DHHS Joins Governor Cooper in Recognizing National Recovery Month

Raleigh

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is joining Governor Roy Cooper and many local, state and federal partners in recognizing September as National Recovery Month. Governor Cooper issued a proclamation this week, noting that more than 700,000 people in North Carolina have a substance use disorder.
 
National Recovery Month, sponsored by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), celebrates people in recovery and increases awareness and understanding of substance use disorder.
 
“Every month is important for people in recovery, and this month we honor those who are in recovery and all those supporting their hard work,” said Kody H. Kinsley, DHHS Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health & Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. “The stigma that prevent many individuals from seeking treatment must be vigorously combatted. This occasion also serves as a reminder that many North Carolinians need access to treatment and recovery supports.”
 
The NC Opioid Action Plan, released by DHHS last summer, has prioritized increasing access to treatment and recovery supports.
 
North Carolina provided opioid use treatment to more than 5,700 people in fiscal year 2017-18 through federal funding awarded by the 21st Century Cures Act, State-Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants. North Carolina currently has 70 opioid treatment programs that provide medication-assisted therapy to 20,000 people each day.
 
In July, Governor Cooper paved the way for DHHS to immediately apply for additional federal funding aimed at combatting the opioid crisis by issuing Executive Order No. 48. DHHS would use the funding to support efforts to combat the opioid crisis through prevention services, medication-assisted treatment and recovery-support activities for at least 5,000 individuals and by purchasing additional naloxone to combat overdoses.
 
For many people seeking recovery, assistance is available through peer support specialists. Certified Peer Support Specialists are people living in recovery with mental illness and/or substance use disorder who provide support, mentoring and coaching to others who can benefit from their lived experiences. There are more than 3,200 Certified Peer Support Specialists in North Carolina. More information about the program is available at https://pss.unc.edu/.
 
In North Carolina, Recovery Month is sponsored by DHHS’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services and a network of partner agencies holding events and rallies across the state. A full list of events is available on SAMHSA’s website.
 
Those with substance use disorder can get help by contacting their Local Management Entities-Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCO) for assistance with treatment or recovery.