National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.
Now in its 29th year, Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need.
Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2018 Recovery Month observance will focus on urban communities, health care providers, members of the media, and policymakers, highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society.
The 2018 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. The observance will work to highlight inspiring stories to help people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and wellness. Learn more about this year’s and past year themes.
Each year, SAMHSA creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.
Additional Recovery Month resources are available on the Recovery Month website. Resources include logos, web banners, flyers, posters, television and radio public service announcements (some materials are available in English and Spanish), an event calendar to post and share your Recovery Month events or locate events in your community, the Road to Recovery Television and Radio Series, and social media outreach through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Over the years, National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) has inspired millions of people to raise awareness about mental and/or substance use disorders, share their stories of recovery, and encourage others who are still in need of services and support.
Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month, which honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field. The observance evolved into National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in 1998, when it expanded to include celebrating the accomplishment of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011 to National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to include all aspects of behavioral health.
Review the Recovery Month: 20 Years of Excellence and Achievement Timeline – 2009 (PDF | 357 KB), which showcases the many strides the treatment and recovery field has made and details the campaign’s success and evolution of Treatment Works! into National Recovery Month.
Currently, more than 200 federal, state, and local government entities, as well as nonprofit organizations and associations affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and/or substance use disorders, comprise the Recovery Month Planning Partners’ group. The Planning Partners assist in the development, dissemination, and collaboration of materials; promotion; and event sponsorship for the Recovery Month initiative.