NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH – September 2023

National Recovery Month is observed annually in September. Business owners and marketers looking to celebrate National Recovery Month can leverage this special occasion as an opportunity to promote their products and services in support of recovery efforts.

In this article, you’ll explore creative ideas to commemorate the month, like collaborating with local support groups or launching special initiatives and offers. 

Additionally, you’ll discover effective social media strategies and hashtags to maximize your marketing efforts throughout this significant month of recovery awareness. With these valuable insights, businesses can effectively engage with the National Recovery Month audience and contribute to the broader mission of fostering recovery and wellness.

national recovery month

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When is National Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month is observed annually in September. During this month, various organizations, communities, and individuals come together to raise awareness about mental health and substance use disorders, celebrate those who have achieved recovery, and support those who are still on their journey to recovery. 

The goal of National Recovery Month is to educate the public about the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, emphasizing that recovery is possible and attainable. Throughout September, events, activities, and campaigns are held across the country to promote understanding, reduce stigma, and highlight the importance of seeking help and support for those struggling with these challenges.

History of National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month, previously known as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, has a rich history that dates back to 1989. The observance was founded and is still led by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

The primary purpose of this initiative is to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders while celebrating the achievements of individuals who have successfully overcome these challenges.

The idea for a national observance dedicated to recovery first emerged in the late 1980s when the treatment and recovery communities sought to dispel the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues. Recognizing the need for a platform that could showcase the positive impact of recovery and inspire others, SAMHSA spearheaded the inaugural National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in September 1989.

Over time, the event evolved and expanded its scope to encompass not only alcohol and drug addiction recovery but also mental health recovery. In 1998, the observance was renamed National Recovery Month to reflect this broader focus. This change also emphasized the idea that recovery from mental health challenges is equally significant and achievable.

National Recovery Month has grown significantly since its inception. Throughout the years, numerous organizations, government agencies, treatment centers, advocacy groups, and community members have actively participated in hosting events and activities to raise awareness about recovery and reduce stigma. These events often include rallies, walks, educational seminars, art exhibits, and community outreach programs.

The observance has played a crucial role in promoting the message that prevention, treatment, and recovery support services are effective and that recovery is possible for anyone facing mental health or substance use disorders. By sharing stories of hope and success, National Recovery Month has inspired countless individuals to seek help and embark on their journey to recovery.

As the years have passed, National Recovery Month continues to be a vital force in destigmatizing mental health and addiction issues, encouraging open dialogue, and fostering a supportive environment for those in recovery. Its impact reaches beyond the United States, as other countries have also adopted similar observances and initiatives to promote recovery and mental well-being on a global scale.

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How to Celebrate National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month is an essential annual observance dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and substance use disorders while celebrating the journey of recovery. As September approaches, individuals and businesses alike have the unique opportunity to actively participate in this nationwide campaign. 

In this section, we present a diverse range of ideas for both individuals and businesses to commemorate National Recovery Month. These suggestions aim to promote understanding, support those in recovery, and contribute to the collective effort to foster a healthier and more compassionate society.

Ideas for Individuals to Celebrate National Recovery Month:

  • Share Your Story: Consider sharing your personal recovery journey through blog posts, social media, or public speaking engagements to inspire others and break the stigma.
  • Join Support Groups: Engage in local or online support groups to connect with others who are on a similar path and offer and receive support.
  • Participate in Awareness Walks or Runs: Take part in recovery-themed walks or runs organized in your community to show solidarity with those in recovery.
  • Host a Virtual Event: Organize a virtual event such as a mindfulness workshop, meditation session, or book club focused on recovery and mental wellness.
  • Volunteer with Recovery Organizations: Offer your time and skills to support non-profit organizations that work towards recovery and mental health advocacy.
  • Educate Others: Dispel misconceptions about mental health and substance use disorders by sharing accurate information and resources with friends and family.
  • Create Art or Writing: Express your journey through art, poetry, or prose, and consider showcasing your work in local galleries or online platforms.
  • Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature to nurture your mental well-being.
  • Attend Virtual Workshops: Take advantage of online workshops or webinars related to recovery, coping strategies, and mental health.
  • Write Thank-You Notes: Show appreciation to individuals or professionals who have supported you in your recovery journey with heartfelt thank-you notes.

