Today when you say “recovery,” people know what you mean. What began as a small, good idea more than two decades ago has grown into a national movement with multiple partners—including the media, workplaces, community coalitions, and Recovery Month planning partners—and a simple but profound message: “Recovery is the expectation.”
The recovery movement is reaching people at home, in the workplace, and in the community. At home, we reach families as they watch TV or access Facebook and YouTube on the Internet. The workplace also provides a venue in which to reach people. Data from SAMHSA’s recently released National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that 72 percent of current illicit drug users 18 or older are employed either full or part time. SAMHSA’s programs and Web site offer workplaces recent data, prevention messages, and information about treatment options. In the community, SAMHSA’s grant programs expand capacity and encourage reliable support services.
Dr. Eric B. Broderick, Acting SAMHSA Administrator. Dr. Broderick’s message is related to the cover story.
The entertainment industry and media have a profound impact on health knowledge and behavior. Nearly two-thirds of regular viewers report learning something new about health from TV shows, and one-third of viewers take action on what they learn. The entertainment industry, in collaboration with SAMHSA, is using its unique and powerful talents not only to entertain, but also to educate and influence audiences by taking time to create accurate depictions of substance abuse and mental illnesses.
Our work is paying off! Recent NSDUH data show significant decreases from 2002 to 2008 in illicit drug use by youth age 12 to 17. Alcohol use among this age group was significantly lower in 2008 compared with 2004. These declining rates of alcohol use among the youngest participants in the survey may be a leading indicator of an emerging pattern. Cigarette smoking among youth is also on a decline.
These findings are a result of work done in America’s living rooms and classrooms, in churches and synagogues, in the workplace, and in our neighborhoods. Families, schools, communities, and faith-based organizations are shaping the character of young people, and these youth are increasingly making healthy choices.
SAMHSA will continue reaching out to people everywhere, enhancing prevention, treatment, and support services, and acknowledging every step towards recovery.