Tuesday, 11 September 2012

September Is National Recovery Month

“Even when we know what is right, too often we fail to act.
More often we grab greedily for the day,
letting tomorrow bring what it will,
putting off the unpleasant and the unpopular”
Bernard M. Baruch

If it wasn’t for the challenge and Google Reader, I would never have known – September is National Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month and National Mental Health Recovery Month in the USA.  I feel it should be a worldwide event but if you live in another country, you can make people aware of it.

Recovery month is a national observance for educating Americans about addiction treatment and mental health services and how these can enable those with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives.   We need to rally together to stop the stigma that follows these diseases and assure people with these problems that they can receive treatment and support needed for recovery and lead their lives with dignity.
Mental illness and substance abuse are equal opportunity diseases impacting people across the racial, ethnic and socio-economic divides. When it hits home, it hurts.  We can all do our part to help family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors and fellow citizens lead full and productive lives— now is as good a time as any to start.  Don't wait for a serious mental illness or substance abuse problem to impact you or someone you love— get involved today and offer to help.  Recovery is at hand when we all do our part.
Drug and alcohol addiction is something that is usually associated with darkness, pain and tragedy. But an upcoming fundraiser in Starkville hopes to, not only diminish some of the social stigmas surrounding addiction, but to do so in a fun-filled, family-friendly environment.  Another aspect is to help change some of the attitudes synonymous with addicts and addiction.
"I hope this will de-mystify addiction in some way," Valentine said. "People have a fear of addiction and they don't understand the addicts. They treat it differently than they do other medical conditions. People who have recovered from addiction are some of the strongest people in the world. I just want to put the word out that there is hope. Addicts aren't bad people, but people that need some behaviors to be changed."
From redOrbit:
National Recovery Month promotes the prevention, treatment and recovery for mental health and substance use disorders. Beginning on September 6, 2012, National Recovery Month celebrates both recovering addicts and the contributions of their treatment providers. According to a study from the Partnership at Drugfree.org and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, nearly 23 million American adults report that they’ve overcome a problem with drugs or alcohol.
According to Dr. Harris Stratyner, Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers and Clinical Director of the New York Region, “For many addicted individuals, recovery represents a life that they never believed they could have – a life that is free of the fear and isolation that they experienced when they were using. Suffering doesn’t have to be a life sentence – recovery is possible and attainable, and treatment is available for those who choose to seek it.”

Other important events in recovery:
Yesterday, September 10th was also World Suicide Prevention Day.  Our fellow blogger Riki Cleveland wrote a beautiful and inspiring post which I hope you will all take time out to read on her blog “Refreshingly Riki”.
"September 10th marks the tenth anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day, celebrating 10 years of research and advancement in the prevention of suicide. On this day I encourage you to do two things. First, take a moment to recognize where you might need some extra care in your own life. We cannot be of any help to others if we are not taking care of ourselves. Be kinder to yourself today and allow yourself to feel feelings that you might otherwise try to repress or ignore. Take some time to bring cheer, self-love, and optimism into your own space. Second, take the extra step to reach out to both friends and strangers in your community who might be struggling. Even the smallest smile or helping hand might be the gesture it takes to turn around the thoughts of someone fraught in life and contemplating suicide".

And today marks the anniversary of 9/11 exactly 11 years ago.  Today, we remember all the victims, families, firemen, the men and women of the emergency services and anyone whose life was affected by this tragedy.  Take time out of your day to pray for the bereaved and let us hope that we can use this event to realize the importance of peace and change in the world – starting now before it is too late.

A fellow blogger Kellee Conrad wrote an honest post on how she felt last year of the impact of the twin tower disaster in her blog “My Llife With Monkeys.”  I am not a US citizen but her words in “A citizen’s speech” express the importance of making change:
“Patriotism comes from inside. It rests on your shoulders; you carry the burden on your back to make this change. It is what we choose as citizens to do differently today that will determine if we can stand united tomorrow. Will you put racism and judgment aside? Will you get off your soapbox of righteousness and be humbled? Will you reach out to your neighbor and help raise the barn? Will you put the anger aside long enough to make your voice of encouragement heard? Will you stop believing the hype and trust in your heart? Will you love your country? Do not ignore the opportunity. When we all make the step together, it is louder than any bomb. And only then when we begin to care enough and find compassion again will we turn this story around, honor to the sacrifices made on that fateful day and give it the grande finale it deserves”.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Mahatma Gandhi

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