National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.National Recovery Month. Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover. September 2018.

Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible. Last year, as part of the 30th anniversary, Recovery Month introduced a new logo that signifies the true meaning and values of the Recovery Month observance which, since its inception in 1989, has positively changed many lives. The Recovery Month logo now features an “r” symbol, representing r is for Recovery and the need to support the millions of individuals who are proudly living their lives in recovery.

Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2020 Recovery Month observance will work to inspire people across the country to recognize the strength and resilience of individuals living in recovery as well as to support those with substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders to consider seeking treatment. 

The 2020 National Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections,” reminds people in recovery and those who support them, that we all have victories to celebrate and things we may wish we had done differently. This is true of everyone and, as in most cases, we cannot do it alone. Recovery Month will continue to educate others about substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders, the effectiveness of treatment and recovery services, and that recovery is possible.  All of us, from celebrities and sports figures to our co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members, throughout our lives have experienced peaks and valleys, both big and small.  But, with strength, support and hope from the people we love, we are resilient.

Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.

Recovery Month resources will be made available on the SAMHSA website soon. Learn more about past year themes.


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