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Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month. 2023’s theme is Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.” This month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance use and mental health.

Source: Faces & Voices of Recovery (Social Media Graphics – Recovery Month (

Recovery Journey

Wherever you are in your recovery, you are doing great! Not every day is going to be a walk in the park. If you’re having one of those days, think about what’s helped you in the past. If you’re having a hard time with that, or want new ideas, consider one of these:

  • Get creative: journal, paint, woodwork, make music, sew, or take pictures
  • Move: hike, yoga, swim, or anything active that you enjoy doing
  • Get outside: hike, ski, have a picnic, plant a garden
  • Help others: volunteer at a nonprofit, help your neighbors, make care packages for those experiencing homelessness, share your story with someone who is thinking about seeking help
  • Learn something new: take a cooking class, learn a new language, learn to play music, etc.
  • Plan a party: people want sober ways to socialize. Consider book club, scavenger hunt, skiing, or anything else that you’re interested in. Chances are, someone else is interested in doing that sober.
  • Get organized: declutter your bedroom, meal prep, get a planner for your obligations
  • Get involved in the recovery community: share your story, support others in their journey, etc.
  • Need Inspiration? Check out stories from Recover Alaska. (Recover Alaska’s focus is alcohol.)

Other things for consideration:

  • Did you know tobacco use increases the chances of relapse for other drugs? If you use tobacco, consider quitting to help your recovery from other drug use.
  • Quitting tobacco can also help improve mental health. Many who quit report better mental health. (The nicotine withdrawal may not be fun, but it’s temporary. People have made it through it. There’s also medication available to help with it.)

Source: Recover Alaska (Sober Heroes 2023: Johon EchoHawk Atkinson – YouTube)


  • Alaska Tobacco Quitline: call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or text READY to 34191. If you’re dealing with a behavioral health condition, you can get free additional support for your journey quitting tobacco.
  • Recover Alaska: looking for help with alcohol? Check out Recover Alaska!
  • VOA Alaska: offers youth based services to support behavioral and mental health.
  • NAMI Alaska: get information about mental health resources from the Alaska Chapter of NAMI.
  • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: call 988 if experiencing thoughts of suicide or if you are experiencing instance emotions.
  • SAMHSA Find Treatment: help finding treatment for your needs.


  1. Cigarette smoking is associated with increased risk of substance use disorder relapse: A nationally representative, prospective longitudinal investigation – PMC (
  2. Smoking cessation during substance abuse treatment: What you need to know – ScienceDirect
  3. Do people with mental illness and substance use disorders use tobacco more often? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (

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