Nizhoni Health Systems

Help Someone with Substance Abuse Treatment During National Recovery Month

What is National Recovery Month?

Nearly one in ten people suffer from drug or alcohol addiction in the United States. #NationalRecoveryMonth was created to bring awareness to addiction and remind us that recovery is possible.

What is the theme for National Recovery Month 2016?

Each year, National Recovery Month takes on a new theme to emphasize the importance of guiding others through the long process of recovery. The theme for National Recovery Month 2016 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!” Help from a family member can make all the difference for those in recovery. Telling personal stories is an effective way to share successes and inspire others battling drug or alcohol addiction.

Why is the cycle of addiction so hard to stop?

The cycle of addiction is a tough one to break, but it is the key to helping more people recover. This infographic displays the stages that anyone addicted to a substance goes through.

How has drug addiction affected the state of Massachusetts?

Opioid abuse in particular has become much more prevalent in the past few years in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that the number of overdose deaths increased 67% from 2012 through 2015. There were 400 confirmed deaths due to opioid use in the first quarter of 2016 alone. In order to lead more people into recovery, policymakers, health care providers, insurers and civilians will have to work together, but progress has been made.

Which organizations are leading the charge to defeat opioid addiction?

Reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths and decreasing the number of prescriptions for painkillers are two of the biggest priorities to reduce the effects of addiction on the citizens of Massachusetts. The following people and organizations are working hard to achieve those objectives.

In March, Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law to prevent physicians from overprescribing opioids to people who have never used them before.

State Without StigMA is one of the first campaigns designed to make people feel comfortable enough to seek treatment for addiction. It explains what the stigma entails and has a quiz that determines whether you are stigma-free or not.

The Gloucester Police Department actively encourages people addicted to a substance to come forward and receive treatment. Addison Gilbert Hospital and more than a dozen other treatment centers are affiliated with the program, and participants are not charged with a crime.

The Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) has many programs designed to connect people struggling with addiction to organizations that can help them. Their website contains policy updates involving drug and alcohol abuse.

How can you help someone struggling with drug or alcohol addiction?

As this year’s National Recovery Month theme points out, families are important factors in ensuring people recover. You can get involved today by doing a few simple things.

  • Don’t perpetuate the stigma surrounding addiction. It is a mental illness, and it can be treated. Don’t speak negatively about anyone who is struggling with it. Don’t call them “addicts.” Call them “people struggling with addiction.”
  • Promote National Recovery Month to anyone you feel would benefit from it. If you know someone with an inspiring story of recovery, encourage them to share it! If you think a person is ready to start the process of recovery, share the available resources with them and let them know that they are not alone.
  • Offer support for anyone you know that suffers from addiction. You may be the only person that has lent them a hand. Even just getting them to see a clinician can be a big step in the right direction.

What are some resources you can share to help someone start their recovery?

SAMHSA is the organization that started National Recovery Month. SAMHSA has a library of valuable information, which includes an event calendar and stories of other people who have recovered from their addictions. SAMHSA also has a Twitter account dedicated to sharing facts about addiction and recovery.

The Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors has a video that describes the history of the organization and the origin of addiction professionals. The organization’s website also contains links to other tools involving National Recovery Month.