According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 90% of individuals with a substance use disorder do not seek treatment. With numbers this high, it’s important to get the word out about SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month this September so that people who are struggling can see help is accessible and affordable.
With COVID-19, quarantining, and social distancing, honoring and celebrating National Recovery Month in 2020 will be harder than in years past. For this very reason, now more than ever it’s important to share with people the significance of this month with others. National Recovery Month serves to educate about the benefits of treatment and recovery services. It also promotes key messaging: prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and recover. Here are a few tips to spread the message in your community.
During these uncertain times, many people are feeling disconnected. Reach out to people you know in recovery. They may or may not be struggling, but either way they will appreciate the gesture. Celebrate their success and make sure they’re doing okay. Remind them it’s National Recovery Month and suggest they reach out to others they know and do the same.
In these times of isolation, something as simple as a phone call or FaceTime can do wonders for someone in recovery. It’s important for people in the recovery community to support one another. Everyone in recovery shares a bond by living through similar circumstances, so reach out, say hello, and make a difference. You’ll likely benefit from these interactions, too. Whether you end up talking someone through a tough moment or reconnecting with an old friend, you’ll walk away feeling better.
Spread the word about National Recovery Month by posting on social media. SAMSHA has downloadable tools for Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. If you’re in recovery or have been affected by addiction, you may want to consider sharing your own story so others can learn from it. For additional impact, urge others in recovery to do the same. Get those success stories out into the world—they could urge someone who is struggling to seek help themselves. If you don’t want to share your own story, at least let your followers know it’s National Recovery Month. Educating people about the importance of recovery cannot be understated. Use the hashtags #RecoveryMonth, #NationalRecoveryMonth, and #RM2020 with your social posts for more impact.
Organize a virtual event for people you know in recovery. Have them invite their friends and family members, and people they know who may need help. Have the event be an educational forum and talk about your own story and ask attendees to share theirs. Recovery isn’t always an easy subject to talk about, but the more it is, discussed the more normal the conversation becomes. Remember: there is no shame in recovery. Increase awareness this month and fight the stigma recovery sometimes holds.
Another option is to consider adding a fund drive to your virtual event. Ask attendees to make a donation to a specific organization or charity of your choice. There are many local shelters and addiction outreach organizations that can always use monetary help, especially these days.
Attend More Meetings
Have you stopped attending meetings because of COVID-19? Have online recovery support meetings left you wanting more? National Recovery Month is a great time to reverse that. Many 12-step meetings have reopened recently, but there are still many more online. Check out 12-step recovery Zoom meetings sponsored by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), both of which have listings of online meetings on their websites. Another outlet is Facebook, where Recovery Centers of America hosts a variety of recovery themed meetings on the Facebook platform and via WebEx that may be accessed by going to our Facebook events page.
Celebrate your own recovery at a meeting. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and let others know they should be proud of their successes as well. Remind meeting attendees it’s National Recovery Month and to spread the word themselves or reach out to someone who may be in need.
Recovery is Year Round
We celebrate recovery this month, but in reality, recovery takes place every day of the year. This year, getting the word out and celebrating National Recovery Month will be harder than ever, but it can be done. Encourage people in your life to be aware of what it means to be in recovery and celebrate and honor those who are. This month it’s important to break down barriers and educate what it means for someone to be in recovery. Remember, the main message of National Recovery Month is that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
Recovery Centers of America is Here for You
It’s been tough for everyone in 2020, but especially for those suffering from a substance use disorder. If you’ve relapsed, been thinking about entering treatment, or have a loved one who would benefit from inpatient or outpatient treatment, Recovery Centers of America is here for you, 24/7. If you’re struggling or need help, call any time at 1-800-RECOVERY.