September designated National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month sheds light...

For 27 years, September has been designated as National Recovery Month to shed light on those trying to recover from drugs, alcohol, mental health issues and opioid abuse.

ABC 17 has covered this topic extensively.  

Heather Harlan, a recovery specialist at Phoenix Health in Columbia, said these issues are just like any other chronic illness.

The whole idea behind National Recovery Month is to spread awareness of those in recovery.

Some of those include people recovering from mental health issues or substance abuse.

"Just because someone may use again and have another episode doesn't mean that treatment didn't work.  We all know people who have diabetes and blood pressure where something shifts and they need help again," said Harlan.

 She said recovery is possible for these types of brain disorders, but sometimes it's a battle that isn't won.

A recent report from the CDC shows opioid-related overdose deaths alone have more than quadrupled since 1999.

Harlan said there's still a stigma attached and a lot of people who suffer don't get the help they need.

"Almost 46 percent of Americans at some point have a mental health episode in their lifetime.

She said sometimes getting funding from lawmakers can be tough. 

"Often state legislators will cut mental health when they are looking to get rid of something in a budget."

Because a lot of people in recovery go unnoticed, this month is designed to celebrate and encourage their recovery.


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