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Mayor Walsh, City of Boston recognize National Recovery Month

September 1, 2017

Recovery Services

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Recovery Services

Recovery Month is a national observance that aims to combat social stigma around addictions, celebrate recovery, and promote awareness.

 Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a series of events marking September as Recovery Month, a national observance that aims to combat social stigma around addictions, celebrate recovery, and promote overall awareness. The announcement comes one day after Mayor Walsh gathered local faith leaders for an interfaith service to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day.

"Recovery Month is a time when we highlight Boston's recovery community, those who are struggling with substance use disorders, their loved ones, and the care providers who support people on their recovery each day," said Mayor Walsh. "We know that addiction is a disease -- and those who are suffering need our help. This month is dedicated to all those who are working to improve their own lives and the lives of others."

In 2014, more than 11,000 people received services for substance use disorders in Boston, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In 2015, Mayor Walsh created the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services, which works closely with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), other City of Boston departments, state and federal agencies, local service providers, and community networks to build and support recovery services throughout the City.

Since then, Boston has more than doubled staff and expanded hours at the City's access to care program, created the City's first 24/7 recovery support hotline through 311, and added a street outreach team in heavily impacted areas. Most recently, Mayor Walsh doubled the capacity of the Mobile Sharps Team to pick up improperly discarded hypodermic needles, and began to pilot an engagement center for individuals in need of a space to spend time during the day and get connected to the many housing and recovery services offered by the City and partners.

As Chair of the National Task Force on Substance Abuse, Prevention and Recovery Services, Mayor Walsh has guided mayors around the country in innovative approaches to the national opioid epidemic. Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh presented the "Actions to Address Substance Use Disorders in America's Cities," which provides resources, recommendations, policies, and program solutions to help mayors respond locally to the devastating impacts of the national opioid. Mayor Walsh also led a naloxone and overdose prevention training for the group of mayors.

The Boston Public Health Commission, the City's health department, has provided similar overdose prevention and naloxone trainings since 2006, training more than 10,000 civilians a year in lifesaving skills. BPHC recently launched an overdose prevention and bystander online training, which provides information about the opioid epidemic and how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. It also includes practical, step-by-step guidance for performing rescue breathing and administering Narcan (naloxone).

In addition to Thursday's interfaith ceremony, the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services (ORS), in partnership with multiple City departments (Boston Public Health Commission, Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, Boston Fire Department), the State's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS), and other local organizations, announced a schedule of recovery events throughout the month of September.

"The Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) is delighted to partner with the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to celebrate Recovery Month," said MOAR Executive Director Maryanne Frangules. "This is an opportunity to make our faces visible; voices vocal, highlighting the value of recovery to all!"

Events during Recovery Month include:

  • Substance Use Recovery 101 Listen and Learn Brownbag Lunch Series

City Hall, Room 801, Thursdays in September (7, 14, 21, 28) from 12 - 1 p.m.

  • Boston Fire Department FAITH (Fighting Addiction in the Hub) Conference

Florian Hall, Friday, September 15, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  • 2nd Annual Citywide 5k Walk for Recovery

DCR Artesani / Herter Park, Saturday, September 16, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

  • MOAR & BSAS Recovery Day

City Hall Plaza (meet and march location) & Faneuil Hall (programming location), Wednesday, September 20, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • September City Hall Art Galleries | Month Long

o   "The Opioid Project" by Annie Brewster and Nancy Marks, City Hall, 2nd Floor Mayor's Neighborhood Gallery    

o   "When Women Succeed: The Quilted Path" by L'Merchie Frazier, City Hall, 5th Floor Balcony

More info is available at boston.gov/recovery and ORS' Twitter @ORSBoston. All are encouraged to use the hashtag #BosRecoveryMonth throughout September.