For the last six months, there has been so much bad news about COVID-19 and the toll the pandemic is taking on every part of our lives that it feels great to talk about something positive in September.
This month marks the 31st anniversary of National Recovery Month in which we celebrate the millions of people who are in recovery. Currently, 20.2 million Americans identify as a person in recovery from a drug/alcohol use problem. An estimated 30.8 million Americans identify as a person in recovery from a mental health issue.
It is also a month to celebrate the dedication of individuals and organizations that make recovery possible. Over the last three decades, the recovery community has made great strides in promoting new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, in helping people find and access treatment and in fighting to raise awareness and erase the deadly stigmas associated with mental health issues and addiction.
Why does it matter?
Addiction and mental health impact most Americans in one way or another.
Promoting recovery is more important than ever during this difficult time when so many people are struggling.
Recent data shows that the uncertainties, isolation, fear and loss associated with the pandemic, are having an enormous impact on the nation’s mental health and are causing a major spike in substance use:
- According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 53 percent of adults report their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released statistics in August indicating 40 percent of U.S. adults struggled with a mental health issue or substance use in June.
- According to the American Medical Association, at least 30 states are reporting increases in fatal opioid overdoses.
- A study by the Nielson Corp. shows that between March and June alcohol sales in the U.S. jumped 26 percent compared to a year ago.
With these statistics in mind, joining together to support those in recovery, their service providers and the efforts to improve access to treatment, are critical as we emerge from the current health crisis.
Fittingly, the theme for 2020 National Recovery Month, is Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.
We all know that when we use our connections and work together, leveraging time, talent and focus, we can do almost anything.
In TSS’s home of Ketchikan, AK, we proudly embrace the community approach to supporting recovery. On Saturday, September 26, we’ll be holding our third annual Stop the Stigma Recovery March – a great opportunity each year for learning, support and sharing.
Join us if you live in our neck of the woods. Or, find ways to build awareness and celebrate recovery in your area. Check the National Recovery Month website to learn more.