The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) joins the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and local prevention and treatment organizations statewide in recognizing September as national Recovery Month. The observance recognizes the benefits of substance abuse treatment, the hard work of individuals and families in recovery, and the message that recovery from substance abuse in all its forms is possible.
The theme of this year’s Recovery Month, “Join the Voices for Recovery: it’s Worth It,” emphasizes that while the road to recovery may be difficult, the benefits of preventing and overcoming mental and substance use disorders are valuable to individuals, families, and communities. It’s also an opportunity to show that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover.
According to IDPH, alcohol is the substance most abused by Iowans. Of the adults admitted to substance abuse treatment in FY2011, 51 percent reported alcohol as their primary problem. Marijuana was second at 26 percent followed by methamphetamine at 16 percent.
IDPH data shows recovery is possible with treatment. According to client interviews conducted six months after discharge, the abstinence rate rose from 0 percent at admission to 57 percent at six months, the full-time employment rate went from 24.5 percent to 40.5 percent, and 84 percent of treatment clients were arrest-free during this time period as compared to 45 percent at admission.
Many Iowa communities have events planned to highlight Recovery Month. For a list of activities taking place in Iowa, visit www.recoverymonth.gov/Community-Events/Find-An-Event.aspx?state=IA. For more information about IDPH prevention and treatment programs, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/bh/substance_abuse.asp or go to www.drugfreeinfo.org/index.html.