Stayin’ Alive, Franklin County’s Local Coordinating Council on drug abuse prevention, is celebrating National Recovery Month by holding a Concert for Recovery Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Main Street Park next to the Franklin County Community Foundation office, Brookville, to honor individuals and families who are in long-term recovery. Executive director Melinda Brown notes, “A huge turnout at this event will send a signal that our community embraces recovery and supports those working in the field to provide much-needed recovery services.”
She emphasizes, “Recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders is possible. All around us people are in recovery ... They are contributing to our businesses, connecting with their families and giving back to the community. But if we want more people to join them on a path of recovery, we need to take action – now.
“Too many people are still unaware that prevention works, and that these conditions can be treated, just like we can treat other health disorders, such as diabetes and hypertension. We need to work together to make recovery the expectation.”
According to the director, “Individuals who embrace recovery achieve improved mental and physical health, as well as stronger relationships and a sense of self-worth. Mental and/or substance use disorders do not discriminate – they affect people of all ethnicities, ages, genders, geographic regions and socioeconomic levels. We need to address this real issue.
“We can’t get discouraged by the prevalence of these problems, because help is available.” In fact, in 2011, 31.6 million adults received services for mental health problems and 2.3 million people at least 12 who needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem received treatment at a specialty facility.
Brown says, “These individuals have achieved healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally, and contribute in positive ways to their communities. They need the support of a welcoming community to help them on their path of long-term recovery. Fortunately, more than 80 percent of Americans would think no less of a friend or relative who is in recovery from addiction.”
To further educate communities about the pathways to recovery and to support people in recovery, every September, Americans celebrate National Recovery Month, an initiative sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act will significantly enhance access to the prevention, treatment and recovery support service coverage for persons with, or at risk of, mental and/or substance use disorders.
According to SAMHSA’s 2010 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, workers will need to be prepared to provide services to up to an additional 11 million uninsured people with behavioral health problems. These providers have a unique opportunity to assist these populations navigate the insurance eligibility determination and enrollment process.
For more information on the Concert for Recovery, visit www.stayinalive24.org. For more information on National Recovery Month, visit www.recoverymonth.gov.