This year marks the 22nd year for National Recovery Month. The month is an observance done nationally to educate people on recovery options for drug and alcohol addiction. This year, the main focus of the month is to praise the gains made by those who have recovered from substance abuse. The platform will also serve as a means to spread positive message about health and prevention and offer those that still need help options for treatment.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a public health problem affecting millions every year in the United States. The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 8% of Americans over 12 have used an illicit drug over a one month period. Prescription abuse has also become a major problem, with over 2.8% of Americans using a prescription drug non-medically.
The problem has become such a huge public health concern that it has gained attention from government organizations world-wide. The National Center for Victims of Crime reports that more than half the people arrested in the United States test positive for illicit drugs.
According to the Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske,“ Drug addiction is too often the root of crime in our communities. Supporting innovative initiatives that divert non-violent offenders into treatment instead of jail and expand treatment access for incarcerated individuals can help break the vicious cycle of drug use and crime, reduce recidivism, and make our communities healthier and safer.”
With so many becoming addicted, the need for treatment is becoming more and more clear. And the message for Recovery Month promotes just that.
The month started in 1989 and was originally called TreatmentWorks! Month and honored those in the substance abuse field. The initiative grew and was expanded to include those celebrating recovery to National Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Month. In 2011, it became known as National Recovery Month or Recovery Month.
This year more than 900 events are happening and over 140 government groups are participating. Schools, communities, recovery programs and many non-profit groups around the country are also taking pride in their achievements and successes with treatment throughout the month.