Celebrating National Recovery Month

I want to take a moment to acknowledge all individuals who are in recovery, whether it is a celebration of decades, several years, a few months or even if this is your first day. Among the more than 22 million Americans on the road of recovery are members of our families, our friends, our neighbors and our co-workers.

I also want to invite others to help those in recovery by celebrating their achievements during the National Month of Recovery. PDFNJ’s mission is the prevention of use and misuse of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, prescription medications and other drugs. An important component of that mission is doing what we can to prevent a reoccurrence of substance use for those in recovery.

Individuals engaged in recovery are working every day to improve their health and wellness, and continually striving to live self-directed lives, thereby reaching their full potential. In part due to their experience, these are some of the most positive people we know. They deserve our full support.

Here are some things you can do to fully engage in National Recovery Month:

  • Be as supportive as you can on a personal level. Take a moment to acknowledge and congratulate those you know who are in recovery, much as you would do for others who are recovering from a chronic illness, such as cancer.
  • Host an alcohol-free social event.  Many of us not in recovery do not think twice about providing alcohol (or perhaps now marijuana) when hosting a family gathering or having friends over for dinner. Consider starting a ritual this month that is alcohol and drug-free. This not only supports those in recovery, it demonstrates to our children and youth that individuals can socialize and have fun without alcohol or other drugs being present.
  • Employers can review their policies and procedures, and revise them as necessary, to ensure they have a “recovery friendly” workplace. This can be done by providing reasonable accommodations for those needing counseling or attending support groups. Employers can also contact local treatment agencies to collaborate in promoting recovery in the workplace.
  • Community and faith-based organizations can schedule healthy alcohol- and drug-free activities and make the effort to reduce the stigma that exists for those battling a substance use disorder (SUD). Faith-based leaders can talk about recovery during their worship services and/or perhaps ask a member of their community who is comfortable to speak about their recovery for a few minutes.
  • Agencies that are promoting virtual recovery events are encouraged to post their events on the Today NJ Calendar.

Finally, I encourage you to register for the next PDNFJ Learning Series webinar, The Road to Recovery, scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m. Experts will discuss recovery from a clinical standpoint and a personal perspective, as well as key elements of recovery support and barriers that exist.

Once again, on behalf of the entire staff and board of trustees at PDFNJ, congratulations to those in recovery!

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