National Recovery Month: Celebrating 25 Years

25 years ago the National Recovery month campaign kicked off under the program name treatment works as a celebration for individuals working in the field of addiction treatment and recovery since then the campaign has expanded to include not only individuals and families in recovery but also to raise public understanding and acceptance of behavioral health conditions recovery month has grown tremendously to include participation by millions of people around the world presidential proclamations and award-winning products like recoverymonth.gov website an annual toolkit public service announcements and the road to recovery TV and radio series by raising awareness about the benefits of treatment and a life in recovery recovery month has helped individuals families and communities across the country while recovery month is so important to us for many reasons but probably the first and most important reason is the number of people that are engaged in the process of talking about sharing about and making recovery a real issue and helping not only the people who are involved in the various events in the process but also the general public aware of recovery and the fact that people can in fact recover from mental health issues and from substance abuse issues recovery month – we have been an experience where people who are in recovery themselves are so proud of what they've done and how recovery has changed their lives that they've gone and made sure they fought people in who are not in recovery yet but those seeking recovery so that they can see that it's possible you know and they've gone out of their way to be able to have a vent to be able to talk to people be able to get the community involved the churches involved in many different ways some of the most amazing things for me as part of the events of recovery month and recovery month in general is that I truly saw a different side of life I have met the most amazing people their strengths and their energy the compassion their commitment has just been overwhelming and I when I go out and I speak about recovery month or stamps initiatives I tell people I've never been called to have that type of power or to have that type of strength or courage in my own life and I'm in awe of everything that they've accomplished recovery month events are tantamount to what recovery month is it's a public face it's a public voice it's an opportunity for anyone to either get on a motorcycle and ride to promote recovery to cross a bridge which is symbolic for lots of things in recovery and it's an opportunity to inform and educate from the ground level through the media to policymakers as the recovery month campaign has reached out to more and more Americans perceptions of addiction and recovery have changed leading to a reduction of discriminatory practices and offering increased hope to those dealing with addiction recovery month promotes the awareness that we are dealing with an illness just like other illnesses and that as people who get treated people in a recovery can be treated just like any other person that I think reduces discrimination discrimination is fostered by mythologies by started views of individuals and by fear and recovery month promotes awareness promotes education and I think in reducing fear it reduces discrimination recovery month also gives us an opportunity for the general public to understand a little bit more and become less fearful and afraid of an individual with an addiction or with living with some type of a mental health disorder that's very important because we have been trying to reduce the discrimination that is out there right now around people who may self disclose that they are living with condition of either an addiction or a mental health disorder recovery month now is really a great Avenue for the new recovery advocacy movement where people are no longer hiding both their addiction and their recovery but are welcoming that and are really willing to share that with other people bring hope to the people who need help and encourage them to seek it recovery month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health that prevention works treatment is effective and people can and do recover through our collaborative efforts we are making great strides and looking forward to even more success in the future for me recovery month gives me strength and it helps not just during the month of September when we celebrate but throughout the year provides that fortification that's supportive peers families friends providers whole community coming around and celebrating life celebrating recovery recovery month in my opinion is a celebration of everyone in recovery it's a universal celebration of accomplishment of what's transpired throughout the year recovery month is an opportunity to demonstrate and to celebrate and say look at all the wonderful things we're doing for recovery I think that recovery month also provides a vehicle not only for people in recovery but those who love us and care for us to really come together in meaningful ways to celebrate the achievement that people in recovery have done in their lives really hope that recovery month continues to be embraced by the community is because these issues of substance use and mental illness will continue in our society and what we're trying to do is mitigate the impact and so one vehicle is recovery money to help communicate that the impact can be reduced recovery month is the road to systems change to people being respected to people sing they don't have to allow addiction and mental illness to take over their lives over the years the recovery month campaign has been a driving force in the nationwide effort to help and support individuals in need of services instrumental to this effort are numerous individuals and groups particularly the recovery month planning partners we thank each and every one of you who has contributed in some way to the national recovery month campaign and we look forward to your continued support

Glenn Chapman

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