Community Issues

National Recovery Month Brings Hope for Addicts & Families

Events around the country help us understand and celebrate people who recover.

"People don't understand what it's like to walk around every day with a mind you can't trust." That's how J. Ivery describes how he still struggles sometimes in recovery, even though he's been sober for 6 years.

He's one of a lot of people in recovery you'll hear telling their stories during the month of September, which is International Recovery Month. The designation is aimed at increasing awareness and understanding substance use disorders and celebrating the people who recover, like Ivery, who spoke at a news conference announcing Pennsylvania's plans to mark the month.

Ivery says there's still a stigma that's got to go:

This year's theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger." Pennsylvania's Drug and Alcohol Dependency Secretary Jennifer Smith says it's appropriate. "This year's national theme touches on a key component for individuals seeking treatment - a strong community."

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors the month and has a website (click here ) where you can get information, look for events in your area, and post your own.

Many communities will hold anti-drug walks this month.

If you or someone you know needs help, SAMHSA's National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. The service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. The hotline gets nearly 70-thousand calls a month.

As part of Pennsylvania's effort to mark the month, residents will once again be able to go to a state health center or their local pharmacy to get the overdose reversal medication naloxone on September 18 and 25. This medication reverses the effects and of opioid overdose and gives the patient a chance at recovery.

If you miss those dates, you can get what's called a Standing Order (click here ) to buy naloxone without a doctor's prescription at certain pharmacies. Click here to find a location near you .

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