURCES

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-47, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4805. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 1.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 6.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). National Mental Health Anti-Stigma Campaign: What a Difference a Friend Makes (SMA07-4257). Retrieved September 27, 2013, from http://www.samhsa.gov/MentalHealth/SMA07-4257 pdf, p. 3.
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Americans Believe in Prevention and Recovery From Addiction. CARAVAN Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 27, 2013 from http://www.samhsa.gov/Attitudes/CARAVAN_Factsheet.pdf, p. 2.
  5. SAMHSA Blog. (2012). SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery Updated. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from 2012 from http://blog.samhsa.gov/2012/03/23/defintion-of-recovery-updated/.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Americans Believe in Prevention and Recovery From Addiction. CARAVAN Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 27, 2013 from http://www.samhsa.gov/Attitudes/CARAVAN_Factsheet.pdf, p. 2.
  7. SAMHSA Blog. (2012). SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery Updated. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from 2012 from http://blog.samhsa.gov/2012/03/23/defintion-of-recovery-updated/.

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