September is National Recovery Month; recovering addict Rex Chapman slated to attend event in Paintsville Sept. 21

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of substance-use and mental disorders and to celebrate the people who recover.

“This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance-use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover,” says a National Recovery Month report that discusses common disorders and misused substances.

The 2019 theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” which SAMHSA says emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country that support recovery in all its forms. This is the 30th anniversary of the event.

This year’s focus is on the various groups that support recovery in our society, including community members, first responders, the health-care community, youth and emerging leaders.

Mental and substance-use disorders are quite prevalent in the United States, with 46.6 million adults 18 or older having any mental illness in the past year and in 2017, an estimated 30.5 million Americans aged 12 and older currently using illicit drugs or used an illicit drug in the past month, says the National Recovery Month report.

“The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall heath, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover,” says The Association for Addiction Professionals on its website.

Only one event is listed for Kentucky on the National Recovery Month webpage. The Kentucky Addiction Center is partnering with the Rex Chapman Foundation to sponsor the “Recovery Out Loud” event. It will be held at Paintsville Lake State Park in Staffordsville from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 21. The event will include a full day of food, music and activities, including a 5K run, stories of success and a chance to meet former University of Kentucky basketball star Rex Chapman, who played 12 years in the NBA, and to hear his story of addiction and recovery.

SAMHSA offers a Recovery Month Toolkit for individuals and organizations to use to increase awareness about recovery. It includes tips and resources for planning Recovery Month events and for distributing information in communities.

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