Thursday, January 5, 2012

Program for Pregnant Women at Risk of Substance Abuse Could Lead to Big Cost Savings

By Join Together Staff | January 4, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed inAddiction, Alcohol, Drugs, Healthcare, Parenting, Prevention & Youth

A prenatal intervention program, for stopping substance use in pregnancy, could save almost $2 billion annually if it were implemented nationwide, a new study suggests.
The Kaiser Permanente Early Start program helps women at risk of substance abuse to achieve health outcomes for mothers and babies that are similar to women who do not use cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, Medical News Today reports. The study of almost 50,000 women found the program decreases illness in mothers and their babies, as well as stillbirths.
“Now, we’re able to show everyone that not only is it the right thing to do, we will save money,” lead author Nancy C. Goler, MD, said in a news release. “This program is a very low-technology intervention that has an enormous net cost savings.”
The program screens pregnant women with urine tests and substance abuse screening questionnaires. It is located in the same clinic where women receive their prenatal care, and a licensed substance abuse expert sees patients at the same time as their prenatal care appointments. All health care providers and patients in the program are educated about the effects of alcohol, drug and cigarette use during pregnancy.
The findings are published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“Spice” Manufacturers Change Recipe to Skirt State Laws Against Synthetic Drugs

Manufacturers of the synthetic version of marijuana known as “spice” are changing the recipe just enough to skirt state laws banning the substance, The Washington Post reports.
Makers of spice spray herbs with compounds that mimic marijuana’s active ingredient, THC. Some spice users experience hallucinations, seizures, vomiting, anxiety and an accelerated heart rate, the article notes.
In December, the U.S. House voted to ban more than 30 synthetic drugs, including spice. The Synthetic Drug Control Act would make it illegal to manufacture or dispense the drugs. The bill would also give the Drug Enforcement Administration more authority to put temporary bans on potentially hazardous drugs as they are being investigated. The bill has moved to the Senate.
According to the recent Monitoring the Future survey, one in every nine high school seniors (11.4 percent) reported using synthetic marijuana in the prior 12 months.
About 40 states regulate spice, according to the newspaper. Authorities have found that in some cases, the spice seized by police does not contain chemicals that are banned by state law. There are potentially hundreds of synthetic compounds that could be substituted for ones that are currently banned.
In some states, laws banning spice include a provision that prohibits chemicals that are intended to act in a similar way to the banned substances. But scientists say not enough is known about the new substances to prove they are similar to the original versions.
The drug is popular in part because most drug tests do not detect spice, and it is available on many websites, according to the article.

Excellent Resource!!

A friend of Recovery Connection, has sent me a valuable link to a site that offers info on finding treatment in Cameron, Elk and McKean counties.  It also has local D&A news!  The Link is  Thanks again to our Recovery Connection friends for sharing this Info, it's folks like you that make this world a better place!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything!  Stay true to yourself and stick to your beliefs.  Don't let anyone change who you are or force their opinions or views down your throat.  You are who you are and that makes you special and unique. REMEMBER JESUS LOVES YOU!

On Line Meetings

A friend of Recovery Connections has sent us this site for anyone and especially those who cant get out of the house.  She gives it 2 thumbs up as a great place to find information and support for those of us that are struggling with any addiction.  They have scheduled meetings and you can chat live.

Liability Laws Make Parents Responsible for Underage Drinking in Their Home

Parents who allow their teens to have friends over to drink, thinking it’s a safe way to keep them off the roads, may be surprised to find they are subject to liability laws that make them vulnerable to lawsuits, fines and jail time.
Parents in some states can be liable even if they were not aware that drinking was going on in their home, according to theAssociated Press. One Stanford University professor was arrested in November after his 17-year-old son had a party in the basement. The professor, Bill Burnett, said he had forbidden alcohol at the party and had twice checked on the teens. He spent one night in jail and was booked on 44 counts of suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Each count carries up to a $2,500 fine and almost a year in jail.
Eight states have “social host” laws that make parents liable if underage guests in their home are drinking, even if no harm comes to anyone, the AP reports. In some of the states, parents are allowed to serve alcohol to their own children in certain situations.
In 16 other states, laws hold parents responsible for underage drinking in some circumstances, such as if a teenager who drank in their home was in a car accident.
Research conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions, and co-sponsored by the insurance company Liberty Mutual, found 41 percent of teens say their parents allow them to go to parties where alcohol is being served, compared with 36 percent two years ago.

