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September is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month

September 1, 2021

Every year, Americans across the country observe September as National Recovery Month. This is a time of year the Benefit Funds likes to use to promote awareness and educate our members on the various issues that many of those with addiction face, and the different treatment options available to them. The goal of the Benefit Funds, through the Members Education and Network for Dependency (“MEND”) Program, is to help those with a mental health or substance abuse disorder live a healthy, sober, and rewarding life.

Recovery Month encourages people to take action and improve the availability of prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. The main message of Recovery Month is that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. Recovery is a lifelong process. However, with the right support system, it is attainable. Strength, support, and hope makes us resilient, and we are not alone.

Facts about Alcohol and Drug Addiction:

• About 14% of adults with illicit drug dependence reported receiving treatment in the past year, which did not vary by gender.1
• Men reported higher rates of illicit drug dependence than women, 3.8% to 1.9%.1
• Each year, approximately 5,000 youths under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking.2
• Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment. 3
• The misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana as the nation’s most common drug problem (after alcohol and tobacco), leading to troubling increases in opioid overdoses in the past decade.4
More than half of all adults drink alcohol, with 6.6% meeting criteria for an alcohol use disorder.5

Treatment that addresses both mental health and substance abuse disorders simultaneously have been associated with better outcomes such as:
• Reduced substance use.
• Improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning.
• Decreased hospitalization.
• Increased housing stability.
• Fewer arrests.
• Improved quality of life.
• Improved physical health– substance abuse greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, mental illness, liver damage, and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B&C.

For those individuals who are looking to receive treatment for their mental health or substance abuse disorders, one irrefutable fact remains –the support of family, friends, and the community at large is a critical facet of the overall recovery process. Affected individuals are very often in a state of denial, which makes seeking out treatment difficult at times. However, help is always available. If you or one of your eligible dependents is suffering from a mental health or substance abuse disorder, the NYCDCC Welfare Fund’s MEND Program is your resource for safe, confidential treatment. The MEND program can be reached by phone at (212) 366-7590 or by email at Information can also be found on the Benefit Funds’ website at

This month, please take the time to support not only those who are seeking treatment, or are in recovery, but all of those who are assisting in the treatment process and road to recovery. Please remember that there is no shame in asking for help, as MEND operates under strict confidentiality restrictions, you can trust that we are here to help you and your family.

For more information on Recovery Month, you can go to

1 Substance Use. MHRB,
2 Underage Drinking. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
3 Addiction Statistics – Facts on Drug and Alcohol Use. Addiction Center, 24 Mar. 2021,
4 Opioid Overdose Crisis. National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1 July 2021,
5 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP19-5068, NSDUH Series H-54). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from