What Is National Recovery Month?

in Recovery
Published Sep 2, 2021
National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month. The month provides a platform for services and professionals to educate the public about substance abuse treatments and mental health services.

While substance abuse and mental health services are nothing new, there is still stigma attached to them. September provides an opportunity to help eliminate the stigma and demonstrate the human face behind the disease.

Recovery Month serves as a celebration of taking steps to improve access, information, and treatment for those struggling with addiction.

What Is National Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month was created in response to the substance abuse and mental health epidemic. This monthly event celebrates the people in recovery working to fight back against the disorders they live with on a daily basis.

It also exists to help people who haven’t sought treatment yet. It can seem impossible to escape the vicious cycle of mental illness or substance use disorder. Some people also find it challenging to ask for help in a society that often still condemns mental health or substance use disorders as weaknesses.

However, when struggling people see others living free from the chains of their disorders, they will see and believe that it’s possible for them, too. They see others leading happy, healthy, rewarding lives and realize that people truly do recover.

This month raises hope and puts the possibility of recovery into the spotlight to encourage others who need help.

The History of National Recovery Month

In 1989, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched National Recovery Month to increase awareness surrounding mental health and substance abuse. It was initially established as “Treatment Works! Month.”

The creation of National Recovery Month brought the work of substance abuse professionals into the light during a time when recovery seemed less accepted. There was much less understanding surrounding substance use disorder, and these clinicians pursued what some saw as less than desirable work.

In 1998, SAMHSA expanded the awareness month to include individuals in drug and alcohol recovery and their treatment professionals. The name changed to “National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month” to reflect the inclusion of people recovering from substance use disorder.

SAMHSA shifted the focus of the national awareness month again in 2011 to include people living with mental health disorders. Its current name, National Recovery Month, came into fruition as it continued evolving to include a wide range of people recovering in the face of the seemingly impossible.

How to Show Support for National Recovery Month

SAMHSA has created a toolkit for those who wish to show support for National Recovery Month. The toolkit includes targeted outreach resources for community members, healthcare professionals, first responders, and emerging leaders in the recovery community.

Ways you can help show support for National Recovery month include:

#1. Community Engagement

Encourage people to share their personal stories of recovery. A local social media campaign is easy for people to participate in and fosters a positive, collaborative spirit among community members. Encourage social media user-generated content.

#2. Reach Out to Representatives and Government Officials

Write to representatives and local government officials, encouraging them to sign proclamations supporting National Recovery Month. Remind them that this simple act demonstrates a shared commitment to improving access to recovery.

#3. Sharing Knowledge With Friends and Family

If you’re already informed, try including friends and family in your support efforts. The more people involved in raising awareness, the more likely people are to seek treatment. Mental health and substance use disorders affect every facet of the population. You might not realize who exactly you’ll impact or who might need your encouragement.

If you have a loved one struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, help them realize that the disease is not something they should feel ashamed about and that there are many ways to get help.


With September comes National Recovery Month. This month was created in 1989 by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health services administration to help raise awareness to treatment surrounding mental health and substance use disorders. As the years have passed, the month has evolved to include the people struggling with these disorders, not just clinicians. The goal of National Recovery Month is to raise awareness, fight stigma, and celebrate those who have found recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder, Gallus Medical Detox Centers is here to help. Detox is often the first step in recovery, and we are here to help you take that leap. Our mission is to provide the highest quality inpatient medical detox services and be the best first step in overcoming substance use disorders. For more information on our program and how we can help you start your journey to recovery, call us today at (866) 296-5242.