September is Recovery Month, and Texas is joining the country in celebrating the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) focus on issues related to untreated substance abuse and mental health treatment disorders.
For a month, events are held around the country with the goal of:
- Fostering an increased understanding and awareness of issues facing people who are living with addiction and mental illness
- Increasing awareness of the issues families face in connecting with treatment services for their loved ones in need
- Remembering those who lost their lives to addiction and/or mental health issues
- Encouraging people who are living with a substance abuse problem or intrusive mental health symptoms to connect with treatment that can be life-changing
- Celebrating those who are actively in recovery today
These events vary in every community, are large and small, and range from music festivals to rallies that include speakers sharing their experiences in recovery to fundraising marathons and family events. Almost all events are open to the public and held in the spirit of celebration and joy that comes with the hope of recovery through treatment.
Texas Recovery Month Events
Across the state, Texans are getting together to support people in recovery and their families as well as to share information about the prevention of substance abuse disorders and treatment. From August through October, some events include:
- REACH for Recovery Car & Bike Show on September 19
- Texas Overdose Awareness on August 30
- Recovery Month Coed Softball Tournament on September 5
- Sober Tailgate UT vs. Rice on September 12
- Austin TAAP Symposium on September 18
- Sober Dance! on September 19
- Recovery in the Park on September 19
- Riverboat Cruise for Recovery on September 19
- Recovery Capital Conference on September 26-27
- North Texas Recovery Conference on September 23-25
Fort Worth, Texas
- Fort Worth TAAP Recovery Rally on September 19
- Houston Run for Recovery on September 27
- Big Texas Rally for Recovery on September 27
- The ARK Creative Arts Festival & Market on September 27
- REEL Recovery Film Festival on September 25-27
- Recovery Night Glow Run on September 26
San Angelo, Texas
- Let it GO! Recovery Rally and Run on September 26
San Antonio, Texas
- OctsoberFest on October 17
For those who are looking for a reason to road trip in celebration of Recovery Month and perhaps create positive change as a result, a rally called Unite to Face Addiction will be held in Washington DC on October 4.
Recovery Month Events in Dallas, TX
Local to Dallas are at least two major events celebrating Recovery Month in September. The first one is a family-friendly rally that is open to the public and will feature speakers and musicians. It will be held on Saturday, September 19, from 12-4 p.m. at 1105 N. Waterview Drive in Richardson, Texas. Contact Cheryl Gayles by phone at (469) 523-0524 or via email at email@example.com for more information.
Additionally, the student group Students for Recovery from the University of Texas at Dallas will be holding a 5K Fun Run. The run will raise funds for the Dallas 24 Hour Club shelter designed for people in recovery and for the student organization as well. The event will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2015, 8:30-11 a.m. at 2400 Waterview Parkway in Richardson and is open to the public. Registration is $20 and can be completed online. Contact Matison McCool by phone at (214) 504-4511 or email at Matison.McCool@utdallas.edu for more information.
If Someone You Love Needs Treatment
If someone in your family is struggling with an alcohol or drug abuse problem or living with mental health symptoms that make it difficult to have happy and healthy relationships, Recovery Month offers a range of opportunities to connect with information that can help in choosing treatment. Hearing the stories of family members who have lost their loved ones to overdose or talking to someone who has found balance and hope in recovery can be motivational for someone who may not have previously been ready to contemplate enrolling in rehabilitation services.
Additionally, for those who may not self-identify as people in need of treatment (e.g., they may believe that their struggle with mental health issues is “a phase” or that their use of drugs or alcohol is “normal”), hearing the stories of people in recovery and family members with loved ones living with – or lost to – addiction may help them to put their experience in perspective.
People may benefit from attendance at a Recovery Month celebration if:
- They are unsure if they are struggling with a drug or alcohol problem or if their mental health symptoms are treatable.
- They are living with someone who they believe may need treatment for addiction or mental illness.
- They would like to support the efforts of others who are in recovery and working to stay clean and sober.
- They would like to support families who have lost loved ones to addiction or mental health issues.
- They are in recovery and would like to connect with others in the recovery community, learn more about the resources that are available to them locally as they continue to seek sobriety, and/or share their stories about their experiences in addiction and treatment.
How will you and your loved ones celebrate Recovery Month this year?