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September 5, 2002

First Lady Celebrates “Recovery Month” in Illinois

CHICAGO – Governor George H. Ryan today proclaimed September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois. First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan and Department of Human Services Secretary Linda Renee Baker marked Recovery Month with a special event today at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. This year’s theme is “Join the Voices of Recovery: A Call to Action.”

“Substance abuse is a major public health problem that affects approximately one million Illinoisans of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds,” said Governor Ryan. “Like other diseases, substance abuse is treatable and, each day, thousands of Illinoisans receive treatment and begin the road to recovery. That’s why my administration has invested $880 million in treatment over the past four years.”

The DHS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA) will sponsor events throughout September including the informational and awareness booths and entertainment at the James R. Thompson Center. The event featured members of the recovering community, and OASA presented the results of an outcome study entitled “The Effectiveness of Substance Abuse Treatment Among Welfare Clients.”

Data from this study showed that clients experienced a reduction in negative and harmful behaviors and an increase in positive, healthy behaviors. Most important among the changes observed was the decrease in use of alcohol and other drugs and an increase in income.

“We have seen first hand the devastation that drug addiction can cause and we hope that recovery can bring stability in the lives of individuals, families and communities,” said Mrs. Ryan. “The number of teens who are using drugs is on the decline, but we are very aware that there are still far too many young people who get into trouble with drugs and need treatment.”

“Recovery Month is a time to highlight the benefits of treatment and recognize the great strides taken by persons who are recovering from an alcohol or other drug addiction problem,” said Baker. “This is a time to recognize that all of us must stand together to encourage persons with alcohol and other drug problems to seek help and remain sober.”

OASA funds a network of community-based agencies that provided a total of 149,744 services to more than 91,155 persons in 2001.

“We know treatment works in reducing the human and societal costs of substance abuse,” said OASA Associate Director Melanie Whitter. “Recovery Month is a time to raise awareness and invite all Illinoisans to Join the Voices of Recovery.”


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