Despite the continued fight against prescription opioid and heroin abuse in the United States which continues to take people’s lives every day, it has arguably been a good year so far for substance use disorder prevention and addiction recovery. In 2015, the President has already pardoned a number of people for lengthy drug related prison sentences, including some who were serving life sentences. Steps have been made to provide greater access to clean needles and the life saving drug naloxone, which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.
All of the aforementioned measures reinforce the prevailing idea that addiction is a disease that requires treatment, not imprisonment. It shows that more people are beginning to understand that people can recover and lives can be saved if we, as a nation, are willing to dismantle the stigmas and misconceptions that have long accompanied addiction.
What is National Recovery Month?
Every year, the month of September is National Recovery Month. Throughout the month, addiction and mental health recovery events are held with the help of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). This is a time when people working a program of recovery and the vast number of people who work in the field of recovery receive recognition for their achievements.
September is an opportunity to reach out to and educate those still in the grips of addiction, letting them know that recovery is possible and addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Events will be taking place all over the country and everyone who would like to learn more about recovery is welcome.
The President is for Recovery
President Obama made a Proclamation that September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!”. Please read the full Proclamation below:
NATIONAL ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION RECOVERY MONTH,
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Every day, resilient Americans with substance use disorders summon extraordinary courage and strength and commit to living healthy and productive lives through recovery. From big cities to small towns to Indian Country, substance use disorders affect the lives of millions of Americans. This month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all those who are seeking or in need of treatment, and we recognize the key role families, friends, and health care providers play in supporting those on the path to a better tomorrow.
This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!” It encourages us all to do our part to eliminate negative public attitudes associated with substance use disorders and treatment. People in recovery are part of our communities — they are our family and friends, colleagues and neighbors — and by supporting them and raising awareness of the challenges they face, we can help eradicate prejudice and discrimination associated with substance use disorders, as well as with co-occurring mental disorders. Prevention and treatment work, and people recover — and we must ensure all those seeking help feel empowered, encouraged, and confident in their ability to take control of their future. Americans looking for help for themselves or their loved ones can call 1-800-662-HELP or use the “Treatment Locator” tool at www.SAMHSA.gov.
My Administration remains dedicated to pursuing evidence-based strategies to address substance use disorders as part of our National Drug Control Strategy. Seeking to widen pathways to recovery, our strategy supports the integration of substance use treatment into primary health care settings and the expansion of support services in places such as high schools, institutions of higher education, and throughout the criminal justice system. In the wake of public health crises related to non-medical use of prescription drugs and heroin in communities across our Nation, my Administration has pledged considerable resources to help Federal, State, and local authorities boost prevention efforts, improve public health and safety, and increase access to treatment in communities across the country. And the Affordable Care Act has extended substance use disorder and mental health benefits and Federal parity protections to millions of Americans.
Behavioral health is essential to overall health, and recovery is a process through which individuals are able to improve their wellness, live increasingly self-directed lives, and strive to fulfill their greatest potential. During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, we reaffirm our belief that recovery and limitless opportunity are within reach of every single American battling substance use disorders, and we continue our work to achieve this reality.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2015 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol, please contact Next Step Intervention. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you start your journey of recovery.