September is National Recovery Month. First observed in 1989, this observance promotes and supports evidence-based treatment and recovery practices. It also increases public awareness of mental health and recovery from substance use disorders.
This month, PreventEd will discuss not only what recovery is but ways we can support and celebrate our friends and family who are in recovery.
There is no one definition of recovery
There isn’t one right path or description of what recovery looks like. It can mean many different things to different people. With that said, SAMHSA a working definition that encompasses all goals.
According to SAMHSA, the working definition of recovery is, “A process of change in which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”
In other words:
Recovery promotes health
Good nutrition can play a big part of recovery, as a healthy diet can improve mood and increase energy. It also helps the body fight illness and infection, which is critical to recovering from a SUD. Recovery takes a physical and mental toll through symptoms like fatigue, constipation, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. Getting a healthy diet along with exercise can help alleviate these symptoms.
Recovery promotes community
Recovery doesn’t happen in a bubble. Having relationships and social networks like friends and family that support us through recovery can provide hope, comfort, and encouragement. They can also advocate for us during events that may feature alcohol, like holiday parties.
It’s ok to ask for help, and having a supportive community can increase the chances of long-term recovery.
Recovery promotes stability & resiliency
Having stability in our lives is essential to our physical and mental health. Stability can mean everything from having a safe home, a steady job, a hobby, or school. We can feel comfortable with what we have and aren’t in a state of constant stress. Recovery teaches us how to cope with change and adversity.
Recurrence isn’t failure
No one said that recovery is simple. The process is different for everyone, and many experience setbacks at some point in their journey. If that happens, it’s important to remember that setbacks are a natural part of our lives. When we have support and learn healthy ways to cope, we can get back on the road to recovery.
Recovery Support and Peer Services are available at PreventEd
- Culturally appropriate services
- Legal and social services
- Healthy living
- Mutual aid
Certified Peer Specialists can meet clients wherever they are in their recovery process. They can do this because they have lived experience and are in recovery, and can provide guidance and share their story.
Certified Peer Specialist services are available at PreventEd in addition to counseling. Our counselors provide assessments and interventions for adults and teens and essential referrals and connection to appropriate resources.