National Recovery Month 2023

“Recovery is for Everyone”

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
7 min readAug 15, 2023

By Jeremiah Gardner

NOTE: This was published for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s monthly Recovery Advocacy Update. If you’d like to receive our advocacy emails, subscribe today.

Faces & Voices of Recovery: the home for National Recovery Month

Get ready. It’s the time of year recovery advocates around the country feverishly plan for the exciting whirlwind that is National Recovery Month — September. It’s a time of especially concentrated effort to educate the public about recovery from substance use and mental health disorders and the harms of stigma and discrimination; advocate for those we serve and for access to the care they deserve; and celebrate the millions who are living in recovery today so that others might catch a glimpse of what’s possible. (And for many of us, because of the extra commitments and deadlines, it’s also a time that warrants special attention to self-care.)

At the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, we are planning to host and engage in many events and activities across the U.S., including our sure-to-be-rockin’ Sober Tailgate Party in St. Paul that will double as an opportunity to make a lifechanging impact for veteran and military families.

Registrations for the Sept. 30 tailgate are now open, and we’re grateful to some amazing collaborators: planning partner Bold North Recovery, Mobilize Recovery, Semper Fi Flo, United Heroes League, CVS Health and the Minnesota Vikings, Wild, Lynx and Timberwolves among others.

The Sober Tailgate will be one of hundreds of events taking place on International Recovery Day, which this year will also be the first-ever Recovery Month Day of Service — an effort spearheaded by our friends at Mobilize Recovery to harness the power of the substance use and mental health recovery community to create a better world through service. Check out the Mobilize Recovery Day of Service website to find events and activities in your area and add your own.

Mobilize Recovery Day of Service

A day after the tailgate — on Sunday, Oct. 1 — we’re hosting a workshop at Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul — one of a handful of Mobilize Recovery 2023 regional events. The event will be a workshop for up to 100 recovery advocates interested in collaborating to create more and better sober social experiences in our community — specifically, at major Minnesota entertainment venues. We’re calling the workshop Sober Scene, and registrations are now open.


On Aug. 27, Hazelden Betty Ford will get a jumpstart on Recovery Month by sponsoring and participating in Recovery Day with the Seattle Mariners. It promises to be a full day of fun, community, baseball, and showing the world that WE DO RECOVER! Tickets include pre-event activities at Occidental Park, a cool T-shirt, and game seating in an alcohol-free section of T-Mobile Park.

Recovery Day at the Mariners | Seattle Mariners (

Washington, DC

One of the notable early activities in September will be Faces & Voices of Recovery’s Recovery Month Kickoff Luncheon, followed immediately by SAMHSA’s first-ever Walk for Recovery on Sept. 7 in Washington, D.C.

Ten days later in DC, a contingent from Hazelden Betty Ford will join Grammy-award winning artist Macklemore and many others at Mobilize Recovery’s 2023 Annual Meeting. We are a partnering sponsor of the event.


Hazelden Betty Ford is also a proud sponsor of Oregon Recovers’ series of recovery walks, which this year will take place in six cities, starting Sept. 9 in Bend and ending Oct. 7 in La Grande. The other walks include Portland on Sept. 17, Medford on Sept. 22, Klamath Falls on Sept. 24 and Eugene on Sept. 30.

In addition, we’re hosting Hazelden Betty Ford’s annual Oregon Coastal Recovery Retreat on Sept. 15 — a weekend of fun, fellowship, and recovery renewal in Newport, Ore.


In the Windy City, Hazelden Betty Ford will be the presenting sponsor of the SHE RECOVERS® Professional Symposium on Sept. 28 and also a sponsor of the SHE RECOVERS in CHICAGO Conference on Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The professional symposium, entitled The Healing Power of Stories, will feature keynote speaker Lipi Roy, MD, MPH, FASAM, an internal medicine physician board-certified in addiction medicine and host of the YouTube series, Health, Humor and Harmony. Hazelden Betty Ford’s Carrie Bates will emcee, and our Cecelia Jayme will be among many great speakers.

New York City

We have submitted a request to get the Empire State Building lit up in purple in recognition of Recovery Month. We’re hoping it coincides with a private Recovery Month event we’re holding on Sept. 14 and/or International Recovery Day but will be happy if it’s lit up at any time, or multiple times, during the month.

Faces & Voices of Recovery is encouraging recovery advocates everywhere to reach out to local officials with requests to light up landmarks and monuments in purple for International Recovery Day.

More in Minnesota

On Sept. 9, Hazelden Betty Ford will sponsor and participate in Minnesota Recovery Connection’s Walk for Recovery at the state capitol in St. Paul — one of our favorite events of the year. We’ll also join MRC for Rally Caps for Recovery Day with the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 12 and a Gratitude Breakfast at Augsburg University on Sept. 21.

On Sept. 23, we’re sponsoring the 3rd annual Ghost Notes Fall Music Block Party in south Minneapolis. This alcohol-free event is organized by the nonprofit Dissonance, which promotes mental health and well-being in and through the arts. It will feature a top-tier bar of alcohol-free craft cocktail and NA beer options, food vendors, an art and jewelry fair, wellness resources, and activities for youth.

The weekend of Sept. 22–24, we’ll offer a retreat — Sober Mom: How to Love and Believe In You — at Hazelden Betty Ford’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center in Center City, Minn. And we’ll keep the retreats going in October with Healing from Trauma with Jennifer Storm on Oct. 6–8; Roadmap for the Journey: A Path for Couple Recovery on Oct. 13–15; and a planned special event with international yoga, meditation and recovery guru Tommy Rosen on Oct. 26–29.

Additionally, Hazelden Betty Ford is sponsoring the Recovery Community Network’s Annual Recovery 5K and Picnic at Sturgis Park in Buffalo, Minn., on Sept. 23, and its annual Banquet for Recovery featuring keynote speaker and Minnesota broadcasting legend Don Shelby on Sept. 30 in St. Cloud, Minn.

On the heels of Recovery Month, Hazelden Betty Ford will host its 2023 Youth and Family Behavioral Health Conference: Empowering Change and Wellbeing. Join us either in person or virtually and choose the day that works best for you: Oct. 5 (in-person will be in Minneapolis) or Oct. 6 (in-person will be in Plymouth, Minn).


Hazelden Betty Ford will collaborate with Shatterproof and the Health Action Alliance on a Sept. 14 to present a National Employer Briefing on Recovery-Ready Workplaces.

During Recovery Month, we’re also presenting a series of online renewal sessions on the Twelve Steps, starting with Step 1 on Sept. 5 and concluding with Step 12 on Sept. 20.

A couple last things

  • On Sept. 20, we’ll join others around the country in recognizing National Addiction Professionals Day and celebrating all those working on the front lines to help more individuals and families recover.
  • On Sept. 28, Hazelden Publishing will launch a digital version of the much-anticipated The ASAM Criteria® 4th Edition (to include embedded tools and case studies to make the criteria more user-friendly than ever before) and begin taking preorders for the hard-copy book. Utilized by care providers, insurers, educators, and others, The ASAM Criteria is the most comprehensive and widely used set of national standards for conducting a comprehensive multidimensional assessment and determining the appropriate level of care for patients with addiction, helping millions get on an appropriate path to recovery.

Jeremiah Gardner is director of communications and public affairs for the nonprofit Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and a board member with Faces & Voices of Recovery.

Jeremiah Gardner



Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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