What You Need to Know About National Recovery Month

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on September 1, 2021.

What You Need to Know About National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month is a month-long event that publicizes the benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery for mental and substance use disorders. It is also a time to celebrate people in recovery, the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promote the message that all forms of drug and alcohol recovery are possible.

When Is National Recovery Month?

September is National Recovery Month. Tens of thousands of prevention, treatment and recovery programs across the country celebrate Recovery Month each year.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced its decision in June 2020 to stop sponsoring this event. Fortunately, Faces & Voices of Recovery is hosting all events and assets that make this possible on their newly developed Recovery Month website.

What Does National Recovery Month Bring Awareness To? 

National Recovery Month launches meaningful activities to benefit those who are dealing with substance use disorders. This event is designed to facilitate access to care, fight the stigma that comes with substance use disorders and celebrate the accomplishments of those undergoing the journey to recovery.

Advocating for Recovery

Everyone has their own story, and most people in recovery realize that it is a difficult journey with high peaks and low valleys. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that excessive alcohol use in the United States leads to 95,000 deaths every year in the U.S., and there were 49,860 opioid overdose deaths in 2019 alone.

Advocating for recovery is one of the most important activities of National Recovery Month. Effective rehabilitation programs are crucial for those that struggle with substance use disorders.

Combating Substance Use Disorder Stigmas

Stigma prevents people with substance use disorders from seeking treatment. A National Institutes of Health study found stigma often carries a negative psychological impact. Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness prevent people who feel stigmatized from seeking proper treatment. Often, they might have a fear of friends and family rejecting them, being let go from their jobs or being excluded from communities.

National Recovery Month fights stigma to educate people about substance use disorders and the importance of treatment and recovery.

Celebrating Sobriety

National Recovery Month celebrates people who have started the recovery process by telling others that recovery is possible, and it works! This shows those who suffer from substance use that they have reasons for hope. People will hear encouraging examples and stories of those who deal with addiction and find workable solutions.

During National Recovery Month, people strive to share their success stories with their neighbors, friends and colleagues. This allows everyone to raise awareness and achieve a better understanding of mental health disorders.

What Is the National Recovery Month Theme for 2021?

Now in its 32nd year, the theme of this year's event is "Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community." The theme helps people in recovery and their support system remember nobody is alone in recovery. We are in this together, even though everyone has their own unique journeys. We are resilient with the strength, support and hope from people we love.

What Other Events Are Observed During National Recovery Month?

The Faces & Voices of Recovery has a calendar with virtual and in-person events being held during National Recovery Month. Virtual events are convenient because you can attend from wherever you are!

One of the virtual events featured occurs every Friday in September — Friday Frenzy Speaker Jams. You can join this event via Zoom, which includes stories of family recovery, hard reduction recovery, abstinence-based recovery, spiritual recovery and more.

How You Can Get Involved During Recovery Month

If you're interested in addiction awareness, you're in addiction recovery, or you would like to promote messages from the event, you can get involved in many ways.

1. Host an Event

If you or your organization would like to host an event for National Recovery Month, you can post an event for the National Recovery Month Calendar so others can find it. Additionally, their website has downloads that include everything you might need if you are hosting an event — from banners and social media posts to press releases.

2. Attend an Event

Check out the Recovery Month's online calendar to find virtual and in-person events and recovery support events. You have the option to filter the calendar and search by the type of event, location or cost.

3. Promote National Recovery Month on Social Media

Sharing on social media is one of the easiest ways to support National Recovery Month. To spread the word, you can use Recovery Month materials on your blog, website or social profiles. You can share positive messages about prevention, treatment and recovery for your friends and audience to see. Share your recovery journey or links to others' recovery stories, alongside links to recovery resources. Or engage with National Recovery Month's FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

4. Encourage a Proclamation

You can encourage political figures to issue a proclamation in support of National Recovery Month. Asking your local leaders to issue a proclamation about National Recovery Month allows them to commit to improving access to treatment programs. It can also increase awareness of these issues in your community.

5. Educate a Friend

Share your recovery story with a friend or educate them on addiction. Education and awareness are powerful tools that can encourage people to share their own experience that relates to substance use disorders or mental health issues.

We can reduce the stigma by talking about drug education and sharing recovery stories. This encourages people to seek the treatment they need. Such conversations are an important step toward helping people understand addiction is a disease and that recovery is possible.

Stages to Recovery From Drugs and Alcohol

Recovery requires a complete lifestyle change and involves six steps to make a change. The first three steps include pre-contemplation, contemplation and preparation. Following these initial steps, the next changes to make include action, maintenance and termination. While some people accomplish these stages in order, some may take their own path to recovery and move back and forth between stages.

  1. Precontemplation: This is the first stage of addiction recovery. A person in this stage is generally having a positive experience with their addiction, and it hasn't led to any negative consequences.
  2. Contemplation: The next stage is contemplation, which is when someone realizes they have a problem. They may want to change, even if they don't feel like they can fully commit.
  3. Preparation: During the preparation stage, a person is committed and ready to take action. They might reach out to a health care professional to develop a treatment plan.
  4. Action: The action stage is when real behavior change begins, typically at a detox facility or a residential treatment center.
  5. Maintenance: In the maintenance stage, a person starts to adapt to their new substance-free lifestyle. They will build momentum and gradually revert to old habits.
  6. Termination: Lastly, the ultimate goal for the stages of change is termination. This stage is when a person with substance use disorder doesn't feel threatened by their substance of choice. At this stage, they feel confident and comfortable living their life without substances.

Get Started on the Journey to Recovery — It's Not Too Late

Are you ready to start your journey to recovery? Contact Diamond House Detox today to find out about same-day admittance for drug and alcohol detox in Northern California. We offer detox in a private setting, which provides clients with luxurious accommodations in a more intimate and private environment.


  1. https://facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/
  2. https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/deaths/index.html
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4228689/
  6. https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/events/month/2021-09/
  7. https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/event/friday-frenzy-speaker-jam/
  8. https://rm.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/downloads/
  9. https://www.facebook.com/NationalRecoveryMonthFV/
  10. https://www.instagram.com/recoverymonth_fv/
  11. https://twitter.com/recoverymonthfv
  12. https://diamondhousedetox.com/contact-us/
  13. https://diamondhousedetox.com/why-choose-diamond-house/