Cultural competence and organizational change: Meet the researcher, Dr. Erick Guerrero

October 15, 2007

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network Office
Great Lakes ATTC

Photo credit:Shutterstock

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) celebrates Hispanic and Latino heritage and the countless ways that Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to the arts, sports, literature and science. And in behavioral health, Hispanic and Latino researchers and scientists are among those who are helping to build our understanding of how race and culture influence access to and engagement in treatment.

Immediate help in Puerto Rico: National Hispanic and Latino ATTC training first responders

October 14, 2017

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network Coordinating Office
NIATx/Great Lakes ATTC

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands  on September 20, and the majority of the island lacks power or running water. Residents who remain on the island are struggling to overcome the enormous physical and emotional distress of the storm, the strongest to hit the island in 90 years. Recovery efforts are underway, but officials estimate that it will take months to bring things back to normal.

There's a lot of work to do, and the National Hispanic and Latino ATTC, based at the Universidad del Caribe, is offering immediate assistance. Through a request from SAMHSA and operating at a no-cost extension through 2017, the National Hispanic and Latino ATTC, led by Dr. Ibis Carrion, will be sending clinical psychologists to all regions of the island to train first responders and SAMHSA grantees in Puerto Rico on Psychological First Aid for First Responders.

Psychological first aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach to providing support to survivors following a serious crisis. It provides strategies that first responders can use to promote safety, calm, connectedness, self-efficacy, and help. PFA also teaches techniques for helping survivors manage the intense emotions that can emerge after experiencing a trauma or natural disaster.

The National Hispanic and Latino ATTC staff are mobilizing this effort while still experiencing hardship themselves. Their offices at the Universidad del Caribe have electricity and some Internet access, but at home most still do not have electricity, and some do not have running water. 

The mental health impact of Hurricane Maria on the island’s residents is likely to endure long after property and systems are restored. The National Hispanic and Latino ATTC’s activities are of vital importance in responding to this traumatic event. We’ll keep you posted on the team’s progress and on ways we can help as the story develops.

Bring Them All: New documentary shines spotlight on families and addiction recovery

September 27, 2017

According to the 2016 SAMHSA National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities (N-SSATS), only 21% of facilities offered at least one special program or group to serve pregnant and postpartum women. Services for their children were even scarcer. Only 6.4% of facilities offered childcare and 2.6% offered residential beds for clients’ children.

Yet family-centered care that acknowledges the importance of relationships can improve treatment outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders. 

Recovering as a community: Hancock County, Ohio

September 20, 2017

Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Editor, NIATx 

The Hancock County 3rd Annual March for Recovery
attracted hundreds on  Sept.9  Photo: The Courier  
Hancock County, Ohio, is located on the I-75 corridor, known by some as the "oxy express"-- a pipeline for the opioids that are fueling the state's overdose epidemic.

In spite of that, Hancock County has not been hit as hard as other Ohio counties, ranking 67th of 88 counties in terms of overdose deaths, says Precia Stuby, Executive Director at the Hancock County Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. 

But in 2013, the increasing opioid problem inspired the Board to look for ways to expand services. The Great Lakes ATTC put Stuby in touch with Michael Flaherty, a consultant on Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC).

How to secure buy-in for medication-assisted treatment: Tips from an expert

September  14, 2017

Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network
Editor, NIATx

The APT Foundation in New Haven, CT, provides substance use disorder treatment and recovery services to nearly 8,000 adults. APT began to offer methadone treatment in 1971 and today, its  medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program also includes buprenorphine and extended release naltrexone.

Lynn Madden,  President and CEO of the APT Foundation, told us about the organization's open access to treatment policy in one of the first posts on this blog: No appointment necessary. In this less than two-minute video, Dr. Madden shares two strategies that organizations can use to secure buy-in for MAT:
1) Sharing information on best practices and
2) Starting small with a pilot test, also known known as a rapid-cycle test or PDSA Cycle in the NIATx model.

The Power of Peers

September 1, 2017

Caroline Miller, MSW
Director, Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Division of Continuing Studies

We know that recovery is more than just an individual journey.

People in recovery strengthen not only their own lives, but the lives of their family members and their entire community. There are countless examples of how a person in recovery can positively influence the world around them. One such way is by providing peer support – to be a part of recovery support services that help people in or seeking recovery to find and maintain healthy and fulfilling lives.

Preparing for the 2017 National Opioid Emergency

August 29, 2017

Thomas F. Hilton and Dennis McCarty

Never invest money you cannot afford to lose.
That admonition came from the late stock market expert, Louis Rukeyser, in his 1976 book, How to Make Money on Wall Street. This remains wise advice for anybody wanting to invest a sudden windfall. Financial planners will tell you that there are three things you can do with money. First, you can spend it. Spending is buying something that will depreciate over time like a car. Second, you can invest it. Investing is buying something that you hope will appreciate in time like stocks or a house. Third, you can let it sit in the bank for a rainy day where it may not do anybody any immediate good. Moreover, it might disappear on its own as states often recoup unspent funds.