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: Information and pilot-testing

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.

We're all connected: National Recovery Month 2017

August 23, 2017

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

"Recovery: A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”
National Recovery Month 2017 is just around the corner. This year’s theme, Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthening Families and Communities, highlights the important role that families and communities play in helping others achieve recovery and reach their full potential. After all, as it's often said, people receive treatment for a substance use or mental health disorder in a healthcare setting, but they recover in the community

Predicting risky drinking: It might be all in the words

August 15, 2017

Rachel Kornfield
PhD Candidate
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Research Assistant 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 

The A-CHESS smartphone app provides addiction recovery services on-demand.  Analyzing the language used in A-CHESS discussion forums is helping researchers predict the likelihood of relapse. 
The words we say in daily conversation can provide a powerful window into our state of mind, including our moods, concerns, and priorities. General topics of discussion can be revealing (for example, if we’re talking about friends, the weather, or problems at work). But even more is often revealed by subtler styles of speech, including the pronouns we use, our emotional tone, and how we put our sentences together. These subtle linguistic differences are especially meaningful in an age when computers play an ever-increasing role in our lives. Technology and social media provide an array of new outlets through which to communicate. At the same time, computer science offers new tools to automatically measure subtle qualities of language. At the Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS), our research uses social media language not only to understand people better, but also to help people improve their health.

Responding to the opioid epidemic

August 3, 2017

Ned Presnall
Executive Director
Clayton Behavioral
Adjunct Professor, Washington University

David Wojnarowicz at ACT UP's "Seize Control of the FDA" demonstration in Rockville, Maryland, on October 11, 1988. (Photograph by William Dobbs)

We should be marching in the streets over the state of opioid use disorder treatment.

The epidemic of accidental opioid poisoning has received increasing media coverage as opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed. But the magnitude of the problem is still largely unappreciated. The New York Times recently illustrated that annual drug-related mortality in the United States has surpassed peak annual deaths related to AIDS, gun violence, and car accidents. What’s most troubling is that the rate of opioid-related deaths is rising faster than ever.