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SAMHSA News - Volume X, No. 2, Spring 2002

Recovery Month To Celebrate 13th Anniversary

This September will mark the 13th Anniversary of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, sponsored annually by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

The month-long observance unites public and private sector partner organizations nationwide in an effort to highlight the societal benefits, importance, and effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment. In addition, the observance aims to reduce the stigma associated with substance abuse treatment. Recovery Month also celebrates people in recovery and those who serve them.

"This year's theme, 'Join the Voices of Recovery: A Call to Action,' is intended to focus the Nation's attention on responding to Americans who seriously need substance abuse treatment," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W.

CSAT Director H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., added, "According to SAMHSA's National Household Survey on Drug Abuse from the year 2000, there are 14.5 million people in the United States who have a diagnosable substance abuse problem. Millions of these people who need help do not receive treatment."

The activities and materials for the Recovery Month Campaign are wide ranging. They include the Recovery Month toolkit, Web site, TV and radio public service announcements, community forums, radio tours, and community-sponsored events.

The centerpiece of the Recovery Month outreach effort is the Recovery Month campaign toolkit. A total of 75,000 kits will be distributed to various national and local organizations; Federal, state, and local government agencies and officials; grantees; professional treatment associations; and public and private treatment organizations.

The toolkit contains helpful resources, event ideas, samples of ways to reach local media, and fact sheets for key constituency groups and special audiences to initiate and conduct a successful public education campaign. The kit also includes information for launching a comprehensive education campaign through local print and broadcast media, as well as for educating parents and families, schools and educators, health and wellness professionals, health insurers, criminal justice system professionals, elected officials and civic leaders, labor and trade organizations, community organizations, the faith community, and employers.

SAMHSA also offers an interactive Web site where the entire toolkit and other materials can be downloaded or ordered. The Web site includes additional planning resources, media updates, Web events, and a schedule of activities planned across the country.

In support of Recovery Month, CSAT has produced two television public service announcements in English and Spanish. They will be sent to more than 800 TV stations and networks, and will be submitted for inclusion as part of the Media Match Campaign by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

CSAT will further support local outreach efforts by sponsoring community forums in 31 host cities, including Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Detroit, Boston, Baltimore, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The forums will examine key treatment- and recovery-related issues, define specific objectives and action steps, and look for solutions to broaden and support individual access to treatment.

Recovery Month has grown considerably across the country in the past few years. Last year, for example, the Recovery Month radio tour reached more than 4 million listeners—almost double the number of the prior year. The Recovery Month Web site logged more than 500,000 visitors, up from just over 100,000 the year before.

In calling for participation in Recovery Month, ONDCP Director John P. Walters said, "Healing America's drug users is one of the cornerstones of our national drug control strategy."

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said, "Providing treatment for people in need is compassionate public policy and a sound investment."

For a Recovery Month toolkit, contact SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, at P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847. Telephone: 1 (800) 729-6686 (English and Spanish) or 1 (800) 487-4889 (TDD). Kits may be ordered or viewed in a PDF file from SAMHSA's Web site at

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