Ideas for Businesses to Celebrate National Recovery Month:

  • Launch a Fundraising Campaign: Partner with recovery organizations and pledge to donate a percentage of profits throughout September.
  • Promote Employee Well-Being: Organize workshops, training sessions, or webinars on mental health and offer resources to support employees’ well-being.
  • Sponsor Recovery Events: Sponsor local recovery events or walks to demonstrate your commitment to the cause and engage with the community.
  • Collaborate with Recovery Advocates: Partner with individuals in recovery to share their stories through social media or guest blog posts.
  • Offer Special Discounts: Provide discounts on products or services to individuals in recovery or donate a portion of sales to recovery charities.
  • Host Educational Webinars: Organize webinars led by mental health professionals to educate employees and customers on mental wellness.
  • Display Educational Material: Set up informational displays in your business premises with resources about recovery and mental health.
  • Run Social Media Campaigns: Launch awareness campaigns on social media, using hashtags related to National Recovery Month.
  • Organize Volunteer Events: Encourage employees to volunteer their time with recovery organizations or events.
  • Implement Wellness Initiatives: Create workplace wellness programs that focus on mental health support and stress management.

As National Recovery Month approaches, individuals and businesses have a valuable chance to contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society. 

By embracing these ideas and actively engaging in events and initiatives, we can collectively promote recovery, reduce stigma, and foster a supportive environment for those on their journey to healing. Together, we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals in recovery and create a more empathetic and inclusive community for all.

Social Media Post Ideas for National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to engage with their audiences on a deeply personal level. Social media platforms provide the ideal landscape to initiate meaningful conversations, share inspiring stories, and shed light on the significance of recovery. 

In this section, we have curated a list of thought-provoking and impactful social media post ideas that businesses can utilize to commemorate National Recovery Month. These posts are designed to encourage dialogue, increase awareness, and express support for those on the path to recovery.

Social Media Post Ideas for Businesses for National Recovery Month:

  • Share Personal Stories: With their permission, feature stories of employees or customers who have successfully journeyed through recovery.
  • Highlight Recovery Organizations: Share posts highlighting non-profit organizations that work towards recovery and mental health advocacy, and encourage followers to support these organizations.
  • Educational Infographics: Post infographics educating your audience about substance use disorders, mental health issues, and the recovery process.
  • Host a Live Q&A: Organize a live Q&A session with a mental health professional or recovery advocate to answer questions and discuss recovery.
  • Weekly Recovery Tips: Share recovery and mental health tips, such as coping mechanisms, resources for help, or wellness practices.
  • Supportive Quotes: Post inspirational quotes that resonate with the spirit of recovery, resilience, and hope.
  • Fundraising Updates: If your business is running a fundraising campaign, provide regular updates and thank your audience for their support.
  • Interactive Posts: Create interactive content, like polls or quizzes, to engage your audience and learn more about their views on recovery and mental health.
  • Feature a Recovery Book or Movie: Suggest a book, movie, or documentary that accurately depicts the journey of recovery, and initiate a discussion about it.
  • Use Relevant Hashtags: Use popular hashtags such as #NationalRecoveryMonth, #RecoveryIsPossible, #EndTheStigma, and #MentalHealthMatters to expand your reach.

Implementing a well-thought-out social media strategy for National Recovery Month can significantly amplify your business’s voice in raising awareness about mental health and substance use disorders. 

By utilizing these social media post ideas, businesses have the chance to engage in meaningful conversations, foster understanding, and inspire their audience. 

