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National Recovery Month entering 25th year in September

National Recovery Month, under the US Department of Health and Human Services, is entering its 25th year of teaching people that addiction and mental health services can lead to a productive, satisfying life for those afflicted with a mental health and/or substance abuse disorder. Drug addiction takes lives, but recovery restores lives for the addict and his or her family.

Celebrated every September, it was initiated as "TreatmentWorks" to support and praise those receiving services for mental health and substance abuse. National Recovery Month creates an opportunity to identify the providers in the community who are committed to recovery, raise awareness of services throughout the community and reinforce a message of hope that treatment works. Its toolkit provides comprehensive information about resources in some of these communities.

Community leaders interested in learning more about community events can open their own toolkit for assistance.

Locally, Mike Solomonov is a famous chef and a recovering drug addict who entered treatment over 11 years ago. In an interview with Frank Bruni, New York Times, Solomonov discussion of Israeli culture and cuisine led to a more personal conversation about his struggle with crack cocaine and heroin - and how it worsened after his brother, David, died in Israel. With partner, Steve Cook, he is the owner of the restaurants Zahav, Percy Street Barbecue, Federal Donuts, Dizengoff (newly open), and Abe Fisher (opening in September). As Solomonov told Bruni:

“Nobody expects somebody like me to be a recovering crack head. I felt I was holding back.”

There will be 501 events held nationwide to raise awareness about treatment, including these two in the Philadelphia and southern New Jersey area:

In Philadelphia, Citizens Bank Park will be the site of National Recovery Night at the Baseball Game Baseball game. It is held annually to highlight recovery among attendees and spotlight SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month. The event sponsors 500 sober Phillies fans to sit together in alcohol/drug-free sections. It's one of seven National Recovery Month event planned in the Commonwealth.

In southern New Jersey, Maryville Addiction Center will be holding a 2 Mile Fun Walk & 5K Run on Sunday, September 14, 2014 at Cooper River Park at 1301 North Park Drive, Pennsauken, NJ 08110. The check-in time is 8:00 am. Start time is 9 am. Children age 12 and under enter free. Registration is $20. per person until 9/8/2014 and $25. after 9/8/2014. Proceeds benefit the Peter P. Black IV Scholarship Fund at Maryville.

For organizations aspiring to hold an event in 2015, the Recovery Month website offers tips and direction for writing a fundraising plan and identifying potential funding sources.

Information about Recovery Month will be updated as September approaches.

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