September is National Recovery Month

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national recovery month


National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) occurs each September to support recovery awareness. It also recognizes a strong and proud recovery community and all the dedicated service providers and community members who make recovery possible. Personalized Cause recognizes National Recovery Month with its purple non-personalized and personalized awareness ribbon pins, KNOW MORE purple wristbands, and bulk purple fabric ribbons. Personalized fabric ribbons and personalized bulk wristbands are also available. Our purple personalized awareness ribbon pins are sold individually. These pins can recognize a loved one’s recovery success with a name, date, or message.


The official color for National Recovery Month is purple. Other colors can be included with purple, such as turquoise, which represents Addiction Recovery Awareness.


What is Recovery Month? How Should it be Observed?


National Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance abuse and mental health recovery. It is also a time to write to representatives and local government officials to encourage them to sign proclamations in support of Recovery Month. This simple act demonstrates a united commitment to improving access to improving recovery and care. 


National Recovery Month is designed to educate Americans about mental health and substance use disorders. It is also a time to celebrate the work of individuals in recovery and provide support to affected families and patients. Recovery Month has grown tremendously over time, and has received more attention in recent years. This is because of the national opioid epidemic, skyrocketing overdose rates, and increased public awareness about the need for mental health resources and services. Past themes for Recovery Month have raised awareness about integrated, continuing care in the role of recovery. Themes have also stressed the importance of community and the development of a sense of purpose for all. Other prior themes have also included leadership that has led to the successful recovery of individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders.


About Recovery Month Awareness


Recovery Month’s goal communicates that people with mental health and substance use issues can recover. And, it also stresses the role that treatment plays in helping people lead healthy and productive lives. Recovery Month, which began in 1989 as “Treatment Works! Month”, targets the general public. It also highlights the role of recovery in service members or veterans. And, Recovery Month also stresses the achievements and successes of individuals in recovery from a mental health or substance use disorder in its inspirational material. 

Although September is National Recovery Month, related events occur throughout the year. National Recovery Month’s overarching message is that recovery emerges from hope, is person-driven, holistic, and unfolds along diverse pathways. To raise awareness of this national awareness month, Recovery Month distributes its content through media outreach, community events, toolkits and collateral material. It also provides public service announcements on the radio, and through social media.


What is Addiction, What are its Primary Characteristics, and What is the Impact of Early Intervention?


Addiction is defined as a primary, chronic, neurobiological disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. These factors influence its development and manifestations. Behaviors include: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use that continues despite harm, and cravings. Substance use disorders are among the top public health problems in the United States and other nations around the world. 


Awareness about substance abuse is key to understanding the impact it plays on an individual, families, and the public. Substance use can have an impact on the health of the user and their social network. Early intervention may help minimize substance use disorder in adulthood, as ninety percent of adults with substance use disorder first used before the age of eighteen. Fifty percent started before the age of fifteen. 


One in three households is affected by addiction, and 23 million people identify as having a substance use disorder. Their substance use disorders are either active or in remission. This large community of individuals has the potential to encourage real change in the way addiction is viewed and addressed in this country. Their accomplishments are celebrated during National Recovery Month.


In the past few years, America has experienced epidemic-level increases in drug-related deaths. Contributing to this are the consequences of unchecked pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution. Other contributing factors are the stigma of addiction and a lack of complete understanding of the nature of substance use disorders. By raising awareness of these and other contributing factors, policies pertaining to substance abuse and/or mental health disorders can be addressed and improved.


For additional information about Recovery Month, please see

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