All around us, people are in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders. These same people are contributing to our businesses, connecting with their families and giving back to the community.
If we want more people to join them on a path of recovery, we need more people to understand prevention works and that these conditions can be treated, just like we treat other health disorders, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Having been in recovery from alcoholism for 26 years and in the treatment field since 2000, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of recovery. Individuals embracing recovery achieve improved mental and physical health, have stronger relationships and a sense of self-worth. Mental and/or substance use disorders do not discriminate — they affect people of all ethnicities, ages, genders, geographic regions and socioeconomic levels. Last year in Solano County, an estimated 40,000 people used substances and alcohol problematically.
We can’t get discouraged; help is available. Last year 2.6 million people nationwide received treatment. Going forward, they will need the support of a welcoming community to help them on their path of long-term recovery. Fortunately, most people say they would think no less of a friend or relative if they discovered that person is in recovery from a mental and/or substance use disorder.
To further educate communities about the pathways to recovery and to support people in recovery, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors the celebration of National Recovery Month every September.
The Solano County Recovery and Prevention Alliance is celebrating the month with the 11th Annual Prevention and Recovery Rally and Barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Allan Witt Park in Fairfield. The rally includes speakers, music, prizes and food. Please bring the family and enjoy the day!
Andrew Williamson, Substance Abuse Administrator
Solano County Health and Human Services