Recovery Month 2018: A Roundup of Resources from the ATTC Regional Centers

September 17, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network /NIATx

Recovery Month celebrates the message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. ATTC Regional Centers across the U.S. are helping to spread that message through presentations, publications, conferences, and by supporting local and regional Recovery Month activities. Most of the products developed by the Regional Centers are relevant and available to all, no matter where you live. You can find them on Products and Resources page on the ATTC Network website.

Here's a roundup for your reference:

Central East ATTC is going purple for Recovery Month! The September issue of this Center's monthly newsletter, The Dialogue, appears in purple font to honor people in recovery--like the two who share their inspiring stories in the newsletter.
"We wanted our September issue to highlight the positive message of Recovery Month and showcase personal stories of recovery," says Debora Doherty, Senior Technical Assistance and Communications Specialist at Central East ATTC. 
The newsletter also offers information on regional and national training events and resources.
Read the September Dialogue here.

Great Lakes ATTC: What is an RCO (Recovery Community Organization), and how can you start one? Julia Alexander, STR-TA consultant and former executive director of the Minnesota Recovery Connection, shares her personal story of recovery along with tips on starting an RCO in this podcast, first in a series launched for Recovery Month.
Listen to the 12-minute Great Lakes ATTC podcast here.

Mid-America ATTC: 2018 Recovery Month Community Bulletin. This downloadable flyer provides essential facts about substance use disorders and what people can do to help someone experiencing a mental illness or substance use disorder. It includes data and infographics from the NIH website.
"We who are immersed in this information may think that others know the essential facts, but Recovery Month reminds us that there is always need for greater awareness and more information in the general public," says Jan Wrolstad, Associate Director of Mid America ATTC.
Mid-America ATTC also provides fact sheets for Alcohol Awareness Month (April),  Problem Gambling Awareness Month (March), and Hepatitis C Awareness Month (May).

Mountain Plains ATTC and Pacific Southwest ATTC have teamed up with CASAT at the University of Nevada to provide a 4-part webinar series, the Building Recovery Capital Through Digital Health Technologies.

Recent research showed that almost 1/5 of the US population has used the web to seek support/information from an individual (peer) with a similar health condition (Pew Research Center, 2013). As part of the peer support services for individuals with SUDS, both peers and practitioners need to increase their awareness of digital health technologies that can help individuals: into and navigate systems of care; stay engaged in the recovery process and live full lives in their communities.
"This webinar series helps peers and practitioners build their digital health technology tool belt to expand/enhance recovery support service delivery," says Nancy Roget, Co-director of Mountain Plains ATTC. 
For Beth Ruthkowski, Co-Director of the Pacific Southwest ATTC, the partnership to produce the series illustrates how regional centers can maximize their resources to extend training to audiences beyond their borders.
 "By partnering with the Mountain Plains ATTC, we are able to provide high-quality recovery-focused education to hundreds more providers across a vast geographic area than we could if we just targeted a single Region for the webinar series,” adds Beth.
The webinars are offered every Wednesday in September from 3:30-5:00 PDT/MST. They will also be recorded and available for viewing as course modules at a later date.

New England ATTC is supporting Recovery Month activities in several of the states it serves. Events include the Rally4Recovery in New Hampshire, Step into Action Chittenden County in Vermont, and the Rally4Recovery in Rhode Island.

Northeast & Caribbean ATTC: "Relapse Prevention for Counselors/Peer Advocates in Recovery," a two-part webinar series, September 26 and 27. Attend these webinars to learn about the special challenges for counselors and peer advocates in recovery, warning signs, and guidelines for self-care.  For more information or to register, click here.

Northwest ATTC: Solution to Addiction Symposium. On September 26, the NWATTC is co-sponsoring a large Addiction Solution Summit in Skagit County, Washington,  in collaboration with Skagit County commissioners, Skagit County Public Health Department, and the Swinomish Tribe.
"This is a large recovery event with an expected attendance of around 500 community members and providers," says Denna Vandersloot, Co-Director of the Northwest ATTC. 
The goal of the event is to bring community members together for a call to action to create an environment that fully supports recovery.

Southeast ATTC: The Southeast ATTC’s Products and Resources page features presentation slides from Dr. Davine S. Ricks’ recent webinar, “Faith-Based Organizations: Understanding Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Community,” just one example of this Center’s work with faith-based communities.
“In a recovery-oriented system of care two of the foundational principles are that there are many paths to recovery and the importance of building on cultural strengths and resources,” says Ed Johnson, Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Southeast ATTC. “In communities of color where there is a strong faith-based background, people are much more likely to first go their pastors if they or a family member needs help with a substance use disorder. The Southeast ATTC works to help clergy and others in faith communities to build their skills and knowledge in helping people achieve and maintain recovery.”

South Southwest ATTC: Recovery Oriented Systems of Care. The South Southwest ATTC helped the state of Texas develop its first Recovery Oriented System of Care, the Houston Recovery Initiative, in 2010. The model was so successful that the state expanded it to 18 other communities, ultimately deciding to fund recovery services statewide.

