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September is National Recovery Month


Mental health and substance use disorders are common, and not everyone receives the support they need to live a fulfilled life.  Our community has been heavily impacted by the Opioid crisis and continues to struggle against depression and anxiety, but there is hope. Recovery is possible through support from family and friends, self-respect, and wellness.  Recovery is built on the strengths, talent, coping abilities, resources, and inherent value of each person.

Recovery Month, a national observance sponsored by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), occurs annually in September. This monthly observance raises awareness of mental and substance use disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2015 alone, 43.4 million people were diagnosed with a mental illness. For the same time frame, 20.8 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder. Approximately 8.1 million adults had comorbid substance use disorder and a mental illness. And last year in New York, over 1,500 individual deaths were directly related to opioid over doses. Unfortunately, the Hudson Valley region has one of the highest rates of opioid overdoses.

Unaddressed behavioral health problems can result in lost productivity and increased costs across community systems; including health care, emergency and social services, special education, services for homelessness, law enforcement, and criminal justice.

There is hope for recovery though numerous treatment options and community support. It is crucial for our communities to addresses mental health, substance use, and general medical conditions at the same time, as doing so results in better outcomes, such as reduced substance use, improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning, and an improved quality of life.

SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatments and Services webpage,, helps people find mental and substance use disorder treatment facilities and programs across the country. SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD), provides 24-hour, free, and confidential information about mental and substance use disorders, and prevention, treatment, and recovery referrals in English and Spanish. Recovery is possible; this first step is seeking help.