Remember, your posts not only have the power to inform and educate, but they also carry the potential to motivate action, encourage support, and above all, remind those on their recovery journey that they are not alone and recovery is possible.

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Hashtags to Use During National Recovery Month

In today’s digital age, hashtags have become a powerful tool for organizing and amplifying social media content. As we commemorate National Recovery Month, the strategic use of hashtags can significantly boost the reach and impact of our messages. Hashtags serve as virtual signposts, guiding users to relevant content and conversations about recovery, mental health, and substance use disorders. By incorporating appropriate and trending hashtags into our social media posts, we can unite with a larger online community, spark engagement, and promote a collective understanding of the importance of recovery.

List of Hashtags to Use on Social Media for National Recovery Month:

  • #NationalRecoveryMonth
  • #RecoveryIsPossible
  • #RecoveryMonth
  • #MentalHealthMatters
  • #EndTheStigma
  • #SupportRecovery
  • #RecoveryJourney
  • #WellnessMatters
  • #SoberLife
  • #MentalHealthAwareness
  • #CelebrateRecovery
  • #HopeInRecovery
  • #RecoveryCommunity
  • #HealthyMindset
  • #MentalWellness
  • #EmbraceRecovery
  • #RecoverySupport
  • #StrengthInRecovery
  • #BreakingBarriers
  • #MindfulRecovery


Harnessing the power of hashtags during National Recovery Month allows us to tap into a broader network of individuals, businesses, and organizations all advocating for recovery and mental wellness. These hashtags become the digital threads that connect us, enabling the dissemination of valuable information, stories of inspiration, and messages of support. 

As we unite under common hashtags, we collectively contribute to reducing stigma, fostering empathy, and nurturing an environment where those on the path to recovery feel understood, accepted, and encouraged. So, let us embrace these hashtags as a means to amplify our voices, elevate the importance of recovery, and make a lasting impact during National Recovery Month and beyond.

For the complete list of holidays to celebrate on social media in September, visit AngieGensler.com/September-Holidays

Gift Ideas for National Recovery Month

As National Recovery Month approaches, finding meaningful and thoughtful gifts can be a wonderful way to show support and encouragement to those who are on their journey to recovery. The act of giving can be a powerful gesture, symbolizing solidarity and appreciation for the strength and resilience it takes to overcome mental health or substance use challenges. In this section, we present a curated list of amazing gift ideas for National Recovery Month, each designed to inspire hope, promote self-care, and celebrate the achievements of individuals embracing recovery.

5 Gift Ideas for National Recovery Month:

  • Personalized Inspirational Journal: A custom-made journal with inspiring quotes or messages can provide a safe space for reflection and gratitude, encouraging self-expression and introspection throughout the recovery process.
  • Soothing Self-Care Spa Set: Put together a thoughtful spa package comprising scented candles, bath salts, body oils, and cozy slippers to promote relaxation and self-care during times of stress or anxiety.
  • Meditation or Mindfulness Subscription: Consider gifting a subscription to a meditation or mindfulness app that offers guided sessions to promote emotional well-being and inner peace.
  • Recovery-Themed Books: Select books that delve into recovery journeys, personal growth, or mental health topics, providing both inspiration and practical tools for navigating life’s challenges.
  • Art Therapy Supplies: Encourage creativity and self-expression by assembling an art therapy kit complete with sketchbooks, art supplies, and coloring materials to aid in processing emotions and fostering healing through art.

The act of giving gifts during National Recovery Month is a beautiful way to acknowledge the courage and resilience of those in recovery. Each of these amazing gift ideas has the potential to make a positive impact on the recipients, reminding them that they are valued, supported, and not alone on their journey. 

By choosing gifts that promote self-care, mindfulness, and emotional well-being, we can contribute to the growth and continued success of individuals embracing recovery, fostering an environment of empathy and compassion during this significant month of awareness and celebration.

National Recovery Month is a pivotal time dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and substance use disorders while celebrating the journey of recovery. 

