WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), along with fellow Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Co-Chairs Representatives David Trone (D-MD), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), introduced the Honoring National Recovery Month Act to provide consistent funding for National Recovery Month programming. The Senate companion bill will be introduced by Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
National Recovery Month occurs each September. During this month, government agencies, stakeholders, and communities partner with individuals in recovery and their families to celebrate progress, educate the public, and combat the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has been the nation’s leader in Recovery Month efforts -- developing targeted outreach materials, suggestions for event planning, and other resources used by groups across the country. A dedicated funding stream, as would be authorized by the Honoring National Recovery Month Act, is needed to ensure this critical work continues and is community-led.
The Honoring National Recovery Month Act provides $1 million annually for SAMHSA to develop materials, distribute best practices, and lead activities related to Recovery Month. The legislation provides SAMHSA with the flexibility for funds to be used by a national organization for Recovery Month activities.
"Millions of Americans struggle every day with mental health and substance use disorders. National Recovery Month focuses on educating and raising awareness, allowing us to demonstrate that recovery can be an expectation, not an exception," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "I’m proud to join my Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force colleagues, as well as Senators Luján and Sullivan, in introducing legislation that will provide consistent funding for National Recovery Month programming. Our bill will help save lives and empower struggling individuals to get the support they need."
“With mental health and substance use disorders on the rise, it’s more important than ever to celebrate National Recovery Month,” said Rep. Trone. “By providing consistent funding for Recovery Month, the millions of Americans in recovery or seeking recovery will know that they are supported and celebrated. I’d like to thank my Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force colleagues and Senators Luján and Sullivan for working with me on this much-needed legislation that will help us end the stigma and save lives.”
“Each September, we recognize National Recovery Month to raise awareness, highlight resources, and help end the stigma around mental health and substance use disorders,” said Rep. Kuster. “The Honoring National Recovery Month Act will provide SAMHSA with funding to expand outreach, activities, and education efforts during National Recovery Month. I’m proud to join my Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Co-Chairs to introduce this legislation. I look forward to our continued work to implement solutions and secure consistent funding, resources, and support for those in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use.”
“Substance use and mental health issues have increased dramatically in Southwest Washington and across the nation during the pandemic, which is why we must act now to tackle these issues. I’m proud to help introduce the bipartisan Honoring National Recovery Month Act, which will empower those folks seeking treatment, and provide them with much-needed assistance on their road to recovery,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted all of our lives, and those enduring substance use disorder have faced increased challenges. It is more important than ever to provide federal support for National Recovery Month in September. This bill provides dedicated funding to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to bring families, advocates, behavioral health care providers, and government agencies together to develop targeted outreach, event planning materials, and other resources for community organizations across the country to utilize during the month. In the face of the pandemic’s social isolation and limitation on treatment options, funding National Recovery Month efforts offers a chance to celebrate those living in recovery and educate the public about recovery from substance abuse,” said Senator Luján.
“Ever since the Alaska Wellness Summit in 2016 brought the epidemic of drug addiction to the forefront in our state, I have heard stories of countless courageous Alaskans who’ve battled this scourge and achieved a new lease on life,” said Senator Sullivan. “These transformations take a great deal of work and courage, and I want to commend each Alaskan who has walked and continues to walk this difficult path. Your determination and resilience serve as inspiration to others who may be suffering and looking for hope and encouragement in their own or a loved one’s struggles. The National Recovery Month Act will allow us to celebrate those in active recovery and support those that are still working towards it by updating important resources that are used during September’s National Recovery Month.”
“Recovery is not only possible but it is probable, and expected, with the right resources at the right time. The annual observance of National Recovery Month each September is a time of celebration and recognition of the tens of millions of people who overcome mental health and substance use challenges every day and appreciation for the families and professional workforce who support us. Today we celebrate the re-introduction of Honoring National Recovery Month Act and urge Congress to pass it so that the 30+ year tradition will be sustainable for years to come.” Patty McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Faces & Voices of Recovery
“September 2021 National Recovery Month will be the most important in history as we face the devastation we are seeing and feeling from the pandemic and the opioid epidemic,” shared Gary Mendell, Shatterproof Founder and CEO. “It is critical that our nation work to get more people to high-quality treatment so they can start their recovery journey and that we continue to celebrate those who are in recovery. This legislation will enable resources for Recovery Month to empower people on their recovery journey. We need to continue to provide the tools for treatment and education so that individuals and their loved-ones get the support they need.”
This bill is endorsed by Faces & Voices of Recovery, National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery, The Kennedy Forum, Partnership to End Addiction, Shatterproof, National Council for Behavioral Health, The Voices Project, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals, Behavioral Health Association of Providers, Addiction Professionals of North Carolina, International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium, and Well Being Trust.
For a bill summary, click here.
For bill text, click here.