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National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month 2015

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How the nation views addiction has come a long way over the last decade, in part because the country has been in the grips of an opioid epidemic that has touched people from all walks of life. Many people now understand that addiction and mental health disorders are diseases of the mind that require acceptance from society not ostracization – treatment not incarceration.

The recovery community, and all its many facets, continues to work hard to educate communities about addiction. Substance use disorder prevention and treatment services have shown the country that recovery is possible. The more we are willing to discuss diseases of the mind openly, the more people will be willing to ask for help. The fight against prejudice and discrimination is a fight worth having, and the result will be the saving of lives.

National Recovery Week

Every September for the last 26 years, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) has sponsored Recovery Month. All over the country events are held aimed at heightening people’s awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders.

It is also a time to recognize and celebrate the millions of people who work a program of recovery day in and day out. These are people who take the time to spread the message and the principles of recovery to the newly sober, guiding them through the many obstacles of early recovery. Recovery is something that if you want to keep, you have to give it away.

Presidential Proclamation

On August 31, 2015 the President proclaimed that September is the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The Presidential Proclamation highlights the need for the continued efforts of the countless people whose lives are dedicated to helping others. The Proclamation can be read in full below:


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Every day, resilient Americans with substance use disorders summon extraordinary courage and strength and commit to living healthy and productive lives through recovery. From big cities to small towns to Indian Country, substance use disorders affect the lives of millions of Americans. This month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all those who are seeking or in need of treatment, and we recognize the key role families, friends, and health care providers play in supporting those on the path to a better tomorrow.

This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!” It encourages us all to do our part to eliminate negative public attitudes associated with substance use disorders and treatment. People in recovery are part of our communities — they are our family and friends, colleagues and neighbors — and by supporting them and raising awareness of the challenges they face, we can help eradicate prejudice and discrimination associated with substance use disorders, as well as with co-occurring mental disorders. Prevention and treatment work, and people recover — and we must ensure all those seeking help feel empowered, encouraged, and confident in their ability to take control of their future. Americans looking for help for themselves or their loved ones can call 1-800-662-HELP or use the “Treatment Locator” tool at

My Administration remains dedicated to pursuing evidence-based strategies to address substance use disorders as part of our National Drug Control Strategy. Seeking to widen pathways to recovery, our strategy supports the integration of substance use treatment into primary health care settings and the expansion of support services in places such as high schools, institutions of higher education, and throughout the criminal justice system. In the wake of public health crises related to non-medical use of prescription drugs and heroin in communities across our Nation, my Administration has pledged considerable resources to help Federal, State, and local authorities boost prevention efforts, improve public health and safety, and increase access to treatment in communities across the country. And the Affordable Care Act has extended substance use disorder and mental health benefits and Federal parity protections to millions of Americans.

Behavioral health is essential to overall health, and recovery is a process through which individuals are able to improve their wellness, live increasingly self-directed lives, and strive to fulfill their greatest potential. During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, we reaffirm our belief that recovery and limitless opportunity are within reach of every single American battling substance use disorders, and we continue our work to achieve this reality.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2015 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.



If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact Design for Change to begin the journey of recovery.

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