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National Recovery Month

September proclaimed as National Recovery Month, annual Revere Beach Memorial ceremony planned

In a unanimous vote Monday night, the city council passed a resolution proclaiming September 2012 as National Recovery Month in Revere. The proclamation came via request from a group of awareness and city wellness programs: the Revere CARES’ Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Task Force, the Revere Beach Memorial Planning Committee, and the Power of Know Club at Revere High School.

Last year the council had also established September as National Recovery Month. The theme of September 2011—“Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover”—summarized the month-long awareness programs promoting drug and alcohol prevention. This year’s theme is “Join the Voices of Recovery: It’s Worth It.”

The proclamation states: “in 2010, 2.6 million people received specialty treatment for a substance use disorder and more than 31.3 million adults aged 18 or older received services for mental health problems, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Given the serious nature of this public health problem, we must continue to reach the millions more who need help.”

Another proclamation highlight: “The benefits of preventing and overcoming mental and/or substance use disorders are significant and valuable to individuals, families, and the community at large; and WHEREAS, we must encourage relatives and friends of people with mental and/or substance use disorders to implement preventative measures, recognize the signs of a problem, and guide those in need to appropriate treatment and recovery support services.”

Revere CARES Assistant Director Katie Sugarman stated in a communication to the council: “Each year, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) declares September as Recovery Month across the United Sates.”

She continued: “Since 1997, Revere CARES has worked closely with the City of Revere to address substance abuse and addiction in our community. In 2004, the Revere CARES Opiates Task Force began to focus on the frightening rates of opioid [psychoactive chemicals] overdose that have impacted many families in Revere.”

Due to a MassCALL2 grant from the Department of Public Health in 2008, Revere has established opioid prevention programs. The city also has a drop-in center at North Suffolk Mental Health Association. In addition, the fire department now carries Narcan (Naloxone injections designed to reverse the effects of opiate overdose). Such measures have made Revere “a leading community in the state in addressing opioid overdose,” Sugarman wrote.

On Sunday, September 23, the sixth annual Revere Beach Memorial will take place. Participants will take time to remember friends and family members who have lost their lives due to alcohol and drug abuse.

Proceeds from the event will go toward local substance abuse treatment programs, a Power of Know representative said to the council.

“This will always be an effort I fully support,” Councillor-at-Large Jessica Ann Giannino said prior to the vote Monday night.

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