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Recovery Month, Grant Applications, and Building Resources for Recovery

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that at a given point in time in 2018, 164.8 million people in the United States reported substance use within the past month. About 40 million Americans suffer from an addiction to either drugs, alcohol, or both.

In one sense, the struggle with mental and substance use disorders never ends. Millions of Americans every day feel trapped by these disorders, the effects of which can wreak havoc on their behaviors, lives and health. These challenges can feel overwhelming on both an individual and broader level. However, it’s equally important to acknowledge and celebrate that every day, someone fights this battle and wins. Every day, individuals find the right treatment options, pursue them, and set off on the road to recovery.

To celebrate those successes, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month each September. It’s an occasion to focus not on the mental and substance use disorders themselves, but the possibilities afforded by treatment and recovery. With greater awareness and reduced stigma, recovery can be within reach. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,emphasizes the importance of connections and community, banding together to provide a broader network of resources to help individuals in crisis.

Conduent recognizes that the effort to build the broadest possible network to support recovery can’t be done in just one month. That's why, throughout September, we’ll be emphasizing ways that state government agencies, other government entities, and individuals can help to build resources in their communities and nationwide.

During Recovery Month itself, some of the most powerful resources for organizing local events and activities are available in this toolkit.

For long term planning, building resources and services is obviously not without cost. Agencies looking to develop or continue programs can apply for grant funds. is one place to start. Three things to keep in mind:

  1. Familiarize yourself with upcoming opportunities. For example, SAMHSA's block grants provide funding for substance abuse and mental health services. Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for 2019 are on the website; keep an eye out for 2020 FOAs in the coming months.  And remember that funding opportunities may exist in places that you least expect them, if you can make a compelling argument that achieving your program’s goals will further the agency’s agenda.
  2. Understand how to register and submit. Every agency or funding source has its own specific process, and some require advance registration. Make sure you’ve left sufficient time to work through the entire process. Attention to detail is important! Applications can be disqualified for any failure to completely comply with all requirements.
  3. Write a compelling, thorough request. Only you know exactly why funds are needed in your jurisdiction. Be sure that information is reflected in your application. Persuasive, clear writing goes a long way toward making your case.

Stay tuned for more blogposts about Recovery Month. You may also want to bookmark this toolkit and post on social media with the #RecoveryMonth hashtag.


About the Author

Pamela Knight-Schwartz, MPH is the Director of Public Health Consulting at Conduent Public Health Solutions. She has more than 15 years of experience in public health informatics, working in immunization information systems, disease surveillance systems, and prescription drug monitoring programs in corporate and government environments.

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