September is the start of new things — a new season, a new school year…and for those in recovery from drug addiction, it celebrates a new life and a second chance. September marks a special place on the calendars of those who’ve suffered and recovered from addiction: National Recovery Month!
September is National Recovery Month!
The tradition of having an entire month dedicated to recovery from addiction started in 1989. Instituted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), September originally commemorated the hard work of those who work in addiction treatment and addiction therapy. In 1998, it was officially renamed National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and expanded its celebration to all who have personally grappled with addiction and recovered from it. This September in 2014 marks the 25th year that thousands of addicted men and women have celebrated their new life and newfound freedom.
Why Recovery Month?
According to its official website, National Recovery Month is “a national observance that educates Americans on the fact that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.” It exists to spread not only a message of hope and inspiration but a message of education. Every September, while we praise the gains made in this past year of recovery, we are also raising awareness of what addiction is: a chronic and deadly illness. Other conditions such as diabetes and cancer have their own official months…as a disease that is perhaps just as deadly, why should addiction be any different?
Celebrating This National Recovery Month
For those who are still sick and suffering from addiction, Recovery Month exists to let them know that there is a solution. For those in recovery, it still serves a purpose: to remind them that recovery is something we do together. No matter how long you’ve been sober, you will always need the support and friendship of your fellows. That’s why all across the country (and internationally), there are hundreds of conferences and events. They offer hope, education, and most importantly, a good time!
The first word of any of the 12 steps is “we”, and that’s because we in recovery need each other. We could never recover alone, but together we can. We can overcome this terrible affliction with recovery, which all begins by finding a treatment center.