I want to talk about two very important, and exciting, events coming up- International Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month.
International Overdose Awareness Day is commemorated on August 31st each year. It is an iniative of The Penington Institute of Australia whose mission is to advance, “health and community safety by connecting substance use research to practical action.” It is observed by people across the globe to educate people on how to prevent overdose. It also hosts tributes to remember those who have lost their lives to drugs and alcohol through overdose. The organization aims to raise awareness about the risks and symptoms of overdose, share statistics, and encourage honest discussions about the risk of overdose associated with drugs and alcohol in households across the globe.
One of the most impactful parts about International Overdose Awareness Day is that events are hosted globally to spread awareness. No matter where you are, you can get involved in an event near you. Many of these events are centered on remembering the lives of those who lost the battle and to raise awareness so not another life is lost to addiction. To find out about events in your area you can visit the International Overdose Awareness site.
While International Overdose Awareness Day is somber day, it is followed by Recovery Month. September is a time where people can participate in local events, learn more about getting into recovery, and utilize press to raise awareness of the benefits that recovery brings. This month is very special to me. Not only am I in recovery, I witness the benefits of recovery through friends, family, and work on a daily basis. Having this firsthand experience, I can tell you that it is not nearly as easy as it seems.
If you had asked me what I was going through while active in my addiction, my response would have been, “not a lot”. I faced many challenges on my road to recovery and am truly grateful that I am now in the process of healing. I look back on my early sobriety and realize that this has been the most mentally challenging thing I have had to walk through. While I work a program that is, in theory, incredibly simple it can be very difficult to put into action- especially when stuck in addictive thinking.
Today, however, I wear my recovery like a badge of honor. I hope that I can be of example to others and help to motivate them to find recovery. While I may not be proud of some things in my past, I take great pride in the struggles I’ve faced and recognize that it’s nothing short of an amazing gift. A gift that can be taken at any moment if I am not persistent. Throughout Recovery Month, and beyond, I will be grateful for where I am today and continue to do what I can to help raise awareness about the endless benefits of recovery and sobriety!