“Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections” is the theme of this year’s National Recovery Month celebration.
Recovery Month: Promoting Addiction Awareness in Central Florida
September is National Recovery Month, an occasion that was created to promote mental health and addiction awareness as well as support the entire recovery process. Recovery Month provides an opportunity for anyone involved in the recovery process to share their experience in the recovery, whether it’s as a patient of substance abuse treatment, family members supporting loved ones, substance abuse counselors or recovery advocates.
Recovery Month is an opportunity for the entire recovery community to come together and celebrate the fact that substance abuse treatment is available and that recovery is possible..
Substance Abuse in Central Florida
Florida was once the epicenter of the prescription drug crisis, dispensing nearly ten times the amount of prescription pain medicine as other states in the US. Because of this, Florida became known as the “Oxy Express,” which alluded to the number of visitors making a pilgrimage to the state to stock up on opioid pain medicine that they would either use or distribute elsewhere. Prescription opioid overdose deaths declined in Florida around 2012-2014, but have recently seen a slight increase.
As reported in other parts of the country, synthetic opioid deaths have risen dramatically in recent years, keeping the overall opioid death rate high and causing nearly 70% of all drug related deaths in 2018. Heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine overdose deaths have also increased in Florida, and Preliminary CDC drug overdose data expects overdose deaths to increase another 14% from 2018 to 2019.
The prevalence of substance abuse in Florida warrants the need for a strong recovery network in the sunshine state, and it is that network that Recovery Month aspires to bring more awareness to and applaud.
National Recovery Month
Since its inception in 1989, Recovery Month has been sponsored and promoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month is supported by the Faces and Voices of Recovery, an organization dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and recovery from addiction.
Faces and Voices of Recovery have created a new website for Recovery Month 2020, and encourages all recovery supporters to register their events on the Recovery Month calendar. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections,” is a reminder of the importance of connections in recovery, even in unprecedentedly difficult times.
Central Florida Recovery Month 2020 Events
In years past, Recovery Month events in Central Florida have included fundraiser races, rallies, and sober football tailgates. Due to the social distancing regulations of COVID-19, many of the Central Florida Recovery Month events have moved online.
Ideas for Recovery Month events in Central Florida can still resemble those occurring pre-pandemic, but will take place in a virtual space. The upside of an online recovery event is that you can now attend an event anywhere in the country without the need for travel.
Consider the following ways the community can recover together:
- Recovery Month Paint Party: Join this free event on September 10 to paint with fellow recovery supporters via a Zoom meeting.
- Recovery Through the Arts ‘Virtual’ Open Mic Night: On September 14 hosts a virtual open mic night to celebrate National Recovery Month.
- Virtual 5ks: You can join the United in Recovery Virtual 5k for the first 3 weeks of September, or wait until the last week and join the virtual Glow Run 5k.
- Be a voice on Social Media: Voice your recovery support by posting positive messages on your social media accounts and use the recovery month hashtags (#RecoveryMonth2020, #NRM2020 and #RecoveryCommunity) in your posts.
- Wear the Recovery Ribbon Color: Wear the Recovery Month color (turquoise) whenever you can this September to display your pride in recovery awareness.
Recovery During COVID-19: You Are Not Alone
The effects of social isolation on mental health is a known trigger for substance abuse. It is imperative to remember that while life looks a little different in 2020, the recovery network is still there for those in need. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many in-person meetings, events and celebrations, but you can still turn to virtual connections or small groups of recovery advocates when you need to reach out to the recovery community.
Virtual Recovery Resources
Nearly every recovery resource center has created a virtual option for recovery meetings online. Below are a few options for Central Florida recovery companies with online options.
- Central Florida Intergroup (a division of AA)
- Greater Orlando Narcotics Anonymous
- Peer Support Space
- Peer Support Coalition of Florida Inc
Recovery Support When You Need It at Orlando Recovery Center
At the Orlando Recovery Center we understand that recovery from addiction is difficult and rarely linear. Our clinically trained staff and substance abuse counselors are ready to meet you wherever you are in your recovery journey, from medical detox to inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment to recovery support for life after rehab. The Recovery Village treatment centers take pride in being among the best drug rehab facilities in the US, offering behavioral health and recovery support to those when they need it most.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our substance abuse treatment center in Orlando has adjusted to the social distance recommendations by offering teletherapy sessions and a virtual space for online recovery meetings and chat rooms.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Drug Overdose Mortality by State.” April 2020. Accessed August 22, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Vital Statistics Rapid Release – Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts.” 2020. Accessed August 23, 2020.
Drug Enforcement Administration. “2019 Drug Enforcement Administration National Drug Threat Assessment.” December 2019. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Florida Department of Health. “Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council 2018 Annual Report.” December 2019. Accessed August 26, 2020.
Florida Department of Health. “Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council 2019 Annual Report.” December 2019. Accessed August 26, 2020.