“This September marks the fourth declaration of Recovery Month here in Alberta.

“Recovery Month is a celebration of the thousands of Albertans who are living in recovery from addiction and mental health challenges. It is also an opportunity to promote recovery to those who are still struggling, to show them that recovery is possible. To show them that recovery works.

“Recovery is so much more than simply ending substance use or seeking support for mental illness. It is also about rebuilding other aspects of life that eroded as a result of addiction and mental illness, such as family, social, cultural and spiritual connections, employment skills and training, housing, physical and mental health and more. The goal is for each person to lead a full, healthy life.

“Over the past three years, Alberta’s government has taken significant steps toward ensuring that treatment and recovery supports are affordable and accessible to all Albertans.

“We started by creating more than 8,000 new – fully funded – detox, treatment and recovery spaces.

“We eliminated user fees for all treatment spaces across the province.

“We are building treatment capacity across the province with new recovery communities.

“We are bringing together police and health services to get more people support for opioid addiction.

“We launched a provincewide affordable counselling service in partnership with Counselling Alberta.

“These are just some of the steps that we are taking. There is still lots of work to do.

“This Recovery Month I want to say thank you and congratulations to all of the Albertans who will take the time to share their stories of recovery. And to those who are facing the challenge of addiction and mental health, know that a full recovery is possible.

“Today and throughout Recovery Month, I encourage Albertans to use the hashtag #RecoveryIsPossible to share their experiences, challenges and triumphs. It’s only by sharing stories of success that we can inspire more Albertans to pursue recovery.

“And to anyone seeking support to pursue recovery, call 211 Alberta for information on services and supports to begin or sustain your, or your loved one’s, recovery.”