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September Is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

9/25/2001:   We Recover Together: Family, Friends, and Community is the theme of the 2001 Recovery Month initiative of the Center of Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is joining with these agencies and other national planning partners nationwide in celebrating individuals who are in recovery and recognizing treatment providers who dedicate their lives to helping those in need. This year’s theme also emphasizes that, although substance abuse is a widespread problem, treatment works. For additional information from SAMHSA and CSAT, go to http://www.health.org/recoverymonth/2001.

Speaking at the Recovery Month kick-off, held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on September 6, CWLA Executive Director Shay Bilchik noted that a majority of the 2.9 million children reported in one year to state child protective services as suspected victims of child abuse and neglect came from families that have problems with alcohol and other drugs (AOD). "To break the link between child abuse and substance abuse, parents need help from supportive systems and resources," he added. CWLA is leading an effort to raise awareness and increase treatment and other services by identifying best practices and promoting implementation of these efforts nationwide. It is also leading a collaborative effort to enact national legislation to obtain funding for the resources and programs needed to end substance abuse as a principal contributing cause of child abuse and neglect, and it is working to eliminate treatment disparities so all families in need have access to appropriate and quality treatment services.

This month, CWLA published a booklet, Alcohol, Other Drugs & Child Welfare that provides information and statistics on both the abuse of AOD and the relationship of AOD abuse to child welfare. Highlights of the booklet, the entire text, information on the Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug Partnership Act, and links to information about chemical dependency and how it affects children, are all available online at http://www.cwla.org/programs/chemical/recoverymonth.htm.

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