Each September, The Augustine observes National Recovery Month: a yearly celebration that reminds us that we can (and do!) recover. We hope that you will join us in raising awareness about the treatment available for addiction, reducing the stigma around this diagnosis, and celebrating those who have found lasting sobriety.
The History of National Recovery Month
Originally founded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Recovery Month was first celebrated in 1989. Today, many of the festivities are managed by Faces & Voices of Recovery. This yearly observance has two key purposes:
- To increase awareness about mental health and substance abuse, and
- To celebrate success stories of those living vibrant, rewarding lives in recovery.
Additionally, organizations and individuals celebrating National Recovery Month strive to raise awareness about the paths to treatment available to those with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Throughout this process, those in need can learn more about which forms of treatment may work best for them.
Healing is Possible
Some people may hesitate to seek treatment because they have heard that recovery is the exception, not the expectation. This could not be further from the truth. With clinically sophisticated, evidence-based care, healing is possible.
Several different approaches to addiction treatment are available throughout the country. These include residential and outpatient models, along with intensive outpatient or continuing care programs. Centers create fully individualized care plans for each client based on different factors, including each person’s mental health, history of substance use, family systems, and unique obstacles at home. Any combination of residential and outpatient programming is possible, meaning that care can be expertly tailored to each person’s needs.
The most important components of any treatment plan are that it is rooted in scientific research and has generated proven outcomes. For example, organizations like The Augustine Recovery Center provide long-term care, which research associates with improved rates of sustained sobriety. Family members should seek programs that meet these prerequisites.
Often, the easiest way to identify quality treatment centers is by referencing their accreditations and memberships. Centers accredited by The Joint Commission and the Florida Department of Children and Families, for example, have met a stringent set of criteria in order to display these badges on their websites. Members of NAATP – the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers – must undergo a similar process and meet certain parameters to gain membership. If these qualifications are used as your search criteria, you are likely to find a center that will effectively treat yourself or your loved one.
Each year, the governing body of National Recovery Month assigns a theme to September’s observance, which serves as the focus for the events and educational seminars that will be held. September 2020’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.” NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, explains that all of us – from celebrities and sports figures to our co-workers, friends, and neighbors – have experienced peaks and valleys throughout our lives. But with the support, strength, and hope from the people we love, we are resilient.
This year’s theme echoes an often-cited quote from within the rooms: “recovery is possible, but nobody does it alone.” Indeed, the support of our loved ones is often what convinces people to seek help in the first place. Upon entering a treatment program, this camaraderie is what helps us to begin to truly recover. Hearing the stories of others, learning from their experiences, and receiving advice about our own difficulties can truly transform our perception of addiction and recovery.
This month, we hope you will join us in celebrating the connections that make our recovery strong.
How You Can Join the Voices for Recovery
You may be unsurprised to learn that, like so many observances this year, National Recovery Month has gone digital. This means that you can easily celebrate from the comfort of your own home! We’ve put together a few of our favorite ideas below. Let us know which ones you end up using.
Join a virtual event. Because most of the observance has moved online, more National Recovery Month events are accessible now than ever before. View the official calendar and try to attend an event each week. Looking for something a bit closer to home? You can call up members of your alumni and 12-Step groups to organize something yourselves.
Donate to a good cause. Volunteering has been made more challenging by the pandemic, but you can still make a difference in your community. Consider hosting a virtual art benefit, fundraiser, or food drive; proceeds can directly benefit your favorite recovery organization. It’ll feel great to give back, and you can make life-changing resources available to the people who need them most.
Share your story. If you are comfortable, SAMHSA encourages sharing your story to social media. You may also choose to share graphics and information from Faces & Voices of Recovery’s social media toolkit. This openness can inspire others, reduce stigma, and provide your friends and followers with resources to address their own substance use.
Post your events. Looking to host your own TED Talk, roundtable discussion, or meeting via Zoom? Submit your events on the official National Recovery Month website to make them available to others who may be interested in attending.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, we hope you will join us in observing National Recovery Month!
Your Partner in Recovery
At The Augustine, we don’t just get you to a place of recovery. We teach our residents how to become fully realized, authentic, honest people who are equipped with the life skills necessary to achieve success and sobriety. For more information about our gender-specific, evidence-based addiction treatment, please contact us today.