Today (September 14th) is National Sober Day! It’s part of National Recovery Month, an observance created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). National Sober Day—like National Recovery Month—breaks down stigmas about addiction and brings awareness to a widespread issue.
SAMHSA found that in 2014, 20.2 million adults aged 18 or older had a Substance Use Disorder. However, only 7.5% of those 20.2 million people received treatment. National awareness campaigns like National Sober Day shine a light on this problem, so that more people may seek—or gain access to—treatment.
But National Sober Day also honors the estimated 22 million Americans who are in recovery. That number is an estimation because we don’t track statistics for people in recovery like we do for those with active addictions.
Most people in the general population are aware that addiction is an issue, but may not realize how many people in recovery live among them. Several times since I’ve been sober, near-strangers have made jokes like, “Well, at least we can go to the bar later.” Especially with alcohol, it’s assumed every adult drinks.
National Sober Day not only brings awareness to an important issue that affects millions of Americans—it’s a chance for those who are sober to commemorate their recovery. Holidays are for celebration, so try to use this day to celebrate your sobriety.
It might be fun to create a ritual—like making a specific meal—as you might on a major holiday. Your sobriety is a major achievement and worth celebrating! Sober Day is a chance to show those new to recovery, or who don’t understand a lot about it, that sobriety is not dull.
National Sober Day is also a good time for those not in recovery to support their loved ones who are. This can look like checking in with a sober friend, telling your sober friend you’re proud of them, reading about how addiction and recovery affect your friend’s life, or staying sober for the day in solidarity.
Just like there’s no one right way to “do” recovery, there’s no one right way to honor this holiday. But this day—and the entire month—is a great reminder that your accomplishments in sobriety are worth celebrating.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is hope. TruHealing Centers across the country will help you build a fulfilling life without substances. This National Sober Day, get sober for good. To find out more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.