Celebrate National Recovery Month 2016!

August 30, 2016

National Recovery Month 2016:
Join the Voices for Recovery: Our families, our stories, our recovery

This year, SAMHSA observes the 27th year of National Recovery Month. With the theme “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our families, our stories, our recovery,” National Recovery Month 2016 acknowledges and celebrates the millions of Americans who are living in recovery from mental and substance use disorders.

Here’s a sampling of just some of the great resources the National Recovery Month website offers to help you organize and promote an event in your community, share stories, or broadcast the message that recovery in all its forms is possible:

Latinas in Recovery: Understanding the Evidence to Bridge Gaps in Service Disparities

August 23, 2016

Darice Orobitg, PhD
Training and TA Coordinator
National Hispanic and Latino ATTC

The National Hispanic and Latino ATTC symposium, Latinas in Recovery: Understanding the Evidence to Bridge Gaps in Service Disparities (September 14, 2016, Miami) will offer behavioral health professionals an opportunity to learn from experts while sharing their experiences in working with Latinas with substance use disorders.

The symposium will include presentations by researchers, clinicians, and Latinas in recovery. Their presentations will address the particular issues that may affect Latinas’ recovery processes. Presenters will also offer recommendations for professionals in the field. 

Words have power! People first!

August 15, 2016

The New England ATTC Network Regional Center Staff
Dan Squires, PhD, MPH, Director
Leslie Cohen, BS, Co-Director
Sara Becker, PhD, Evaluation Director
Denise Bayles, BM, Project Coordinator
Raymond Sanchez, Application Coordinator
Stacey Howley, BS, Workforce Development Coordinator

The language used to refer to people can exert a powerful impact on both perceptions and expectations.

For example, if someone is referred to as a “survivor”, assumptions—likely favorable—are made immediately, and without specific details.  Likewise, however, if someone is referred to as a “victim”, assumptions—likely more variable and less favorable—are made, even though both references could easily refer to the same individual in the same context.

Just what are synthetic cannabinoids, and why are they so dangerous?

August 8, 2016

Beth Rutkowski, MPH
Pacific Southwest ATTC
On behalf of the ATTC Network's Cannabis Blending Team

In a Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City, 33 people were suspected of overdosing on synthetic cannabinoids in a single day in July 2016. (What's a cannabinoid? It's any one of many psychoactive compounds in marijuana--with "THC" being the most widely known.) Synthetic cannabinoids with names like "K2" and "Spice" are herbs that have been sprayed with chemical additives to mimic the psychoactive effects of botanical marijuana. They're sold for recreational drug use as commercial products through convenience stores, tobacco shops, or head shops.
Through the NIDA/SAMHSA Current Blending Initiative Projects: Cannabis Blending Initiative, the ATTC Network's Cannabis Blending Team recently released a new infographic focused on synthetic cannabinoids. The infographic, along with other free, science-based information developed by NIDA is available on the ATTC website at Current Blending Initiative Projects: Cannabis

Myth buster: You can't change your organization's culture, so don't even try

Thomas F. Hilton, PhD

August 1, 2016

Organizational cultures often resist change. But that doesn't mean that cultures can't change.

Organizational culture refers to beliefs, values, and norms commonly held among an organization's members. Describing their organization's culture, staff might say: "This is the way we do things around here."

Organizational cultures are a good thing. Commonly held beliefs and values are important because they tend to minimize the likelihood that individual staff members are working at cross purposes. Cultures also help to ensure that staff members consistently apply effective and efficient ways to achieve organizational objectives. Commonly held beliefs comprise the "tried and true" ways staff members achieve mission goals. Each time a practice produces good outcomes, its value as tried-and-true increases, along with the likelihood that it will be used again in a similar situation. As beliefs and values become more widely held, they become reinforced throughout the day by social norms.

Connect People to Care at the NFAR Technology Summit

Nancy A. Roget, MS
Project Director/Principal Investigator
National Frontier and Rural ATTC 

The National Frontier and Rural (NFAR) ATTC is hosting its 4th Annual Technology Summit in Wilmington, Delaware on August 3-5, 2016

The focus of the 2016 Technology Summit, Mind the Gap: Using Technology to Connect People to Care is to help practitioners bridge the gap between knowledge and skills. All breakout sessions are designed to promote skill development. The following are some tips to help participants have a successful experience at the NFAR Technology Summit.

Can you moderate your drinking? There's only one way to find out

July 12, 2016

Ned Presnall
Executive Director
Clayton Behavioral
Adjunct Professor, Washington University

"The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death." (The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 3)
The founders of AA suggest that attempts at moderation provide the best litmus test for alcoholism. In their view, drinkers that are able to cut back without abstaining are not alcoholics because they haven’t become powerless over alcohol.