The Power of Awareness Leads to Recovery
By the Central East PTTC and Demetrie Garner
National Recovery Month is observed in September. During this month, the recovery community reinforces how behavioral health is critical to overall health and how prevention and treatment, combined with behavior change, can lead to a newfound sense of life. We observe this month by advocating for prevention and treatment options focused on recovery from mental illness and substance use. We join the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) in celebrating people undergoing long-term recovery and the contributions of treatment providers. These celebrations symbolize a message of hope1. Events are held throughout the month (see SAMSHA Recovery Guide). 1, 2 Many in recovery share their testimonial, giving hope and a pathway to those still suffering in active use. Furthermore, addiction stigma and other barriers to treatment are highlighted to change the narrative of addiction help and recovery.2
Behavioral health is critical to overall health, and those prevention methods, treatment options, and behavioral changes can lead to a newfound sense of life.2 Additionally, to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities that enable recovery in all its forms.
To understand the purpose of recovery, let us first look at the working definition. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states recovery is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential3.” Awareness of one’s health gives an individual power to participate in one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Recovery replaces loss with a newfound purpose in life by regaining what was lost during active use. Whereby acquiring and managing life skills that help one-reach meaningful goals transforms instability into stability. This change happens through recognizing self-worth, receiving community support, and aligning with allies on the pathway to recovery.
From a peer perspective, it is crucial to adhere to a comprehensive approach. The first principle of recovery, hope, assures that people can overcome internal and external challenges, barriers, and obstacles that confront them. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process that can foster a positive outlet to the future by peers, families, allies, and other supporting community3." The guiding principles will help move the needle and lead more individuals through the process of behavioral change through recovery. It is only through the 'it takes a village' approach that recovery is possible.
1. September is National Recovery Month | Youth.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://youth.gov/feature-article/september-national-recovery-month
2. National Recovery Month. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2022, from https://www.naadac.org/national-recovery-month
3. Nugent, C. (n.d.). SAMHSA’s Working Definition of Recovery.