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September is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month

August 31, 2015

NRMSeptember is National Recovery Month, also known as, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. It is a national observance that promotes awareness and educates Americans on the various issues that many of those with addiction face, and the different treatment options available to them. Its main goal is to assist those with a mental health or substance abuse disorder live a healthy, sober, and rewarding life.

Recovery Month encourages people to take action and improve the availability of prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. The main message of Recovery Month is that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. Recovery is a lifelong process. However, with the right support system, it is attainable.

Facts about Alcohol and Drug Addiction:

  • More than half of all adults drink alcohol, with 6.6% meeting criteria for an alcohol use disorder.
  • The misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana as the nation’s most common drug problem (after alcohol and tobacco), leading to troubling increases in opioid overdoses in the past decade.
  • Each year, approximately 5,000 youths under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking.
  • About 14% of adults with illicit drug dependence reported receiving treatment in the past year, which did not vary by gender.
  • Men reported higher rates of illicit drug dependence than women, 3.8% to 1.9%.
  • Drug and alcohol use can lead to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Treatment that addresses both mental health and substance abuse disorders simultaneously have been associated with better outcomes such as:

  • Reduced substance use.
  • Improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning.
  • Decreased hospitalization.
  • Increased housing stability.
  • Fewer arrests.
  • Improved quality of life.

Research shows addiction is a chronic disease of the brain which can be prevented and treated.

Those suffering from either a mental health or substance abuse disorder are very often in a state of denial, which makes seeking out treatment difficult at times. However, there is help available. If you or one of your eligible dependents is suffering from a mental health or substance abuse disorder, please contact Empire BlueCross BlueShield at (800) 553-9603 or go to www.empireblue.com to obtain a listing of participating behavioral health providers in your area.

This month, please take the time to celebrate not only those who are seeking treatment, or are in recovery, but all those who are assisting in the treatment process and road to recovery.

In addition to contacting Empire, to find help near you, you can also visit http://www.samhsa.gov/find-help.

For more information on Recovery Month, you can go to http://recoverymonth.gov/.