(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) officially kicked off National Recovery Month with an afternoon full of events.

They were joined by Governor Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), individuals in recovery and their families, advocacy organizations and performance artists in the Main Capitol Rotunda for an “Arts Heal” celebration.

This annual recognition is observed throughout the month of September to highlight the gains made in the lives of individuals living in recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and show that every day, people can and do recover.

Watch the news conference below — “Governor Shapiro, DDAP Secretary Kick Off National Recovery Month, Highlight Administration’s Work to Support, Provide Services for Those in Recovery“:

The 2023 National Recovery Month theme is “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.” 

“Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege to meet folks who’ve suffered from addiction and substance use disorder across the Commonwealth and listen to their stories – and I’ve always been inspired by their strength in the midst of their journeys to recovery,” said Governor Shapiro

DDAP partnered with PCA to include a digital art gallery and posters from PCA’s Arts in Education residency programs with the PA Organization for Women in Early Recovery (POWER), based in Allegheny County.

“The arts open a doorway to exploration of our creative selves and serve as an invaluable resource for so many,” said Karl Blischke, PCA Executive Director.

In addition to the art display, there were performances by Chas Smith, known as Colicchie, a rapper in recovery; Sarah Leavens, a poet and teaching artist at the University of Pittsburgh; and remarks by various individuals in recovery, including Jesus “Ricardo” Rodriguez, former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler and founder of Three Legacies Wrestling, who shared how his recovery journey led him to Pennsylvania.

“Recovery is for anyone; recovery is for everyone,” Secretary Davis-Jones said.

Learn more about the Shapiro Administration’s recovery initiatives and resources on the DDAP website.