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Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Recognizing National Recovery Month  

News Release
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services202-690-6343
Twitter @HHSGov
Friday, September 1, 2023
  Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Recognizing National Recovery Month  
National Recovery Month represents an opportunity to recognize the strength and resilience of individuals who have triumphed over addiction and mental health challenges. Mental health and substance use disorders (SUD) are often misunderstood, stigmatized, and overlooked, but at their heart are people in despair looking for an open door and a helping hand.    In Everett, Washington, I met a patient at a hospital program for substance use treatment who told me that she went into a coma due to fentanyl withdrawal. This patient lost her vision, her ability to walk, 40 percent of her memory, and almost her life. But thankfully, today like 23 million others, she is in recovery.    At HHS, we recognize that recovery is the destination we want every person who struggles with SUD to reach. To that end we have prioritized recovery within our HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy. Released in 2021, the Overdose Prevention Strategy recognized for the first-time as part of a federal strategy, long-term recovery. In addition, we launched an Office of Recovery, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to advance the agency’s commitment to, and support of, recovery for all Americans.    By commemorating National Recovery Month, we affirm that recovery is attainable, and a living testament to the myriad services, treatments, and support systems that make this transformation possible.     Let’s come together as a community to celebrate victories and renew our commitment to a future where every individual has the treatment, support and resources they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. The road to recovery is a shared journey, and together, we can open doors and offer a helping hand.     ###    National Recovery Month and Overdose Awareness Day are reminders that with support, people struggling with substance use disorders can recover and lead healthy and prosperous lives. HHS is prioritizing behavioral health to ensure people receive the support they need to recover and thrive. Now, more than ever, HHS is working closely with communities and families to deliver evidence-based, culturally appropriate, and person-centered care. – Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm
  We recognize National Recovery Month by stressing that we all have an opportunity and an obligation, to help people access the health care they need. CMS efforts towards expanding access to behavioral health services will enhance access to equitable and high-quality behavioral health services and improve outcomes for everyone covered by our programs. – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure
  National Recovery Month represents an important time to celebrate those in recovery and acknowledge the dedication and impact of the entire support community making recovery achievable. As part of the FDA’s Overdose Prevention Framework, we have taken several critical actions, among which include expanding access to naloxone and limiting unnecessary initial prescription drug exposure, to prevent drug overdoses and reduce deaths. The FDA will continue to do our part as a regulatory public health agency to prevent misuse and addiction, reduce fatal overdoses, and provide evidence-based treatment and recovery support. – Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Robert M. Califf, M.D.
  All of us know someone or have a loved one who has experienced a substance use disorder. My own Dad suffered for years. It’s important that we all talk about treatment and getting support and show communities that you are not alone. Discrimination, bias, and stereotypical beliefs about substance use disorders and treatment can lead to unnecessary barriers to care and help. OCR is working hard to promote compliance through our civil rights and HIPAA enforcement and policy work.

– Office for Civil Rights Director, Melanie Fontes Rainer
    This National Recovery Month, ACF celebrates and supports the individuals and families who play a crucial role in providing recovery support during their loved one’s journey. We know that together we are stronger, and recovery takes all of us—individuals, providers, government, and communities. We understand and recognize the importance of prevention and treatment for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders and are proud to support and promote recovery with grants, research, and national technical assistance efforts such as the Head Start Heals campaign, which supports the social, emotional and behavioral health of children, families, and staff. – Administration for Children and Families Acting Assistant Secretary, Jeff Hild
  During Recovery Month, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality celebrates the lives that have been transformed through recovery, and we recognize the role that evidence-based treatment plays in addressing substance use disorders. Recovery Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge the resilience of our nation’s recovery community, the loving support of families and loved ones, and dedication of service providers and stakeholders that help to make this celebration possible. – Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Director, Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D., M.H.S.A.
  National Recovery Month is a time to lift up the work communities across the country are doing to make recovery possible. The Health Resources and Services Administration supports community-based organizations across rural America, health centers in thousands of historically underserved communities that provide care regardless of individuals ability to pay, and Ryan White/HIV care providers in cities and states across the country. Together, these grantees are on the frontlines in helping communities provide access to substance use disorder care and in helping people find their path to recovery. At the same time, at HRSA, we are investing in the recruitment and training of the next generation of the behavioral health workforce and in training the primary care workforce to respond to and treat opioid and other substance use disorders. We are committed to pulling all the levers we can to offer not just hope, but the affordable treatment needed to make recovery possible. – Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator, Carole Johnson
  Addiction affects every community in America. Since 1989, September has served as an opportunity for us to reaffirm our support for the recovery community, reflect on new evidence-based treatments, and thank the providers and loved ones who help make recovery possible. If you are in recovery, please know that you are not alone and that you have much to be proud of. During National Recovery Month, let us remember to check in with our support system and reach out to those we love. – U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy
  Recovery is achievable, but it takes time and must be catered to the unique aspects of an individual’s life. We enter National Recovery Month with continued dedication to research on social determinants of health and disparities that can greatly impact a person’s experience with addiction, with the goal to better personalize recovery support and to help people maintain and sustain recovery regardless of their circumstances. – Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, Nora Volkow, M.D.
  National Recovery Month reminds us that the road to health is paved with resilience, compassion, and unwavering support. By working together at the federal, state, and local levels, we can extend access to Naloxone, develop innovative mental health and substance misuse therapies, provide support to medical providers for continued compassionate care, and create communities that celebrate human resilience and the power of possibilities. – Assistant Secretary for Health, ADM Rachel Levine
  During National Recovery Month, the Indian Health Service stands united in recognizing the resilience of individuals, families, and communities in their journey to recovery. This month serves as a powerful reminder that recovery is achievable, and unwavering support is at hand. Our commitment extends to promoting evidence-based treatments, raising public consciousness about addiction recovery, and honoring the tireless efforts of health care providers within American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Together, we pave the path to recovery, embracing every form it takes. – Indian Health Services Director, Roselyn Tso
  Millions of Americans rely on behavioral health services to help them successfully manage mental health conditions, recover from substance use disorders, or both. Increasing the availability of behavioral health services that meet the unique needs of disabled people and older adults, ensuring those services are accessible to people with all types of disabilities, and helping people connect to them are crucial to ensuring that older adults and disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else to live and fully participate in their communities. – Administration for Community Living Principal Deputy Administrator, Alison Barkoff
  National Recovery Month is an important time to acknowledge the dedication of the recovery community in supporting Americans who struggle with addiction. Health information technology can be an important tool to protect patient privacy while allowing providers appropriate access to the information they need to provide necessary care and support for those individuals seeking recovery. – National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., M.P.P.
  As we observe National Recovery Month, we reflect on the challenges of substance abuse and the critical importance of access to recovery resources. As stewards of public health, we must strive to always account for these challenges, and do our best to maintain a system that the American public can depend on to support recovery from substance abuse.  – Departmental Appeals Board Chair, Constance B. Tobias
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