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National Recovery Month: Celebrating Successes in Mental Health & Substance Use Recovery

We spend a lot of time focused on the struggles that come along with mental health and substance use disorders, but during National Recovery Month, we’re taking a different approach and recognizing and honoring those who have come through on the other side. 

At Retreat, we see firsthand just how difficult it can be to address aspects of mental health conditions and substance use. But through our mental health treatment programs, we also get the privilege of witnessing people learn to manage them and find success in recovery. Below, we’re taking a look at some of these success stories, as well as the history of National Recovery Month and our own best practices for helping people achieve sustainable recovery. 

What is National Recovery Month?

September is National Recovery Month, a month-long event established in 1989 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). This annual occurrence is intended to celebrate the successes of individuals in mental health and substance use recovery and reduce the stigma around treatment. In doing so, it serves as a reminder that substance use and mental health recovery are achievable, and that nobody has to suffer alone. 

Recovery Month accomplishes another big thing too, which is highlighting just how closely intertwined substance use and mental health really are. It’s this relationship that has served at the center of our holistic treatment model here at Retreat, and which, for many individuals, is foundational for getting effective support in their pursuit of recovery. 

When is Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month is held every year in September and is observed from the first of the month to the 30th. 

Showcasing Success in Mental Health & Substance Use Treatment

We’ve had the honor of working with countless individuals on their paths to recovery. And along the way, we’ve been inspired by many of them and their ability to show strength and perseverance in the face of serious health challenges. 

Here are three Retreat patients who have shared their stories of success with us. We encourage you to click through to our testimonials page to learn more about these and other patients’ stories, and to join us in celebrating the amazing accomplishment that is substance use and mental health recovery.


Damien came to Retreat on the hunt for the underlying cause of his substance use disorder. After failing to find success at a previous treatment program, he was ultimately able to achieve recovery by prioritizing self-awareness and good health, using meditation and other holistic techniques to not only figure out the source of his substance use behaviors but to confront those behaviors head-on. 


Eric lost everything to his substance use disorder. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to change his life, and that recovery was the only way to do it. He credits individual therapy with helping him open up and face the problems that were holding him back, and today he gives back to others as a Clinical Aid at our Retreat Behavioral Health treatment center. 


Sarena was nervous to start treatment, but she was also tired of living every day with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder. During her time at Retreat, Sarena was able to address a number of traumas that had been contributing to her mental health struggles. She also found a lot of support through the community she built with other patients, achieving recovery while also establishing key connections and positive relationships. 

The Power of Holistic Recovery

The path to recovery is different for everyone. However, time and again we have seen individuals succeed through non-12-step recovery paths and programs, a holistic approach that goes beyond the traditional process made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs. 

We’ve learned that true recovery is only possible by treating the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Holistic substance use and mental health treatment allow patients to identify and address the root causes of their behaviors, building more self-awareness and confidence and focusing not just on what they’re doing but why

If you or a loved one are dealing with a mental health or substance use disorder, please know that recovery is possible. Let National Recovery Month be the inspiration you need to start the treatment journey, and together, let’s look forward to celebrating even more successes in the future.