September is an easy month to love. The relentlessness of summer has eased into mellow weather, the tourists (or you) have headed home and the kids have started up class. It's a month of endings and beginnings, which makes it a particularly fine time to celebrate a national month of recovery from addiction. Which, as you now know, is exactly what September is!
"Choosing a new way of life was the best choice I've ever made," says Kasim Sulton, rock bassist extraordinaire and recovery advocate. "We can and do recover." It's a simple but vital message, and it's one we share for National Recovery Month. You can recover; a new way of life is out there. We're honored to stand with everyone who's seeking that new way of life, who's lived it for decades, who's supported a loved one in recovery and who's worked in the field of addiction to help people find recovery.
That counts for this month, next month and every other month.
We'll be sharing original stories, videos, music, games and more all around All Sober during Recovery Month, so be sure to follow us here and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
What Is National Recovery Month All About?
In fact, National Recovery Month has been a time of jubilation, reflection and gratitude for more than 30 years.
In 1989, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched Treatment Works! Month, which eventually became Recovery Month. SAMHSA devotes September "to promoting and supporting new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation's strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible."
Essentially, Recovery Month is a way to recognize the success of people in addiction recovery, whether for 30 days or 30 years, as well as all the other people working to make recovery achievable to anyone — sober peers, family members, scientists in the field and care providers whose difficult jobs are essential to so many who need help.
Let's Jam: How To Celebrate Recovery Month
If you're in recovery, you deserve to shine. If you've devoted your career to helping people recover from addiction and live sober, we see you. If you're a supportive friend, family member or sober ally, join the party! We're also cherishing those we've lost to addiction this month and keeping their loved ones in our hearts. Many of us in recovery know that pain intimately and understand how things might have gone for us.
But recovery doesn't always make headlines like addiction does, and that's part of why Recovery Month is important. Millions of people struggled with addiction, went through treatment or another path to sobriety, and now thrive in early or long-term recovery. These are feats worth celebrating.
How, you ask?
- Throw a sober party with your go-to favorite nonalcoholic pours and a few new drinks in the mix! Try your hand at some zero-proof cocktail recipes
- Get together for some sober fun, whether that means marathons or, well, movie marathons
- Volunteer at a sober group meeting, recovery community center, treatment facility, harm reduction clinic or other organization with a recovery or addiction focus
- Learn the tools of harm reduction and the ways you can become a sober ally
- If you've been affected by addiction, share your story with others in a group setting. Sometimes that's the most powerful thing you can volunteer
- Congratulate those you know in recovery by celebrating their "soberversary" or sober birthday
- If you're in recovery, become a sober peer, mentor or sponsor. If someone else is earlier on in recovery or battling addiction, offer support and extend a hand
- Do your part to end the stigma around addiction and recovery. Help create an atmosphere where people don't feel shame in asking for help
And if you're starting to think, "Hey, I can do any of those things during any time of the year," we think you may be on to something …
Get Involved in Recovery Communities
Here at All Sober, we believe that community is an essential part of recovery. Getting involved is something you can do if you're grateful for your own recovery, for a family member's or in honor of someone you loved and lost to addiction.
If you're in recovery, you probably know at least a little bit about recovery communities. But you may not think of your own sobriety as the powerful force for good that it can be. To paraphrase a saying in 12-step programs, our painful experience of addiction becomes our greatest asset in recovery. If you've never been to a recovery group meeting or have fallen off in attendance, remember that sharing your story might just gift the right message at the right time to someone else who needs it.
If you haven't personally experienced addiction but want to join the fight against it, there are many places where you can be of service too. There are addiction, recovery and harm reduction foundations and organizations that need volunteers; online and in-person groups for supporting family members of those in active addiction; and community meetings that need people to stand up for those who are struggling.
But It Doesn't End Here
We at All Sober get to have Recovery Month every month, and if you're in recovery, so do you.
If you're new to our platform — or recovery — welcome! Get to know our inspirational sober heroes (like Patty and Kasim), catch the latest news on recovery and addiction breakthroughs, and find resources for all things recovery, from the basics of the beginning to tips on living your best sober life.
We want to get to know you, too: Join our community of friends standing together in sobriety — all month, all year and beyond.