September is National Recovery Month

Every September SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. Mental and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups.

Mental Disorders

As defined by SAMHSA: Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior. These disorders can affect how we relate to others and make choices. Mental disorders take many different forms, with some rooted in deep levels of anxiety, extreme changes in mood, or reduced ability to focus or behave appropriately. Others involve unwanted, intrusive thoughts and some may result in auditory and visual hallucinations or false beliefs about basic aspects of reality. Reaching a level that can be formally diagnosed often depends on a reduction in a person’s ability to function as a result of the disorder.

Substance Use Disorders

As defined by SAMHSA: Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.


SAMHSA strives to ensure that Americans can access effective prevention and treatment services for mental and substance use issues, particularly for those with the most serious conditions. Recovery from these disorders is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Recovery support is provided through treatment, services, and community-based programs by behavioral health care providers, peer providers, family members, friends and social networks, the faith community, and people with experience in recovery. Recovery support services help people enter into and navigate systems of care, remove barriers to recovery, stay engaged in the recovery process, and live full lives in communities of their choice. For more information visit:

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