Healthy State Alliance Honors National Recovery Month

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Observed in September every year, National Recovery Month seeks to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 20.9 million adults in the United States who ever had a substance use problem considered themselves to be recovering or in recovery.
"Thousands in our communities have been transformed through recovery," said Julie Teater, MD, an addiction medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. "National Recovery Month provides an opportunity for us to celebrate these accomplishments. It helps to raise awareness of the importance of supporting individuals who are on the path to recovery, while also emphasizing the need for accessible and comprehensive treatment options."
Dr. Julie Teater, Addiction Medicine Physician, stands outside Talbot HallThrough a strategic initiative known as the Healthy State Alliance, Mercy Health and Ohio State Wexner Medical Center have come together to combat the opioid epidemic through alliances in education, research and clinical care. Together, the organizations are observing National Recovery Month to raise awareness about the challenges of addiction and mental health while highlighting the potential for recovery.
"We are excited to stand together as a united front during National Recovery Month," said Trent Hall, DO, an addiction medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. "Recovery is a journey that requires compassion, perseverance and a strong support network. Our organizations are committed to working together to address the opioid epidemic and offer a diverse range of recovery services aimed to provide individuals with the tools they need to achieve lasting well-being," said Hall, who is one of the leaders of the Healthy State Alliance.
One such tool is the use of peer supporters – individuals with lived experience of mental illness or addiction – who have been trained on how to provide recovery support services to others. Peer supporters play a pivotal role in the journey of recovery from addiction. Connecting with individuals who have faced similar struggles can foster a unique sense of understanding, empathy, and camaraderie.
Peer support contributes significantly to the recovery process, reminding individuals that they are not alone and empowering them with the strength to overcome obstacles on their path to healing.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's peer support program started in summer 2022 and has served more 1,000 patients. Keith Armour, a peer supporter at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center with 8 years in recovery, shared that being a peer supporter plays a crucial role in his personal therapy as well as his patients' recovery.
"Being that we have lived experience with trauma, we are able to connect on a level most providers and clinicians can't," Armour said. "It is absolutely phenomenal what peer support can do for patients now."
Additionally, Mercy Health and Ohio State Wexner Medical Center will offer a virtual half-day continuing education Opioid Symposium for healthcare providers on Sept. 30. This comprehensive event will feature relevant knowledge from experts who dedicate their time to fight the opioid epidemic.
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