September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

From the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month website and newsletter – Check out the website for more details on how to become involved.

Dear National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month Supporter:

Every year, towns, counties, and states around the country observe National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) in September. This year, the 19th annual Recovery Month recognizes the impact that real people and real stories have on recovery, and celebrates those who have worked to advance the treatment and recovery landscape.

In 2008, we are highlighting the people for whom treatment and long-term recovery have given a renewed outlook on life. We invite you to take part in our theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery: Real People, Real Recovery," and spread the word that addiction is a medical illness and that treatment is effective and recovery is possible. By getting involved, you can help more people on a path of recovery to lead more fulfilling lives.

We at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), with counsel from national partner organizations, have developed this comprehensive toolkit to provide you with the resources to share this powerful message with key leaders of your community.

All of us know someone with a substance use disorder, whether that person is a family member, friend, colleague, or neighbor. Those who have lived through these experiences have the most compelling stories to tell and can truly make a difference in helping others seek treatment. With that in mind, this year’s Recovery Month celebration highlights the unique stories of each person in long-term recovery.
This toolkit will assist you in planning, launching, and publicizing your Recovery Month activities and events. You can adapt the media materials to reflect your community’s needs and use the "Targeted Outreach" section to educate your community, particularly the influencers who can create a positive environment for people in long-term recovery.

Five Tips on How to Use this Toolkit:  The following are ways to make the most of the tools included in this resource.

  • Involve key groups and leaders – Treatment providers, recovery support groups, employers, faith-based organizations, and civil service workers can make a difference by assisting in planning or participating in your campaign events.
  • Plan events – Activities in your community that focus on real people will show that substance use disorders affect everyone. Please review the "Promotional Event Ideas and Publicity Tips" document in the "Media Outreach" section for tips to get started.
  • Publicize your events and your cause – When planning your Recovery Month activities, customize the media outreach materials provided in this toolkit with local information and distribute them to local media outlets. To promote your activities in September and find out what other organizations are doing, please fill out the event form.
  • Educate your community – Distribute the audience-specific overviews included in the "Targeted Outreach" section of this planning toolkit to your event attendees and local leaders. You also can use them to educate others in your community throughout the year.
  • Share your accomplishments – Expand Recovery Month beyond September. Tell us what you have learned from your campaign by returning the "Customer Satisfaction Form" to the address listed on the form. After your event, share your successes, materials, and photos on the Recovery Month Web site.

You can download PDF versions of all the materials provided in this toolkit. This Web site also offers resources, public service announcements, Webcasts, the latest research, and news about Recovery Month events across the country. To order extra planning toolkits at no cost, please visit the Web site or call 1-800-662-HELP.

Celebrating 19 years of Recovery Month would not be possible without the continued dedication of organizations such as yours. This September, people from cities large and small will be working together to show that access to treatment and recovery benefits individuals, their families, and the entire community. Thank you for your hard work in making Recovery Month a success year after year.