CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- All around us in our communities, people are in recovery from mental and/or substance-use disorders. They are contributing to our businesses, connecting with their families, and giving back to the community.But if we want more people to join them on a path of recovery, we need to take action -- now. Too many people are still unaware that prevention works, and that addiction is a disease that responds well to treatment, just like other treatable health problems like diabetes and hypertension. We need to work together to understand that addiction is another type of health-care problem, and we need to make recovery the expectation.I have had the pleasure of seeing firsthand the benefits of recovery. Individuals who embrace recovery achieve improved mental and physical health, stronger relationships and a sense of self-worth. Mental and substance use disorders do not discriminate. They affect people of all ethnicities, ages, genders, geographic regions and socioeconomic levels. People need treatment and treatment is effective. We can't be discouraged by the prevalence of these problems, because help is available.To further educate communities about the pathways to recovery and to support people in recovery, every September, people throughout the nation celebrate National Recovery Month, an initiative sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Prestera Center is celebrating Recovery Month by holding a variety of educational and entertaining events in our treatment programs to honor individuals and families who are in long-term recovery. By spreading the word about treatment and recovery, you send a signal that embraces recovery and supports those working in the field to provide much-needed recovery services.
I urge local businesses, community organizations, colleges, schools, administrators and government agencies to get involved in celebrating Recovery Month. Let people know that help is available and treatment works.Prestera Center has been confidentially providing treatment services in our community for the past 45 years. New clients are welcome to drop in to begin their recovery journey at our service locations Monday through Friday between 8 and 9 a.m.Prestera Center also offers crisis on-call services through 1-800-642-3434 any time.Visit our website at prestera.org and "like" us on Facebook.We hope you will join in celebrating September as Recovery Month!Miller, an addiction counselor at Prestera Center for 22 years, is the organization's director of corporate development.