Each year, the month of September is used to recognize those who have faced substance abuse and addiction and are now in recovery. National Recovery Month celebrates not only the people in recovery, but also the service providers who facilitate prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders. Recovery Month is a national reminder that recovery is possible.
Recovery Month also strives to remove the stigma of addiction by providing a place for everyone affected by addiction to tell their story. Recovery month is an opportunity for anyone to support recovery.
Substance Abuse in Colorado
Colorado has a documented history with alcohol and substance abuse and alcohol, methamphetamine, and heroin treatment admissions have all increased in recent years (2014-2018). Preliminary CDC Colorado drug statistics also report a nearly 13% increase in Colorado overdose deaths between January 2019 and January 2020, prior to the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. Preliminary data from January to April of 2020 reveals an increase of 35% over the same time period in 2019, suggesting that the lockdown occurring in the beginning of 2020 may have impacted drug related overdoses.
Drug addiction recovery efforts in Colorado continue in 2020, although they have been impacted due to restrictions related to COVID-19. The needed and available support during the pandemic highlights that now, more than ever, the voice of the recovery community is needed to retain connections and promote resilience among those dealing with addiction.
About National Recovery Month
In recent years, sobriety has become a hot topic socially through occasions like Dry January, Sober September/October and concepts like the sober curious movement that emphasize the rewards that come from a sober life. But Recovery Month’s roots run much deeper, beginning in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month and evolving into National Recovery Month in 1998.
For 30 years, National Recovery Month was organized and promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to raise awareness for mental health and substance abuse disorders. In 2020, the event’s 31st year, Faces and Voices of Recovery is hosting the Recovery Month website and providing a virtual space for Recovery Month events. The theme of Recovery Month 2020, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections,” focuses on the need to stay connected to your support network during recovery, even in times of social distancing.
Recovery Month 2020 in Colorado
Roughly 400,000 Coloradoans were in recovery in Colorado in 2017, a number that will likely increase in the wake of the pandemic. Historically, numerous National Recovery Month activities could be found in most major cities in Colorado, signifying the importance of recovery from substance abuse. Due to COVID-19, Recovery Month is operating differently in 2020 but rest assured, the recovery network is still there.
Residents of Colorado are encouraged to show their recovery support by wearing the recovery month ribbon color (turquoise), and by registering Recovery Month events on the calendar. While 2020 has presented extra challenges for those facing addiction, it also serves as a reminder of the resiliency of those in recovery, reiterating that you can persevere during difficult times.
Supporting Recovery Virtually: Become A Voice in Recovery
In an effort to abide by social distancing regulations, many of Colorado’s recovery organizations have started offering their services online, including Colorado Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous Colorado, and Advocates for Recovery Colorado. Additionally, The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake hosts virtual recovery meetings every Tuesday that are open to the public.
Additionally, consider the following alternatives to live events to show your support for recovery:
- Participate in our Virtual 5k: The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is hosting an Alumni Virtual 5k through Facebook. Show your support for our alumni and the Colorado recovery community all month long.
- Online Fundraisers: Raise awareness for mental health and substance use disorders by starting a virtual fundraiser to honor Recovery Month.
- Become a Voice for Recovery on Social Media: Take to social media and shout your support for recovery from the virtual rooftops. You can post sober selfies with recovery hashtags (like #RecoveryMonth2020 and #NRM2020) or share information about addiction recovery on your social networks.
- Host an Online Recovery Event: The Recovery Village Palmer Lake provides a free virtual space to host online recovery meetings. Hop on and chat face to face anytime you feel the need for conversation.
- Attend a Virtual Recovery Event: Online recovery support groups, online recovery coaches, and numerous other virtual recovery options are available and offering recovery support services to anyone with an internet connection. Libraries and other facilities are generally open at partial capacity if assistance with internet accessibility is needed.
- Committing to a Recovery Support Group: If you find yourself needing in-person support, consider connecting with a small group of people face-to-face and take precautions to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 (like wearing masks or meeting in an open, outdoor space).
Recover Together with The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake
At The Recovery Village in Palmer Lake we understand addiction recovery. Our skilled and experienced staff is ready to meet you wherever you are in your recovery journey. We’ll create a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs, from medical detox to inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment and recovery support for life after rehab.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Recovery Village Palmer Lake has adjusted to the social distance recommendations by offering teletherapy sessions and a virtual space for online recovery meetings and chat rooms.
If you or someone you know is struggling with behavioral disorders or addiction in Colorado, contact us for more information about an addiction treatment plan that could work for you.
- Ahmad FB, Rossen LM, Sutton P. “Provisional drug overdose death counts. National Center for Health Statistics.” 2020. Accessed August 26, 2020.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Vital Statistics Rapid Release – Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts.” 2020. Accessed August 23, 2020.
- Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. “Drug Trends 2019 Final Report.” August 2019. Accessed August 26, 2020.
- Colorado Health Institute. “Colorado’s 2019 Overdose Data Already Looked Bad, 2020 Could Be Worse.” August 6, 2020. Accessed August 21, 2020.
- Colorado Health Institute. “Colorado’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Substance Use Disorder Recovery: 2020-2025.” August 2019. Accessed August 21, 2020.