This September, Help Families Recover from Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

logo, National Recovery Month, September 2013

Each September, National Recovery Month seeks to encourage the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders while celebrating those already in recovery. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the campaign also connects organizations to the latest recovery ideas and information so they can better serve individuals and families facing these issues.

For those of you working with young people and their families, here are four ways to help this September:

  1. Find resources for teens and families struggling with addiction. Browse the interactive Recovery Month toolkit to locate community events and service providers. You can also search the online resource section and filter results by one of nearly 40 topics, such as “youth” or “families.”

  2. Learn specific ways to help recovering young people. SAMHSA’s recent webcast “Young Adults in Recovery: Meeting the Needs of the ‘Millennial Generation’” features tips from a moderated panel of experts, including two young people who share how their own lives were impacted by mental health and substance use disorders. If you don’t have time to watch, read our key takeaways from the program.

    Another good resource is our recent NCFY Reports issue on understanding and treating substance abuse in young people. Articles include an introduction to evidence-based substance abuse treatment and tips for hiring staff with substance abuse issues.

  3. Read about the science behind addiction and recovery. To start, check out our review of journalist David Sheff’s “Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy.” In the book, Sheff attempts to make sense of the research behind addiction after watching his teenage son’s struggle with methamphetamine and homelessness.

  4. Help family members understand and cope. Connect the loved ones of those struggling with substance use to family-friendly information compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA also runs a youth-friendly website that provides age-appropriate facts about drug use, mental health and the inner workings of the teen brain.

Many of SAMHA’s National Recovery Month resources are also available in Spanish.

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