WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), applauded the unanimous passage of their bipartisan resolution—led by Senators Capito and Angus King (I-Maine)—designating September 2022 as “National Recovery Month.” The senators’ resolution comes as overdoses are rising across the nation. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) was also a co-sponsor of the resolution.

2021 saw a 15% increase in overdose deaths nationwide, with communities across the country losing over 100,000 loved ones – including more than 1,400 in West Virginia. The resolution specifically recognizes the many challenges contributing to growing substance use disorders and the need for more community resources and education to help address the crisis.

“Raising awareness of the available treatment and recovery measures is incredibly important as addiction continues to devastate communities and families in West Virginia and across the country. I am hopeful that with this resolution, which designates the month of September as ‘National Recovery Month,’ that more people will become educated about treatment options and supports for those in recovery. This is a critical component of the spectrum of solutions needed to save lives and fight back against the scourge of addiction, and I am proud to lead my colleagues in introducing this resolution,” Senator Capito said.

“The drug epidemic continues to ravage our communities across West Virginia. From April 2021 to April 2022, we lost 1,420 West Virginians to drug related overdoses, and the COVID-19 pandemic made this heartbreaking issue much worse,” Senator Manchin said. “Every West Virginian has been impacted by substance use disorder, and it is our responsibility to provide our family, friends and neighbors with the support and recovery services they need and deserve. I am proud to join my bipartisan colleagues in designating September as National Recovery Month to help bring awareness to this crisis facing so many of our fellow West Virginians and Americans.”

13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use during 2020, largely due to increased stress and isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s estimated that the total cost to the country from substance abuse disorders, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, and involvement of the criminal justice system, is $78,500,000,000 annually – a figure that continues to grow.

Senators Capito and King have consistently worked on a bipartisan basis to address America’s tragic substance use disorder epidemic. Along with their annual designation of September as National Recovery Month they have joined on efforts to improve telehealth, create a better approval process for opioids, and to support mental health outreach

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