September is National Recovery Month, a celebration of those who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse to live healthy, rewarding lives. Recovery Month promotes evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, and emphasizes the importance of connecting with a supportive community.

Recognizing the signs

While Recovery Month is focused on moving forward and making positive changes, it’s also an opportunity to acknowledge how widespread alcohol and drug abuse are in the United States. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million Americans (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has put people who abuse drugs and alcohol at increased risk. Isolation can be a breeding ground for mental health problems and substance abuse issues.

Signs that a loved one may be struggling with alcohol or drug abuse:

  • Not taking care of themselves
  • Avoiding family and friends
  • A loss of interest in their favorite things
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in mood (They may seem very tired or sad)
  • Missing appointments
  • Problems at work or school

If you are concerned about your own drinking, try this self-assessment toolfrom the National Institutes of Health.

Staying connected

During the pandemic, people in recovery may find themselves needing extra support. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offer regular opportunities to connect with peers in supportive group settings. AA and NA both host meetings in communities nationwide, many of which are currently being held online through tools such as Zoom.

Recovery isn’t something anyone should have to do alone

In addition to group support, people in recovery may benefit from working with a health advisor. Health advisors can help create treatment plans that align with a client’s needs, offer oversight throughout the process, and provide 24/7 support in event of a crisis, such as a relapse or overdose.

At Better Health Advisors, we are proud to support clients on their journey of recovery. If you or a loved one need help navigating treatment and recovery options, please feel free to reach out to john@betterhealthadvisors.com.