International Overdose Awareness Day & National Recovery Month

The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR), invites all Illinois residents to host or attend events to help celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) on August 31st and during National Recovery Month in September.

IOAD is recognized worldwide as the day to increase awareness about the tragic loss of life related to drug overdoses and to help in reducing the stigma that still surrounds substance use-related deaths. In 2021, Illinois lost more than 3,000 residents to overdose. These deaths impacted loved ones and their communities and, yet still, overdoses continue to take too many parents, children, siblings, significant others, and friends.

IOAD provides a special time for remembrance of these losses that should never be hidden or minimized due to stigma as we know that many families continue to suffer in silence. On this day we hope everyone will stand with these families and communities in remembrance and continue this support into the future. Visit International Overdose Awareness Day to learn more.

In addition to IOAD, September has been designated every year as National Recovery Month. During this time, we recognize the gains made by persons in recovery and highlight the many successful pathways to recovery for those who may still be suffering from the tragic impact of a substance use disorder.

Since 2020, Faces & Voices of Recovery has helped to coordinate Recovery Month events by hosting a website, managing social media outreach, developing, and disseminating promotional materials and maintaining the central location for all Recovery Month events.

Please visit Faces and Voices of Recovery to add your events and help to highlight what recovery means to Illinois! If your organization plans to use social media as part of your events, please tag @ILHelpline and add #RecoveryBelongs to any of your posts. We hope you will also join over 13,000 IDHS staff by wearing purple during the month of September in recognition of the many Illinois residents who have learned that recovery is possible through their own achievement.

IDHS/SUPR remains committed to supporting efforts to reduce overdose deaths and to support those in recovery, not only in September, but as part of our central core mission. During state fiscal year 2022, over 30,300 people in Illinois were trained to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose and more than 97,000 naloxone kits have been distributed by organizations enrolled in our Drug Overdose Prevention Program (DOPP).

In the same year, those organizations were responsible for over 2,550 overdose reversals. Additionally, SUPR provided treatment funding for over 50,000 people and partnered with national recovery support organizations to expand these services throughout Illinois.

Recovery Corps is our partner for workforce development programs through the provision of technical assistance on hiring, training, and supervising future Recovery Professionals. Oxford Inc. is our partner for the expansion of Oxford House Recovery Homes and over 30 new homes have been added in Illinois in the past year!

Faces and Voices of Recovery provides technical assistance by assessing and training existing and potential Recovery Community Organizations throughout the state. Currently, IDHS/SUPR is supporting the development of the Statewide ROSC (Recovery Oriented System of Care) Leadership Center which will enhance and expand ROSC development by offering mentoring services and technical assistance to new and existing ROSC councils.

As a result, ROSC councils have more than doubled over the past two years!

We hope that you are as excited as we are with all our progress to help Illinois residents overcome the devastating impact caused by the opioid crisis and many other substance related illnesses and deaths.

We share this success with you and hope that you will help us all celebrate these accomplishments and the real possibility of recovery during September. And don't forget, in September, wear purple!