34th National Recovery Month

This September marks the 34th National Recovery Month, an observance held every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible. This year’s theme of celebration is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”    

As part of Recovery Month, #AddictionProfessionalsDay is celebrated on September 20, marking the 31st Anniversary since National Addiction Professionals Day was established by NAADAC (National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) in 1992 to commemorate the dedicated work that these vital players of the health system and continuum of care do on a daily basis. Visit National Recovery Month for more information.

According to information published by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), peer support workers are those who have been successful in the recovery process and are able to help others who are experiencing similar situations.  Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse.  Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the daily environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.  

Peer support workers engage in a wide range of activities that include advocating for people in recovery; sharing resources and building skills; building community and relationships; leading recovery groups; and mentoring and setting goals.  Peer support roles may also extend to providing services and/or training; supervising other peer workers; developing resources; administering programs or agencies; and educating the public and policymakers.

Peer support workers may need to develop additional core competencies to provide services to specific groups who also share common experiences, such as family members.  The shared experience of being in recovery from a mental health and/or substance use condition or being a family member is the foundation on which the peer recovery support relationship is built.

Previously, Recovery Month was sponsored by SAMHSA.  In 2020, the federal government “turned the reins over” to the recovery community to sponsor and manage this yearly observance.  Although SAMHSA remains an active Recovery Month Planning Partner and supporter, Faces & Voices of Recovery, a long-standing Recovery Month Planning Partner, now hosts the Recovery Month website, managing the social media outreach, developing and disseminating promotional materials, and is the central location for all Recovery Month events.  More information can be found at Recovery Month .

Local counseling is available at the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., at 585-593-6738.  Together, we can stop the stigma surrounding mental and substance use disorders, and help more people find the path to hope, health, and overall wellness! 

Submitted by: Ann Weaver, Community Educator at Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.

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