This September, we observe National Recovery Month. National Recovery Month focuses on evidence-based treatment and resources for people who struggle with mental wellness and substance misuse. It is a time to increase public awareness around recovery, as we celebrate the recovery community and the mental health providers who support them.

Many misconceptions linger around recovery, and these falsehoods can be dangerous. Statistics show that there is hope. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which sponsors Recovery Month, focuses on hope:

“Hope is a catalyst of the recovery process.”

At the Hancock Health Connection Center, we believe in hope. We believe recovery is attainable, especially when people are paired with the proper resources and treatment protocols. That is one of the many reasons why the Connection Center exists – to provide pathways to prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services for Hancock County individuals struggling with mental health concerns or substance misuse. Read on for some important recovery information, and find out how you can identify what is right for you or a loved one.

Facts and Figures

Before we dig into the scientific findings, let’s clarify an important point: Recovery is for everyone. Substance misuse and mental wellness concerns can affect any family, regardless of income, socioeconomic status, race, age, education, or other factors. Substance misuse is a chronic brain disorder. People who struggle with substances or mental health are not weak. Their brain, however, may process substances and circumstances differently. Substance misuse has been studied extensively. There are many scientific findings that allow mental health professionals to craft unique treatment plans.

Let’s look at the prevalence of substance use disorders and how the right treatment can help:

Substance use: SAMHSA released its National Survey on Drug use and Health earlier this year. Its findings included several statistics on drug use:

  • In 2021, 61.2 million people ages 12 and older used illicit drugs. That represents almost 22% of the population. Marijuana was the most commonly used drug, but 9.2 million people reported misusing opioids.
  • 46.3 million people ages 12 and older met the description of having a substance use disorder. This included 29.5 million with alcohol use disorders and 24 million having a drug use disorder.
  • Only 6% of people who met the definition of having a substance use disorder received treatment.

Co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness: About 9.2 million adults fall into the category of having both a substance use disorder and mental illness. These include anxiety, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Recovery: The National Institute of Drug Abuse sees recovery as a two-step process. Remission occurs when people can overcome their substance misuse behaviors and regain their health and social function. Recovery means these changes have become part of a new lifestyle.  What does research say?

  • 70% of people who have had substance use problems consider themselves to be in recovery.
  • 66.5% of people who have struggled with mental health issues also consider themselves to be in recovery.

What works?

Anyone who has struggled with recovery understands that it’s not always a simple process. Relapse is not unusual and should not be considered a failure. Recovery isn’t a conclusion. It’s a journey that is different for each person. Mental health professionals work with individuals to create a path that meets their unique needs.

  • Medications may help people detoxify from addictive substances. They also can be used to treat certain mental health conditions.
  • Behavioral therapy helps people learn to identify triggers and situations where they may relapse.
  • Family therapy assists families in addressing mental health and substance misuse concerns about a loved one. This therapy allows them to understand how the support their loved one and change behaviors that can contribute to mental health and substance misuse concerns.
  • Support groups provide camaraderie and mutual support.

How can the Hancock Health Connection Center support recovery?

The Hancock Health Connection Center works to connect Hancock County residents with the proper resources and tools needed to treat mental health concerns and substance misuse. Our support navigators are caring community partners who are here to listen and provide helpful local connections. RISE Recovery & Wellness works with individuals who are affected by mental health and substance misuse disorders. We also have a CRAFT family support program for friends and loved ones.

Hope for recovery is here. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental wellness of substance misuse, stop by the Hancock Health Connection Center at 120 W. McKenzie Road in Greenfield, or call us at 317-468-4231. Recovery matters. So do you.