September is Recovery Month

Emotional disorders, substance abuse disorders can be successfully treated 

One of the most positive trends in health care is that some common health issues, such as depression, alcohol and drug abuse, have come out of the shadows. Because more people are willing to openly acknowledge the damage caused by these health problems, more Americans than ever have sought help and achieved full recoveries.

There is no denying that these problems, broadly classified as behavioral health disorders, take a heavy toll. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports: 

  • Among adults aged 18 or older, 43.8 million, or 18.5 percent of adults, had any mental, behavioral or emotional illness in 2013.
  • Among those who had such illnesses, 19.6 million (44.7 percent) received mental health services.
  • On the average, more than 33,000 died each year between 2001 and 2009 as a result of suicide, or about one person every 15 minutes.
  • Among people aged 12 and older, 21.6 million, or 8.2 percent of the population, were classified in 2013 with drug or alcohol dependence or abuse.

The good news is that prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover.

A study published by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse found that most people who get into treatment and remain stop using drugs and improve their ability to function in work and life.

Other research shows that support from family and friends, and those in peer-recovery groups, is very helpful in helping people recover from addictions and other behavioral health issues.

Behavioral health issues may not be visible in the same way that physical diseases can be, but they still affect your overall health. And just as health care providers treat broken arms and diabetes, they also can help you on your journey to recovery from substance abuse disorders and emotional disorders.

For questions regarding mental health or chemical dependency services, please call the number listed on the back of your member ID card. If you are in the Portland area, you can also call the Providence Behavioral Health access line at 503-574-9235.