National Recovery Month 2020: Celebrating Connections

For the last 31 years, September has been deemed National Recovery Month. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), embraces this month is an opportunity to celebrate the gains made by those in recovery. According to facesandvoicesofrecovery.org, the goal is to “promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation to make recovery in all its forms possible.”

Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections

The theme for 2020 National Recovery Month was Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections. Throughout the month, NADCP provided video messages of encouragement from celebrities who have a personal recovery story of their own. The Thank You Fridays messages featured actors Allison Janney, Marlee Matlin, Michael O’Neill, Taye Diggs, and Mary McCormack, as well as comedian Dion Flynn who spoke about the subtle messages around us every day that can help provide encouragement and motivation to be successful. 

Members of the recovery community also participated by submitting photos that share a visual of their own Recovery Story. Some of the inspiring responses to My Story is About . . . included, “Moving Forward!”, “Purpose”, “A Better Way”, and “I Am Worthy”.

The Role of Technology in Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Addiction

The most successful interventions leverage technology in conjunction with court-ordered participation in alcohol programs. In addition to support groups and therapy, requiring offenders to abstain from alcohol and be subject to continuous alcohol monitoring has been proven to be effective in reducing recidivism. Continuous alcohol monitoring begins with a critical assessment of a client, and then enforces accountability and compliance by promoting sobriety. 

Technology advancements continue to emerge that further the potential for client success. Software to help officers and agencies implement evidence-based practices, and mobile applications to provide ease of connection between officers and clients, are changing the landscape of recovery today. 

The combination of these resources—alongside traditional interventions—provides the optimal method for addressing the root cause of an individual’s alcohol misuse and abuse, ultimately supporting their recovery from addiction.


Sobering Up

National Safety Council Releases Data on 2020 Road Safety

National Safety Council 2020 Road Safety

The National Safety Council (NSC) has released information about the current safety of our roads, and the results may not be what you expect considering the impact COVID-19 has had on our daily routines. Despite sweeping stay-at-home orders for many months during the first half of the year—and far fewer drivers behind the wheel—NSC reports that the roads were deadlier.

Traffic Safety Challenges

According to the release, the U.S. experienced an estimated 20 percent jump in the death rate during the first half of 2020 compared to the same six-month period in 2019. Death rate data is used as an indicator of how safely drivers are using the roadways. According to NSC estimates, this increase in the death rate is the highest jump NSC has calculated for a six-month period since 1999. This is most notable when one considers that there was a 17 percent drop in the number of miles driven between January and June.

While the NSC announcement doesn’t directly identify causes for the dangerous roads, media coverage nationwide is reporting both drunk driving and a severe spike in speeding are frequent factors. With the anxiety and stress involved in enduring a global pandemic, many are turning to alcohol to cope and then getting behind the wheel. And with fewer cars on the roads, some drivers are shifting into high gear—driving 100 mph or more.

Which States’ Roads Were Deadliest?

Some states fared worse than others when it came to this trend. The top three states that reported notable increases in road fatalities during the first six months of 2020 were:

  • Vermont (+91%, 10 more deaths)
  • Connecticut (+44%, 45 more deaths)
  • District of Columbia (+42%, 5 more deaths)

Some states experienced decreases in the number of roadway deaths:

  • Wyoming (-49%, 39 fewer deaths)
  • Alaska (-31%, 11 fewer deaths)
  • Hawaii (-27%, 16 fewer deaths)

Making Roads Safer

In response to this data, NSC encourages motorists to focus on safety by obeying speed limits, designating a sober driver, and driving attentively while avoiding distractions.  

“Because of COVID-19 and states’ shelter-in-place orders earlier this year, the country should have reaped a safety benefit from less traffic,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Instead, our soaring rate of deaths speaks to our need to improve safety on our roads. Clearly, we must work harder as a society to reverse this trend, especially since the pandemic is not nearly over.”

NSC motor vehicle fatality estimates and supplemental information, including estimates for each state, can be found here.


Sobering Up