Did you know that September is National Recovery Month? While addiction recovery is something that should be promoted throughout the year – not just during one month – this is a time to focus your efforts and join together with others to make a difference and raise awareness. The theme for 2017 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.” There are plenty of ways for you to get involved and play a part.
Family first: One place to start is within your own home. Take the time to educate yourself and your family about addiction as well as recovery. Talk to your children about ways they can respond to peer pressure and make healthy decisions. Teach them how they can be more supportive of those going through treatment and recovery. The more people embrace open communication, the more it helps to break down stigmas and show that recovery is possible.
Within the community: Explore what community resources exist for those struggling with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Many companies offer employee assistance programs to support individuals in getting the help they need. People may not even know certain resources exist because they’re not talked about or promoted. You can make a difference in someone else’s life by pointing them in the right direction and helping them access resources that support their recovery and help them get back on their feet.
Job support: If you’re an employer, provide job opportunities for those in recovery. Let them know that you support their efforts and want to help them to get back into the workforce. It can be difficult for some individuals to rebuild their confidence or get their foot in the door following time off for rehab and recovery. Also, ensure that your company has programs in place to encourage addiction treatment and help employees return to work.
Host sober events: Plan community events that are safe spaces for those in recovery and do not involve any alcohol or drugs. Plan sober activities that are fun for people of all ages and bring community members together to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. Help your town to build a recovery community that is welcoming, inclusive, and supports a drug-free lifestyle.
Break down myths and stigmas: If you hear people spreading false information about addiction or recovery, speak up. Educate them about the truth and guide them to resources where they can learn more. You could also become a speaker and help to educate others on ways they can prevent substance misuse, encourage treatment, and support recovery efforts. Share your own story and let others know that they are not alone. You never know who will connect with what you have to say and whose life you’ll end up changing for the better.
While addiction recovery is a personal journey, support from family, friends, employers, and communities is crucial. As clients implement changes in their lives and develop healthier routines, they often lean on others for support and encouragement. Addiction recovery is nothing to be ashamed of. It takes a lot of strength to admit that you have a problem, seek help, and turn your life around in recovery.
When communities and families educate themselves and one another and when they share their stories, it can give others hope and show that recovery is possible. Addiction does not have to win. Crossroads empowers clients with the strategies, knowledge, resources, and support necessary to overcome addiction and embrace a lifestyle of recovery. As clients remember who they wanted to be, it can give them hope and motivation for the future. Knowing that their community is on their side sends and even more powerful message.Join Crossroads’ Family and Friends Educational Series to learn more about addiction, recovery, and how you can make a difference.