Events and News









Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders

  • Have a plan for the holiday, including mutual aid meetings and calls to sponsor, mentor, recovering peer, counselor, clergy or others central to your recovery.
  • Identify risk factors that should be avoided and know how you will respond if they’re encountered.

  • Know your signs of potential relapse and take steps to address them.

  • Stay in touch with your key supports, such as counselors, sponsors, mentors, or recovering peers.

  • Keep it all in perspective: Nothing that happens, no matter how painful or unpleasant, is worth giving up one’s recovery.

  • If relapse does, occur, don’t delay acting out of shame or guilt. Get help immediately. There is still an opportunity to build on the progress you’ve made.

Tips for individuals or families in early recovery:

September is National Recovery Month

Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.


As part of the 30th anniversary, Recovery Month is introducing a new logo that signifies the true meaning and values of the Recovery Month observance. The new Recovery Month logo features an “r” symbol; representing r is for Recovery and the need to support the millions of individuals who are proudly living their lives in recovery, as well as their family members and loved ones.


Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.


Recovery Month also highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need.

Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2019 Recovery Month observance will focus on community members, first responders, the healthcare community, and youth and emerging leaders highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society.


The 2019 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support recovery. It reminds us that mental and substance use disorders affect us all, and that we are all part of the solution. The observance will highlight inspiring stories to help thousands of people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and personal growth. Learn more about this year’s and past year themes.


SAMHSA creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations plan events and activities to increase awareness about mental and substance use disorders, treatment and recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free, and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.


Additional Recovery Month resources are available on the Recovery Month website. Resources include logos, r is for Recovery symbol, banners, posters, and customizable flyers, posters, T-shirt designs, and one-pager, television and radio public service announcements, an event calendar to post and share your Recovery Month events or locate events in your community and social media outreach through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Note some materials are available in English and Spanish.

Find Important Resources To Empower Recovery Efforts:


Watch Voices of Recovery - YoutubeAdd Your Story Get Help With Recovery

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder

Mental health and substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Mental disorders involve changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior. These disorders can affect how we relate to others and make choices. Reaching a level that can be formally diagnosed often depends on a reduction in a person’s ability to function as a result of the disorder. For example:


  • Serious mental illness is defined by someone over 18 having (within the past year) a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.

  • For people under the age of 18, the term “Serious Emotional Disturbance” refers to a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder in the past year, which resulted in functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits the child’s role or functioning in family, school, or community activities.

  • Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

The coexistence of both a mental health and a substance use disorder is referred to as co-occurring disorders. The National Institute for Mental Health’s Mental Health Information page has information about specific conditions and disorders as well as their symptoms.

SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of mental and substance use disorders on America’s communities. SAMHSA works to prevent and treat mental and substance use disorders and provide supports for people seeking or already in recovery.

CDC #RxAwareness Campaign

Take Action and Help


Whether you are a healthcare provider, first responder, law enforcement officer, public health official, or community member, the opioid epidemic is likely affecting you and your community. No matter who you are, you can take action to end the opioid overdose epidemic ravaging the United States. We all have a role to play on the frontlines of this fight—it starts with addressing prescription opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose.

  • Learn more about prescription opioids so you can help those at risk for opioid use disorder and overdose in your community.

  • Help those struggling with addiction find the right care and treatment. Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted and help is available if you or someone you know is battling opioid use disorder.

  • Spread the word and increase awareness in your community about the risk and dangers of prescription opioids.

State and local health departments and community organizations can also take part in the Rx Awareness campaign and use the tested campaign materials and resources to launch campaigns, support local prevention activities, and raise awareness about the risks of prescription opioids.


#RxAwareness Campaign Fact Sheet [PDF – 334 KB]

Campaign Overview Fact Sheet

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month!

Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In May of 2008, the US House of Representatives announce July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn [D-MD] and cosponsored by a large bipartisan group to achieve two goals:

  • Improve access to mental health treatment and services and promote public awareness of mental illness.

  • Name a month as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to enhance public awareness of mental illness and mental illness among minorities.


For Minority Mental Health Month, it's time to do your part.


Help us spread the word through the many awareness, support and advocacy activities below by showing that you're #IntoMentalHealth.

America’s entire mental health system needs improvement, including when it comes to serving marginalized communities. Learn more about how you can get involved with Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.


The Connection between Mental Health and Substance Abuse is well documented.  The challenge for most is the Stigma associated with either Mental Health or Addiction.  Need More Info Visit

Millions of American’s lives are impacted daily by mental health conditions. As a way to show support for these people NAMI participates in several annual mental health awareness events.

Participating in a local or national NAMI event is a great way for you to help increase people’s understanding of the complexity of mental illness. Through these events we can expel myths, educate the public and show support for the many people affected by mental health that are working to improve their lives.  For More Info Visit

Other Valuable Resources:  |  Dual

April is National Stress Awareness Month

Stress can be good and stress can be dangerous. We need stress in our lives, it is the motivating force behind many of the good things we do.  Yet chronic stress can lead to dangerous behaviors, habits and lifestyles that pose an immediate threat to your life and health. Read this excerpt from the Psychology Today Article on Stress and Addiction for more insight.

Stress and Addiction

Chronic stress can increase vulnerability to addiction

Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.

Science of Choice

Stress is a key risk factor in addiction initiation, maintenance, relapse, and thus treatment failure (Sinha & Jastreboff, 2013). Stressful life events combined with poor coping skills may impact risk of addiction through increasing impulsive responding and self-medication. While it may not be possible to eliminate stress, we need to find ways to manage it.

Stress normally refers to adversity or hardship such as poverty or grief. Biologically, stressful events cause a rise in blood levels of stress hormones (such as cortisol). Fight-or-flight is the normal response to stress. That is, all the blood goes to the muscles so that you’re ready for action.

It is important to distinguish between chronic and normal stress. Moderate and challenging stressors with limited duration are perceived to be pleasant. In fact, some individuals seek “stressful” situations (sensation-seekers or seeking out novel and highly stimulating experiences) that promote the release of stress hormones. However, intense, unpredictable, prolonged stressors (e.g., interpersonal conflict, loss of loved ones, unemployment) produce learned helplessness and depressive-like symptoms. Chronic stress increases the risk for developing depression, the common cold, influenza, tension headaches, grinding teeth, or clenching the jaw and tensing the neck and shoulders (McEwen, 2003)...  Continue Reading

Curated Source: Psychology Today

Every family is unique, but all families share a bond that can be used to support one another during trying times.

  • While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness, research shows that family support can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders.

  • When a family member is experiencing a mental or substance use disorder, it can affect more than just the person in need of recovery. Evidence has shown that some people have a genetic predisposition for developing mental and substance use disorders, and may be at greater risk based on environmental factors such as having grown up in a home affected by a family member’s mental health or history of substance use. Families should be open to the options of support groups or family therapy and counseling, which can improve treatment effectiveness by supporting the whole family.

  • It is also important to remember that the unique challenges that come from helping a loved one with a mental or substance use disorder can be taxing, so caregivers should take steps to prioritize their own health as well.

    Family members may be more likely to notice when their loved ones are experiencing changes in mood or behavior. Being able to offer support, family members can connect those in need with treatment, resources, and services to begin and stay on their recovery journey.

Recovery Is Bigger Than Substance Abuse!