September 1, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

ADMH Leads Effort To Celebrate 22nd Annual Recovery Month

MONTGOMERY – Events will be held statewide throughout the month of September celebrating the 22nd anniversary of what is now known as National Recovery Month. Celebrated during the month of September and sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Recovery Month began in 1989 as TreatmentWorks! Month, which honored the work of treatment and recovery professionals in the field. The observance evolved to National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in 1998, when the observance expanded to include celebrating the accomplishments of individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. The observance evolved once again in 2011, to include all aspects of behavioral health and is now known as National Recovery Month. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover from substance use disorders, mental health issues and co-occurring disorders. The observance’s main focus is to laud the gains made by those in recovery from these conditions, just as we would those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.3 million people aged 12 or older (1.7 percent of the population) received treatment for substance use disorders, and 30.2 million people aged 18 or older (13.3 percent of the population) received services for mental health issues. In addition, a large percentage of Americans have a co-occurring disorder, that is having at least one mental illness as well as an alcohol or substance use disorder.

In preparation for Recovery Month, ADMH's Division of Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Services, in partnership with several advocacy groups and community partners, has been busy coordinating events to celebrate this observance. Governor Bentley will soon sign a proclamation declaring September as Recovery Month in Alabama. Kicking off the month’s events will be a 5K Run and Ride for Recovery in Gadsden as well as a Bike Ride for Recovery in Huntsville on September 10. An annual Spirit of Recovery Breakfast will be held September 13 in Mobile, and on September 15 an annual Walk for Recovery in Decatur and Evening of Reflection in Huntsville will be held.

Carrying on the month’s events will be a Recovery Rally in Montgomery on September 18. September 23 will be the date for a Recovery Breakfast in Huntsville and a 5K Recovery Run/Walk in Montgomery. A Recovery Fair will be held in Birmingham on September 24. Rounding out the events will be Recovery Sunday in Montgomery and a Bike Ride in Tuscaloosa, both on September 25. Dr. Tammy Peacock, Associate Commissioner for ADMH’s Division of Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Services, said, "All the events will be fun, uplifting, inspiring and educational. Our hope is that through raising awareness, Alabama’s families, policymakers, businesses and healthcare providers will reach out to those in need to assist them in finding appropriate treatment options."

Each year, Recovery Month focuses on a specific theme. This year's theme "Join the Voices for Recovery: Recovery Benefits Everyone," showcases how public awareness will increase access to those in need of essential substance abuse and mental health services, and how legislative changes will improve the overall health and wellbeing of people in the United States. It will educate the public on the positive changes that national health care reform will have on access to needed recovery services for substance use and mental health issues. Finally, Recovery Month will also highlight the importance of communities nationwide to promote prevention, treatment and recovery services not only in September, but throughout the year.

To find out more about more about Recovery Month and the events going on statewide, visit the department’s Web site at, or contact ADMH’s Division of Mental Illness & Substance Abuse Services at 334-242-3961.



For more information on National Recovery Month, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Recovery Month Web site at

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