September is National Recovery Month, with the theme of “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.” The 2018 theme explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contribute to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders.
Here are some ways you can celebrate National Recovery Month this year, either your own recovery or that of friends and loved ones.
1. Attend a recovery celebration.
Many communities hold annual recovery celebrations that feature speakers, food and music as well as information about addiction treatment and recovery resources in the community. If your community does not have a recovery celebration planned, maybe you can help to plan one or suggest it to addiction treatment leaders in your area.
2. Attend a training.
You do not have to be a treatment professional to benefit from attending a training about reducing the stigma of addiction, for example, or becoming a volunteer mentor to those newly in recovery. National Recovery Month is an excellent opportunity to take this concrete step toward supporting those in recovery in your community. It takes many community leaders who understand the needs of those struggling with addiction to make an impact on the problem in the community.
3. Participate in a walk for recovery.
A walk for recovery can bring attention to addiction and recovery in the community, allowing hundreds or thousands who may have had friends or loved ones with substance use disorders. Recovery walks can also raise money for treatment needs in the community. Walking is a relatively easy and enjoyable activity that you can do even if you do not know anyone impacted by addiction, to show solidarity with them and provide support.
4. Attend an art show.
Art therapy is an important way in which many in recovery express themselves, so art shows that display art by those in recovery are often part of Recovery Month activities. Supporting artists in recovery helps to validate their experiences and shows that you value them and their creativity.
5. Sponsor a symposium.
If you have ties to a place of worship, a city-owned building, or other space that can host a symposium or town hall discussion on a topic related to addiction, you can suggest or advocate for sponsoring and hosting an event during Recovery Month to raise awareness in your community. Additionally, if you are a business owner or leader in the community, sponsorship is a way to reduce the stigma around addiction and mental health issues so that more people are willing to seek help and treatment.