Clergy Matter

Over the years, I would estimate that two thirds of the human hurt I have encountered in the people I serve has directly resulted from active addiction – or from living with or having lived with an addicted person.
–Rev. F. Anthony Gallagher, MA, Toledo, OH
Clergy can, should and must make a difference in the pain and confusion felt by so many of their congregants, but they must first understand the role that alcoholism and drug addiction play in the insidious social and spiritual erosion plaguing so many of their congregation’s families. Participation in a faith community does not protect against addiction creeping in and destroying a family, but a knowledgeable and caring pastor can foster an openly supportive and healing faith community that invites the suffering to learn and heal – emotionally, physically and spiritually. 
Clergy and other pastoral ministers are trained to nurture the spiritual life of their congregants, to help foster a connection to their Almighty and to support them and provide hope as they pass through difficult life struggles. Until recent years, however, their professional training has seldom included  adequate education and insights about the problem that causes the most family stress among their congregants. It is a problem that drives so many families to break-up without ever addressing the primary factor in the despair and desperation that pushed them to give up.
So much is expected of clergy in the 21st century. Most need to foster programs for spiritual development and, at the same time, they need to oversee the substantial business practices of managing and guiding a congregation with all its diverse needs. They need to nurture and support their lay leaders and collaborate with neighboring faith leaders on the greater community issues that impact all faith communities. They need to visit the sick and console the grieving, continue their own professional educations and foster and serve their individual denomination’s programs and priorities.
Clergy see the same headlines as their congregants – about drug busts, fights over “medical marijuana,” drunk driving and underage drinking creating chaos and death – making it is easy to ignore the great number of people suffering in silence in their own congregations. Yet, washing over the work of all congregational leaders and their pastoral staffs is that alcohol that still hurts more children, families, businesses and congregations than any other drug. The barriers to clergy taking an active role in mitigating the impact on their congregation’s children and families could readily be removed with understanding. These barriers include:
  • The natural propensity among clergy to be kind and supportive, tolerant and accepting, works against effective intervention strategies, which are counter-intuitive and must be learned. 
  • The stigma and unresolved issues from childhood that both congregants and many clergy who grew up with the pain of parental alcoholism continue to feel, and attempt to hide, out of embarrassment or shame.
  • The reticence to step up and help colleagues who struggle with excessive drinking problems, possibly because of their own drinking, but certainly out of a feeling of inadequacy that comes from a lack of education or a belief it will cause more harm.
The “good news” is that there is a powerful awakening in our faith communities and among a steadily growing army of enlightened clergy and faith leaders about their legitimate role in the prevention of substance use problems and in supporting the healing process for both addicted persons and their impacted family members. Multiple educational programs, including online courses have been developed to facilitate learning and action by clergy since 2003, when a multi-denominational group of seminary deans, faith leaders, addiction professionals and family experts gathered in Washington D.C. in the initial stages of The Clergy Education and Training Project®. The group crafted the Core Competencies for Clergy and Other Pastoral Ministers In Addressing Alcohol and Drug Dependence and the Impact on Family Members. These 12 Core Competencies have become the base on which both brief seminars and extensive seminary and online courses have blossomed. The Clergy Education and Training Project® has provided tools and training to thousands of clergy and other pastoral leaders in their critical roles of addressing alcohol and drug use problems in their pastoral work. Some of these programs and tools include a handbook for clergy featuring brief content and helpful strategies, as well as a training toolkit (Spiritual Caregiving to Help Addicted Persons and Families), with course content, session handouts and a guidance handbook for the course teacher. 
A completed seminary curriculum, also following the 12 Core Competencies and the guidance of seminary deans and professors, as well as addiction and family experts, has been tested in several settings. Accepted and recommended by top seminary education experts, the curriculum is being prepared presently for launch as a complete print and DVD package simultaneously with the online version. It will be distributed and made available online to all seminaries in North America.   
In more than 35 cities across the country, 4,000 clergy and other pastoral ministers from all faiths have participated in one-day seminars addressing the issues covered in the Core Competencies. They have returned to their congregations with solid information and practical tools and begun to implement some of the simple but effective awareness strategies. These strategies are opening the eyes of their congregants and creating environments where children and adults alike feel welcome and safe enough to ask for help, freeing them from the fear and hopelessness that alcohol and drug use problems have wrought on their families.
Many afflicted families are in great pain, confused and afraid, and suffering in silence. They often don’t fully recognize the core source of their family’s problems. Too many have clergy who still do not know how to approach them, what to do, or what to say to be effective. The faith community’s ability to carry out its important role in freeing afflicted families from the addiction trap will be dependent on enlightened clergy leadership that also fosters enlightened and supportive lay leadership to address this issue. The Clergy Education and Training Project® works to make this a reality.
Sis Wenger
National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I cant believe its the 3rd day of the New Year, and to think there are 362 to go.  I am going to start the day with the mind set that I am not perfect and I can and will overcome every challenge I face today.  Lets start the day with a a positive outlook and make up our minds that today is going to be a great day.  Only you can ruin your day!  Remember Jesus Loves YOU!

