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September proclaimed recovery month

By Staff
Special to the Advance
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and local mayors across Alabama are recognizing September as Alabama Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The governor and local officials urge communities to support efforts to make substance abuse treatment available to all in need. It is estimated that 76 percent of those in need of treatment for a problem with illicit drugs did not seek or receive treatment. Among those most in need of effective, coordinated services are men, women and youth who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and may have co-occurring mental disorder or co-existing physical illness. Millions of people are in need of treatment for both substance abuse and mental disorders, but too often they are undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or slip through the cracks entirely, such as those in our nation's homeless population. Half of the people living in our streets have co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders.
"Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction have devastating health and societal consequences. Substance abuse is the root cause of a myriad of health problems-it causes tens of thousands of deaths each year, and untreated addiction takes an enormous economic toll- and estimated $294 billion annual," said Yosha Wallace, drug treatment counselor at J.O. Davis Correctional Facility.
"But it can be treated successfully. For this reason, the Recovery Month 2003 theme, "Join the voices for recovery, celebrating health," is especially appropriate. Recovery month is the right time to highlight the benefits of substance abuse treatment and encourage individuals with drug and alcohol problems to begin their journey of recovery."