Understanding Addiction & Recovery

This message of #WeeklyWisdom is brought to you by Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County, a proud partner of the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth. This week’s message focuses on recovery from substance use disorder.

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 3.7 million people in the US aged 12 and older received some kind of substance use treatment within the past year. Further, the survey reported that 21 million people in the same age range were in need of substance abuse treatment in the past year, whether they received it or not. Based on these statistics, it’s likely that you know someone battling addiction, although you may not even realize it.

There is a tremendous amount of stigma and misinformation surrounding substance abuse, addiction, and recovery. Many people fail to give a second thought to these topics, because they don’t think that they or a loved one will ever struggle with addiction. There is often a stereotypical image of a drug user that comes to mind when people think of the “type” of person experiencing substance abuse and addiction. This mindset is dangerous and can cause people who are struggling to be overlooked. The truth is that no one is immune to addiction; there are some who may be more susceptible due to genetic or environmental factors, but addiction and overdose do not discriminate.

Also harmful is the idea that someone fighting addiction cannot go on to lead a healthy life free of substance abuse. Recovery is challenging, but it is absolutely possible. According to a 2012 study by the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS), about 10% of adults in the US report being in recovery from a substance use disorder; this number has only increased since then.

Living in recovery benefits greatly from connecting with and receiving support from others, including one’s community and other individuals in recovery. September is National Recovery Month; appropriately, this year’s theme is Celebrating Connections. To honor this, Alcohol & Drug Council is proud to be hosting a virtual Recovery Rocks event on September 24th. This 45-minute Recovery Month event is a celebration of recovery and an ADC fundraiser. The event will feature inspiring stories from members of the recovery community, as well as a performance by Sam Harris, lead singer of X Ambassadors. Although we cannot gather in person this year, we can still come together to celebrate the incredible folks who have battled addiction and thrived in recovery.

More information about the virtual Recovery Rocks event to come soon!