Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

September is Recovery Month

What is recovery? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) "Recovery from alcohol, drug and gambling problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life."

This September marks the 21st annual Recovery Month. Recovery Month serves to celebrate those who are in recovery from alcohol, substance use and gambling as well as their families, treatment providers and all who serve people in recovery. The main goals of Recovery Month are to get the word out that addiction is treatable, that substance abuse is a national health crisis and to let people know that it is possible to win the battle of addiction with the right services and supports in place. Examples of recovery services include treatment service providers, on line and in person support groups, medication assisted therapy, talk therapy and interventions. Recovery support and treatment should be tailored to each individual so that they receive the type of assistance that works best for their personal needs.

There are three main forms of recovery; natural, treatment and self help/mutual aid groups. Natural recovery refers to using one’s own resources to overcome addiction, this is the most commonly utilized method of recovery and works best for those who have less severe substance use or gambling problems. Treatment refers to talk therapy or medication assisted therapy such as the use of methadone for treating people addicted to heroin. Treatment works best for those with chronic dependence issues. Self help/mutual aid groups include 12 step programs, recovery coaches and social and community support.

While September is designated as Recovery Month there are always ways to support those struggling with addiction at any time of the year. Visit the Health and Human Services website at: http://www.recoverymonth.gov for more ideas, resources and to find out about recovery events near you.

By Courtney Stewart,   9/21/2010