SAMHSA Asks for Feedback on Definition of Recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is seeking feedback on its working definition of recovery. The definition aims to portray the essential, common experiences of people recovering from substance use and mental disorders, and includes 10 guiding principles of recovery.
SAMHSA developed the new definition, in conjunction with the behavioral health field, as part of its Recovery Support Strategic Initiative.
The definition is as follows:
Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A process of change through which individuals work to improve their own health and well-being, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.
You can comment on the definition and on the guiding principles, which can be found here, until August 26, 2011.

Call for More Research on Parent’s Addiction Recovery and Its Effect on Children

While the toll that a parent’s addiction takes on children is well documented, much is still not known about how loved ones’ recovery affects children, according to the National Director of Children’s Programs at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, CA.
“When a parent gets into recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction, does that lessen the chance their children will grow up and repeat the cycle? And if those children do become addicted, does their parents’ recovery help them to get into recovery more quickly?” asked Jerry Moe, MA, who recently spoke about “Understanding Addiction Recovery Through a Child’s Eyes” at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders in San Diego.
Moe called for more research on how children benefit from their parent’s recovery, and whether children’s participation in a healing program entices their parents to seek help for themselves.
The Betty Ford Center runs a four-day program for children ages 7 to 12 whose families have been hurt by addiction. “We are hoping to get to them before they’ve ever picked up a drink or drug or cigarette,” Moe says. About 40 percent of the children who attend the center’s program have parents who are still actively struggling with addiction. While the cost is $400, Moe emphasizes no child is turned away because of an inability to pay.
The first day the children learn what addiction is, that it’s not their fault their parent has a substance abuse problem, and that they can’t make it better. On the second day, the children share their experiences and feelings through artwork, stories and talking with their peers. “They begin finding out that other people have been challenged with the same problems and feelings, and that they’re not alone,” he notes.
The third and fourth days include family members with an addiction. If the parent is not in recovery, the child can attend with another parent or caregiver that does not have a drug or alcohol problem. The children and adults meet both together and separately. As families, they participate in structured exercises, and focus on new ways to take care of themselves and to communicate. The children choose a trusted adult they can talk to about their family member’s addiction.
The last day is focused on making a family plan and continuing care recommendations. Children and adults exchange cards describing what they like and love about each other.
Because so few treatment centers offer programs for children of addicted family members, many other treatment centers refer children to Betty Ford, at their main center or their satellite programs in Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver, Moe says. They also receive referrals from schools, houses of worship, drug courts and children’s protective services.
“Although we get a lot of referrals, one of our biggest challenges is getting parents to actually come,” Moe states. “Parents sometimes get scared—parental guilt and shame surrounding addiction is huge. The last vestige of denial is admitting that addiction is hurting their children. Parents want to believe their children are too young to understand what’s going on, or they say they only drink or use drugs outside of the house. But kids know so much more than we give them credit for.”
Moe tells parents, who are hesitant to seek help for their children, that they have an opportunity to change the legacy in their family. “I’ll ask them if they could have benefitted from this type of program when they were young, and they often say yes,” he says.
An evaluation of the program conducted by Moe and two other researchers, and published in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions in 2008, found children who participated had increased social skills, a decreased sense of loneliness and a newly formed recognition that they could not control their parent’s substance use behavior. The study evaluated 160 children before and after participating in the program through a comprehensive battery of psychological tests; 50 of the children participated in a follow-up phone interview six months later. Moe is about to embark on a new research study that will follow participants for a longer period.

Monday, January 2, 2012


New Years Resolution , make sure you set a reachable goal for 2012!Their are times in life we set our goals too high and when we can't reach them we become discouraged.Be sure to have a plan in reaching and sticking to that resolution , or goal.The old saying look before you leap, life is hard enough and going into something new could lead to something great as long as you know where you are going.   REMEMBER JESUS LOVES YOU!!