September is National Recovery Month
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres designated September as National Recovery Month with the theme “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”
Torres signed the proclamation in the presence of officials from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Substance Abuse Addictions and Rehabilitation program last Wednesday at the Governor’s Office on Capitol Hill.
“This month, we renew our commitment to helping the people that are going through these challenges. Every single day is another chance at life, and another chance to make things better. We must continue the work of supporting our loved ones, neighbors, and friends struggling here in the CNMI. To our people in need, you are not alone. Whatever your struggle is, there are people out there willing to help. Together, with the right treatment and the strength of our community, we can move forward with healing and recovery,” said Torres.
The proclamation designating September as the National Recovery Month reminded each individual that the journey in recovery from substance abuse, especially relating to mental health, was common and those affected are not alone.
The proclamation also encouraged individuals who know someone struggling with addictions, to get proper help and be a support in the journey to recovery.
During the proclamation signing, it was mentioned that the effect of substance use disorder in relation to mental health in the nation was extremely common showing that “70% of users who try an illegal drug before age 13 develop a substance use disorder within the next 7 years, compared to 27% of those who try an illegal drug after age 17.”
Locally, since the inception of the CNMI’s Blue-Ribbon Initiative in 2020, the CHCC Community Guidance Center’s Addiction Services Unit has reportedly seen a “60% increase in the number of referrals for intensive outpatient services.”
The CNMI’s sole substance abuse residential treatment provider, the HOPE Recovery Center, reports that the greatest intake for services are self-referrals at 53%; stating their aim to is to promote and support evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, with a mission to raise in the CNMI, a strong recovery community, supported by dedicated of service providers and community members.
The overall goal and reason behind the designation of recovery month was to help the community in raising awareness, and educating communities about the effective services that are available for those affected by mental health and substance use disorder, also spreading the hopeful message that people can and do recover every day.