Find a Clinician

National Recovery Month

September 19, 2022


September is National Recovery Month and we want to celebrate all of those who are in recovery! SAMSHA defines recovery as “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

There are many individuals experiencing issues related to alcohol and substance use, but only a small percentage reach out for treatment. In 2020, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 41.1 million people needed substance use treatment in the past year, but sadly, only 6.7 million people received any substance use treatment/treatment in a specialty facility.

One of our missions at Shawnee Health is to break down barriers to receiving treatment and continue to increase the understanding of addiction, addiction treatment, and recovery.

Here are some common stigmas related to addiction and treatment:

If you relapse, you have failed.

Relapse can be a part of recovery.  Although, it doesn’t have to be, we are aware it may occur.  A relapse often “begins” much earlier than the actual use of the substance.  It is more of a process as opposed to an event.  A relapse does not mean you have failed. It may mean that the work in treatment needs to be adjusted or increased, and it can be helpful to reflect on the relapse to help strengthen skills and recovery.

Willpower is all you need to stop using alcohol and/or other substances.”

Certainly, a desire to stop using alcohol and/or other substances can aid us in the journey, but we cannot rely on willpower alone. Substance use disorders are more than just the behavior of using.  Treatment can help to identify and strengthen coping skills, as well as work on addressing the underlying triggers, emotions, or thoughts that lead to use.  Often, these underlying factors exacerbate the use. Some examples of underlying factors could include: divorce, loss of job, grief, loss of independence, trauma, loneliness, feelings of rejection, anxiety, depression or other mental health symptoms.

Medication during recovery is just switching one addiction for another.”

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) defines addiction as a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.  Just like other chronic diseases, there is now medication available for a substance use disorder to help support an individual’s recovery.  Medication for substance use disorders is an evidence-based treatment option an individual may choose to utilize. Substance use disorders are a chronic condition, and it is common for chronic conditions to require long-term treatment. In addition, medication for substance use disorders can reduce an individual’s risk of an overdose.

At Shawnee Health:

  • We offer Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) at Shawnee Health through primary care for those who want to stop using heroin or other opioids (“pain killers” such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Hydrocodone, and others)
  • Substance use counseling
  • Behavioral Health Treatment from our Shawnee Health Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

You are not alone. Recovery is possible and we are truly honored to be a helping hand in your journey.


by Alexandria Markel, LCPC

Alexandria Markel, LCPC

Posted in Blog by marketing

All Shawnee Health clinics are currently closed. If you need to get ahold of the On-Call Provider, call 618-519-9200, press option #1, select your “specialty” needed and follow the prompts for our On-Call Provider. If you are dealing with an emergency please call 911 or visit the ER.

Skip to content