In addition to this essential observance, there are other holidays and occasions related to recovery and mental wellness that further reinforce the significance of supporting individuals on their path to healing. These related holidays provide additional opportunities for communities, organizations, and individuals to come together, share experiences, and advocate for understanding and compassion.

World Mental Health Day: This global observance focuses on raising awareness about mental health issues and promoting mental well-being worldwide, aligning closely with the goals of National Recovery Month.

International Overdose Awareness Day: This day aims to remember and commemorate those who have lost their lives to drug overdoses and provides an opportunity to raise awareness about overdose prevention and addiction recovery.

National Alcohol and Drug-Related Birth Defects Awareness Week: This week-long observance sheds light on the impact of alcohol and drug use during pregnancy, emphasizing the importance of prevention and support for mothers and children affected.

National Children of Alcoholics Week: This week-long observance focuses on supporting children of parents struggling with alcohol use disorders and raising awareness about the impact of parental addiction on young lives.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week: This initiative, organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), aims to debunk myths and share evidence-based facts about drug and alcohol use, empowering young people to make informed decisions.

The presence of these other holidays and observances related to recovery and mental wellness reinforces the ongoing commitment of communities and organizations to address mental health and substance use disorders throughout the year. 

These occasions provide opportunities for continued advocacy, education, and support, complementing the efforts of National Recovery Month. By recognizing and actively participating in these related holidays, we can collectively strengthen our commitment to mental well-being, promote understanding, and inspire hope for those on the path to recovery. 

Let us embrace these occasions as opportunities to foster empathy, reduce stigma, and create a more supportive and compassionate society for all.

For more holidays, download our free calendar with over 1,000 fun and unique holidays to celebrate this year. Head to angiegensler.com/holiday-calendar to grab your free copy!

Future Dates for National Recovery Month

YearDateDay
2024September 1Sunday
2025September 1Monday
2026September 1Tuesday
2027September 1Wednesday
2028September 1Friday
2029September 1Saturday

List of ideas to do in National Recovery Month

  • Organize Awareness Walks or Runs: Host a community event, such as a walk or run, to raise awareness about recovery and mental health issues.
  • Host Educational Workshops: Arrange workshops led by mental health professionals to educate the public about mental health, recovery, and coping strategies.
  • Share Recovery Stories: Feature personal recovery stories of employees, customers, or community members on your website or social media to inspire others.
  • Collaborate with Local Support Groups: Partner with local recovery support groups or organizations to host joint events or initiatives.
  • Offer Special Promotions: Provide discounts or special promotions on products or services throughout the month in support of National Recovery Month.
  • Hold Fundraising Events: Organize fundraisers to support recovery-focused charities or organizations.
  • Create Recovery Resource Centers: Set up information centers in your business premises with resources on recovery, mental health, and support services.
  • Encourage Employee Wellness: Implement wellness programs that focus on mental health support and stress management for your employees.
  • Organize Art or Music Events: Host art exhibits, concerts, or open mic nights centered around themes of recovery and mental wellness.
  • Launch Social Media Campaigns: Use social media platforms to share educational content, inspiring messages, and recovery resources.
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Conclusion

As business owners, embracing and celebrating National Recovery Month presents a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in our communities and contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society. 

By actively participating in this observance, we can show our commitment to mental wellness and recovery, both within our organizations and to our customers. Whether through supporting recovery organizations, hosting educational workshops, launching special promotions, or sharing inspiring stories on social media, our efforts can foster empathy, reduce stigma, and create an environment of support and encouragement. 

As we come together to commemorate National Recovery Month, let us reaffirm our dedication to the well-being of our employees, customers, and communities and continue to champion the message that recovery is possible and worthy of celebration. 

Through these collective efforts, we can help pave the way for a more inclusive and resilient future where those on their recovery journey are empowered to thrive and flourish.

Celebrate this special day with us, and don’t forget to download our free holiday calendar for more fun and unique holidays to celebrate this year!

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