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National Recovery Month – September 2024

National Recovery Month is observed every year in September to promote and find new evidence-based treatments for patients battling addiction. This month also focuses on recovery practices and the need for a strong recovery community and service providers who help people undergoing recovery. Did you know that in 2020, the federal government gave the reins to the recovery community to sponsor and manage Recovery Month? Now “Faces & Voices of Recovery” is hosting the recovery month website, managing social media, and taking care of central locations for all events.

History of National Recovery Month

First known aid for the recovery of addicts was the “Alcoholic Mutual Aid” society, in which sobriety circles provided early recovery from the 1750s to the early 1800s. Initially, these groups comprised Native American tribes, and these tribes used native healing practices to treat alcoholism. In 1784, “Benjamin Rush,” a physician, argued that alcoholism is a disease that must be treated. He was committed to educating the public about the hazards of alcohol, and his written works helped launch the temperance movement. By the 1850s, lodging homes and homes for the fallen had emerged to provide non-medical detoxification, seclusion from drinking cultures, and the formation of sober fellowships for addicts. In the 1850s, one of the earliest inebriate houses opened in Boston, designed after state-run lunatic asylums.

Wilson and Dr. Bob, former alcoholics in the 1930s who could not sustain abstinence, formed the Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in 1935. In 1939, the renowned blue book “Alcoholics Anonymous” was released. In 1950, A.A. membership surpassed 90,000, and the organization’s reach had expanded tremendously. The American Public Health Association awarded A.A. the Lasker Award in 1951. Halfway House Association was created in 1958 to provide safe, recovery-oriented accommodation for those addicted to drugs or alcohol. In 2002, the F.D.A. approved buprenorphine, a medication-assisted treatment, for clinical use for opioid addiction. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 mandated that insurance companies and group health plans provide mental health and substance use treatment and services with the same benefits as other medical care.

National Recovery Month timeline

1750s — 1800s
First Known Aid for Recovery of Addicts

The Alcoholic Mutual Aid Society is the first known aid for addicts' recovery, with sobriety circles providing early recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous is Formed

Wilson and Dr. Bob, former alcoholics, form the Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.).

Buprenorphine is Approved

The F.D.A. approves buprenorphine, a medication-assisted treatment, for clinical use for opioid addiction.

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 mandates insurance companies and group health plans to provide mental health and substance use treatment and services with the same benefits as other medical care.

National Recovery Month FAQs

What are the stages of recovery from addiction?

Stages of recovery are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.

Which color ribbon is for recovery?

The purple color ribbon is for recovery.

What is sobriety?

Sobriety is a more engaged life at home and work, free from drugs and alcohol.

How to Observe National Recovery Month

  1. Read about addiction

    Read up about ways to help a person going through recovery. Volunteer in whatever capacity you can to help people fighting addiction.

  2. Participate in events

    Find out about the events near you. Attend webinars, seminars, or related events to learn about addiction and participate voluntarily.

  3. Spread awareness

    Increase public understanding of addiction as an illness. Join N.G.O.s and other organizations to increase the number of people who can help those in need. Assist in eradicating the stigma associated with addiction.

5 Facts About Addiction

  1. Alcohol is most abused

    Over 86% of people in America consume alcohol at some point in their lives, and over 88,000 U.S. citizens die from alcohol-related causes.

  2. Addiction alters brain structure

    Addiction offers the brain an injection of dopamine that is so powerful that it is difficult to stop, and the drug's influence on dopamine reduces as tolerance develops.

  3. Addiction co-occurs with other disorders

    Addiction co-occurs with other health conditions and general mental health disorders.

  4. Americans consume 80% of prescription pills

    Even though Americans make up 5% of the global population, U.S. citizens consume 80% of prescription pills worldwide.

  5. Most addicts work

    According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), three-quarters of people with a drug problem are employed.

Why National Recovery Month is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    This month raises awareness about a serious condition. It puts light on the need for change in the world.

  2. It helps people

    This month helps people by giving them the support they need. It educates people and saves many at-risk people.

  3. It is for a noble cause

    It's for a good cause, and it'll make a difference in many people's lives. It lowers the stigma associated with addiction and provides people with the required assistance.

National Recovery Month dates

2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
2028September 1Friday
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