Illinois joins global campaign to raise awareness about opioid recovery during National Recovery Month

Chicago News USA

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced on Monday, August 31 the #RecoveryBelongs social media campaign in order to increase awareness and recognize International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD.) #RecoveryBelongs is the first step across the state to recognize the month of September as Recovery Month.

Illinois residents are encouraged to stand with nearly 13,000 IDHS staff on August 31 to raise awareness for recovery by wearing purple. City of Chicago buildings will also be lit purple through September 4.

“Despite the advances and progress we have made in educating residents about substance use disorder, many Illinois residents continue to face challenges,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “National Recovery Month sheds a light on substance use disorder, and the fact that effective treatment can, and does, lead to recovery. Local communities, providers, and activists are given the opportunity to celebrate life, raise awareness of harm reduction and recovery options, and highlight the impact of their work in combating addiction. We would like to thank our community partners for hosting events this month, and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago for lighting their buildings up purple to raise awareness.”

IDHS substance use disorder treatment, recovery and harm reduction partners host public awareness events such as trainings, speaking engagements, memorials and online activities during IOAD and Recovery Month. These events are critical to addressing and removing the stigma associated with overdose deaths and encouraging the public to support families and communities in remembrance of those who have lost their lives. It is also a time for celebrating people that are in recovery as a beacon of hope for those still struggling with substance use disorders.   

The IDHS Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) continues to promote and implement strategies targeted at reducing the harmful effects of substance use in Illinois. Since 2015, over 60,000 people in Illinois have been trained to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose through the Drug Overdose Prevention Program (DOPP) and groups enrolled in the program have been responsible for over 5,000 overdose reversals. In FY18 alone, SUPR also funded treatment services for over 34,000 people across the state who were suffering from substance use disorders.

To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month please visit https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=118655. If you or someone you know is suffering from an opioid use disorder or substance use disorder, contact the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances by calling 1-833-2FINDHELP (1-833-234-6343), texting “HELP” to 833234, or visiting: www.helplineIL.org.

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