A report recently published by the South Southwest ATTC, The Recovery Support Services Project Fiscal Year 2017 Final Evaluation Report, gives an overview of the statewide project.
 "Texas is one of the first states to implement recovery services over a long period of time," says Maureen Nichols, Director of the South Southwest ATTC. "For me, one of the most striking statistics coming out of the report is from a qualitative survey of 560 people still engaged with their recovery coaches after two years. Of the 40 percent in that group who reported a return to substance use at some point, 77% said that reconnecting with their recovery coach helped them get back on track with their recovery journey."
Download a copy the full report here.

National American Indian & Alaska Native ATTC: Sean Bear, Co-Director of the National American Indian & Alaska Native ATTC, bases his teachings about health and healing on the American Indian concept of the Medicine Wheel. He provided an overview of this concept in the recent webinar, Recovery Month: The Medicine Wheel as a Way of Life.
“Native Americans are likely to step away from traditional practices out of respect when they are using alcohol or other drugs,” says Bear. “Recovery is a good time to return to traditional healing practices such as the Medicine Wheel, which represents the connection between body, mind, spirit, and emotions. It also offers a guide that people can use to connect with their personal and spiritual powers.” 
View the presentation handouts and recording.

The ATTC Network Coordinating Office: ATTC NCO Director Laurie Krom shares a personal story about recovery in the September issue of the ATTC Messenger, the Network's monthly e-newsletter:
"To me, the purpose of Recovery Month is to tell as many people as possible in the loudest way possible that there is HOPE. I am regularly amazed and inspired by the personal and professional successes of my friends and colleagues in recovery. Recovery Month is our time to celebrate these achievements, to celebrate the possibility of hope." 
Read Laurie Krom's complete article here.

New Resource from the Network Coordinating Office

Also this month, the Network Coordinating Office is pleased to release the ATTC Educational Packages for Opioid Use Disorders. These digital resources are designed to help peer support workers, social workers, and counselors and psychologists build the knowledge and skills required for treating people with opioid use disorder on the continuum of prevention, treatment, and recovery.

That's just a sample of the kinds of trainings and products that the U.S. based ATTC Network is offering this month. Visit regularly to find out about the training and technical assistance that we provide to the treatment and recovery communities all year long!

Joining the Voices of Recovery: Joseph Green Inspires Through Spoken Word

August 24, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network Coordinating Office/NIATx

Joining the voices of recovery this September—and all year long— is spoken word artist Joseph Green.

Green is a motivational speaker, educational consultant, poet, and former Director of Youth Programs at Split This Rock, a Washington D.C. based organization that harnesses the power of poetry for social change. He's also a professional spoken word artist and storyteller, drawing on his recovery journey and other facets of his life to shape compelling narratives to inspire and help others.

Like this one, titled St. Jude:

Drug Contamination Crisis: Connecticut and Beyond

August 21, 2018

Tonya Tavares and the New England ATTC (HHS Region 1)

New Haven, Connecticut, recently faced a rash of overdoses linked to a suspected fentanyl-contaminated supply of K2, a synthetic marijuana also known as Spice. Taken alone, the effects of K2 can be unpredictable and even life-threatening. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin, is often clandestinely combined with other drugs and greatly increases the risk of lethal outcomes.

In the past week, over 70 people have overdosed, with a large majority centered around New Haven’s Green Park. Connecticut is not alone in facing drug contamination, specifically with K2. Brooklyn, NY, faced similar tragedy in May of 2018, with 87 people overdosing because of a particularly toxic batch of K2. Washington, DC, and Austin, TX, have also seen large numbers of overdoses, some fatal, resultant from K2 and contaminated batches of K2.

Addiction Docs On Call: Wisconsin Warmline Answers Doctors' Questions About SUD Treatment

August 15, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network/NIATx

Say you're a primary care doctor in northern Wisconsin treating a patient with alcohol use disorder who is also using methamphetamine. Your med school training may not have covered substance use disorder treatment in depth, and you're not sure of the best treatment and prevention options for your patient. But thanks to a new warmline just launched in Wisconsin, you can pick up the phone and get immediate advice from an addiction treatment specialist at UW Health and  the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Culturally Appropriate Mental Health Care to Address American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Mental Health Disparities

August 6, 2018

Sean A. Bear, BA, CADC
Co-Director, National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center

Originally posted  in the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities blog, In the Spotlight

Non-Hispanic American Indian and Native American (AI/AN) adults and children are at greater risk than all other racial groups of experiencing poor mental health outcomes and unmet medical and mental healthcare needs. For instance, suicide rates for AI/AN adults and youth are higher than the national average.

Community Resilience: Recovering Together

July 30, 2018

Caroline Miller, MSW
Director, Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
Associate Researcher, UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Rally for Recovery, State Capitol, Madison WI, September 2017

Wisconsin Voices for Recovery is actively building community resilience through its events and programming across the state. Two initiatives in particular, the ED2Recovery program and the Rally for Recovery in celebration of 2018 National Recovery Month, demonstrate the important ways that people in recovery, their friends and families, have come together to support recovering together in Wisconsin.

Opioid Treatment and Recovery News Roundup

July 12, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network/NIATx 

Have you been taking a summer break from the news? Get caught up with five recent news and research headlines, plus a great new Road to Recovery TV episode from SAMHSA

1. Expanding primary care buprenorphine treatment could curb opioid overdose crisis
Science Daily
Research published by Drs. Sarah Wakeman and Michael Barnett describes barriers to wider use of buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder, and how to overcome them.

Among the most persistent barriers? Stigma.