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What is Recovery Month?

Recovery from addiction: Recovery Month is here!

Recovery Month is an annual event during the month of September where we put a spotlight on recovery from addiction. Recovery Month is observed internationally as an opportunity to create awareness of the issues surrounding addiction, and to celebrate those who have been successful in their recovery or who are at various stages of recovery.

Recovery from addiction is a journey and it’s important that we take this time out to recognise achievements big and small, no matter where someone is on that journey. Anyone who is attempting to overcome their addiction has already make a considerable accomplishment. Recovery even extends to the family and friends of someone dealing with addiction, and Recovery Month is a time to celebrate those people as well.

History of Recovery Month

Recovery Month originated in the U.S. in 1989 under the name ‘Treatment Works! Month’. At first it was purely focused on celebrating the staff working in the substance abuse treatment field.

In 1998 it became ‘National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month’. At this stage, the focus shifted to the individuals themselves who were recovering from substance addiction, and to acknowledging their achievements in recovery.

In 2011, the event became ‘Recovery Month’, a occasion now encompassing a much broader spectrum of recovery than overcoming substance addiction specifically.

Celebrating Recovery Month

Recovery is something that takes place all year long, and indeed different times of the year present different challenges for those in recovery. Choosing the month of September to highlight issues around addiction and recovery is a way to shed light on these topics in the public space for just a portion of the year.

This year, our observance of Recovery Month at the Rutland Centre is putting a particular focus on dismantling the stigma that exists around addiction and recovery. We’ll be sharing individual stories of recovery to remove the shame associated with tackling addiction and to show the positive outcomes that can result from reaching out for help in your journey.

With over 10,000 clients treated since 1978, there are many happy stories from former clients of how recovery has changed their lives. Recovery can look like a lot of different things. These recovery stories are from people dealing with addiction, and also the family members and friends of those who have faced addiction. The loved ones of those grappling with addiction go through challenges of their own and their recovery from these experiences is also extremely important.

Alcohol has typically been the primary addiction treated at the Rutland Centre but in recent years other addictions have become increasingly common, such as gambling, food, sex and gaming. Regardless of the nature of the addiction, the negative impact on an individual’s life is consistent. This Recovery Month, we want to do away with the shame people feel around addiction, which often prevents them from asking for the help they need.

Give Recovery a Voice

So many of us in Ireland are affected by addiction in one way or another. Many of us are touched by the issues in some capacity. Despite the pervasive nature of addiction, we’re still not talking about it openly.

Those facing addiction hide it from friends, family, employers, terrified that they’ll lose everything. We want to share the incredible stories of recovery that we see all the time at the Rutland Centre. Stories of people moving beyond addiction to a wonderful new life of joy and love.

This year we’ve chosen the theme ‘Give Recovery a Voice’. We want to show the amazing success that can be achieved on the journey from addiction to recovery. Let’s start talking about recovery and showing people that we are willing to help them without judgement. By breaking down these barriers, we can help more and more people in our society to live happy, healthy, fulfilled lives.

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