After almost a decade of petitions, motions and multiple attempts by various MP’s and community leaders the Canadian House of Commons adopted a motion to designate the month of September as National Recovery Awareness Month.
Recovery Month Canada MOTION WINS in the House of Commons.
On September 28th, 2022 Member of Parliament for New Westminster-Burnaby Peter Julian tabled Motion-10 to recognize and support Canadians recovering from addiction and demonstrate that recovery from addiction is possible attainable and sustainable. The motion had joint seconders of MP Mike Morrice, and MP Gord Johns showing support from multiple parties. This declaration follows years of petitioning the Canadian government, with the first motion M551 being put forth in the House of Commons in 2014. Since then, there have been multiple petitions with thousands of signatures of support including over 2500 signatures this year alone. The United States has recognized September as National Recovery Month since 1989, providing a platform and support to their Recovery Communities and showcasing that recovery is real and that it works.
History of Neglect
Canada has a long history of underfunding and stigmatizing not only recovery efforts but the people in recovery as well. With top health officials saying “recovery doesn’t work”, “opiate users cant recover”, “only harm reduction works”
It is estimated in Canada that approximately 21% of the population (6 million people) will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime (CMHA Ontario). There was also a total of over 30,000 apparent opioid toxicity deaths since the Opioid Crisis began. Knowing these two pieces of information it is shocking that the Canadian government has dragged its feet for so long in even recognizing that recovery is possible.
The last time the motion was tabled in 2020 as M40 it was blocked by the Liberals, when all other political parties were in support. This reflects the stance of the current Liberal party and some Provinces in favour of a single pronged approach to addiction of Safe Supply only. This single method approach goes against the best practices that European countries like Portugal and Switzerland have used which are based on a Recovery Oriented System of Care that includes but is not limited to decriminalization and Safe Supply.
The petition outlined several reasons MPs should support the Recovery Month motion, including: connecting people to the community is key to successful long-term addiction recovery; and supporting the community plays a significant role in helping the community at large to learn about recovery, save lives with inspiration and educate people on how to access the health care system. It noted that recovery service providers across Canada are working together to overcome addiction and Recovery Day events are held across Canada in September.
“It’s been a long and difficult fight to get a unanimous consent support. It is vitally important that we designate every September as a National Recovery Month to recognize and support Canadians recovering from addiction and to demonstrate that recovery from addiction is possible, attainable, and sustainable,” Julian said in a news release. “I want to thank the recovery community and organizations across Canada who have been working so hard to promote and collect thousands of petition signatures.”
The Last Door stands with other service providers in celebration of the milestone of marking September as National Recovery Awareness Month, but also realize that this is only the beginning and so much more needs to be done to actually help people heal from addiction.
What is Recovery Month:
Petition to the House of Commons
- Connecting people to the community is key to successful long-term addiction recovery;
- A sociocultural approach to recovery involves both the individual and their social and physical environment;
- Supporting the community plays a significant role in helping the community at large to learn about recovery, save lives with inspiration and educate people on how to access the health care system;
- Community inspires recovery when it is founded on the principles of compassion, trust, faith, integrity, diversity, fun, and unity to provide therapeutic environments in which individuals and families are assisted in developing skills necessary to live freely in recovery;
- Recovery Service Providers across Canada are working together to overcome addiction;
- Recovery Day events held across Canada in September are open for all to attend, people in recovery, those who support recovery, and those who are still in active addiction looking for solutions are invited to participate, and
- Many local and provincial governments support the initiative to have the month of September declared “National Addiction Recovery Awareness Month”.
NOW WHAT? – there’s a Month for Recovery. How can you be involved?
Stakeholders from across Canada are being contacted to consider how this movement can gain traction in communities across Canada.
Early Bird Registration is now open – The Alberta Recovery Conference
Be sure to check out the Recovery Capital Conference on Feb. 21-22, 2023 at the Hyatt Regency Convention Centre to learn more about Recovery Oriented Systems of Care and the #AlbertaModel
Alberta is one Province that listened to the evidence shared at the previous 5 Recovery Capital Conferences.
More information on Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.
Toward an Alberta model of wellness, Recommendations from the Alberta Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council
Moving Toward a Recovery-Oriented System of Care: A Resource for Service Providers and Decision Makers
Presents ways that Canada can move towards a recovery-oriented system of care, based on six guiding principles for recovery, the findings from the Life in Recovery survey and the experience of professionals. The report concludes that we can promote the recognition of substance use disorder as a chronic health condition, develop targeted investments and establish a continuum of care to support Canadians with substance use disorders.
What is the #AlbertaModel?
The Alberta Model is a coordinated network of services and supports that builds on the strengths and resilience of individuals, families, and communities. The goal of the Alberta Model is for people to achieve a life free of illicit drugs and improved health, well-being, and quality of life for those with or at risk of addiction or mental health issues.