9/2/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot - International Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Month

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Good Afternoon, IDHS Staff,

On August 31st, Illinois joined a global campaign to celebrate International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD). The day acknowledges those who lost their lives due to substance use and the grief felt by families and friends who lost a loved one. IOAD increases awareness and reinforces that recovery is possible, and that overdoses can be prevented. As we come together today to launch September as Recovery Month, we must remember our responsibility in being a resource to Illinois residents when they need us most.

Recognized as the ravenous disease that substance use is, Recovery Month celebrates the tremendous gains by those who have found hope and treatment. In 2018, we led the way in providing more than 34,000 Illinois residents with access to services that could make recovery possible.

I would like to specifically thank our Division of Substance Use Recovery and Prevention. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, you responded with compassion by working with providers and partners to ensure that lifesaving critical services continued without interruption. At a time when many were at a loss and facing unprecedented circumstances, you provided solace in reassuring Illinois residents that they were not alone.

Due to the many challenges presented by the pandemic, coming together to celebrate Recovery Month is even more important. Recovery Belongs in Illinois, but we can only be successful when we work together. We invite you to join in celebrating Recovery Month. Join our online conversation by posting your photos and other updates to social media with #RecoveryBelongs. (Staff who wish to join the online conversation should do so on their own time and should not use a State device.) City of Chicago buildings will also be lit purple, for Recovery Month, through September 4th.

If you or someone you know is battling with substance use, we encourage you to contact the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances by calling 1-888-234-6434, texting "HELP" to 833234, or visiting: www.helplineIL.org.

Recovery is real, and there are options to get there.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS