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How Addiction Professionals and Prevention and Recovery Advocates Can Interface for Mutual Benefit
Mutuality of need can bring positive collaboration and mutual benefits. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) and the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) have collectively about 120 affiliate organizations in the United States filled with intelligent, committed volunteers who supplement and support the work of professional staff.
Initial Engagement, Retention, and Continuation in Treatment
I think we can all agree that we cannot treat individuals who are not in treatment to be treated! Therefore, initially engaging patients and retaining them in treatment is a priority. Those points in time during which we can make a difference in engagement or retention of patients are prior to admission, at admission, and during treatment.
Stuart Gitlow, MD, MPH, MBA, DFAPA, was eleven years old when he first realized he wanted to enter the field of addiction medicine. On the night of the realization, he was accompanying his father, a past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), to Salt Lake City for a conference and tagging along at a dinner for colleagues. While listening to his father’s peers speak about addiction, he began to develop his own voice.
Persons with either a mental disorder or substance abuse disorder (SUD) are twice as likely to smoke as those without (Lasser et al., 2000). Smokers with other drug addictions are heavier smokers (Hughes, 2002; Sobell, 2002), less successful in their attempts to quit smoking (Drobes, 2002; Joseph, Nichol, & Anderson, 1993), and experience greater tobacco-related mortality than the general population (SRNT Subcommittee on Biochemical Verification, 2002).
Insomnia is among the most common complaints that veterans voice to their providers, and the most common sleep disorder. While common in the general population, a high proportion of veterans suffer from insomnia, and it is known to have multiple medical and psychiatric comorbidities.
More than two million US veterans have served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) since 2001 (Sayer, 2011). Approximately two-fifths of these veterans received some kind of health care and social services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA, 2009).
The treatments for schizophrenia and/or organic brain disorders may be totally different; therefore, it is important that a method of differentiating between the two be utilized (Chapman, 1976; Klein & Davis, 1969). Historically, it has been difficult to distinguish between the symptoms of organic brain disorder and schizophrenia (Lezak, 1976).
Since 2001, about two million US troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq alone (US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2010). They have and are still returning with the “invisible wounds of war.” Sadly, among veterans and veteran families, we see higher rates of addiction, depression, suicide, interpersonal violence, and child abuse statistics that highlight the critical and difficult transition back to civilian life.
On March 22, 2017, a Capitol Hill forum addressed the issue of recovery housing. Sponsored in part by CCAPP and hosted by Unite to Face Addiction, leaders from the community presented compelling evidence as to why Congress should pay attention to this important component of recovery.
Occasionally I get asked the question, “Leo, what do you believe?” If these people had read Counselor magazine the past few months, they’d know what I believe.
This column discusses how family members cope with the intense pain and sorrow caused by the loss of their loved ones. Over time, many individuals show resilience and use their experiences to help others deal with losing their loved one.
This is the second and final installment in a series focusing on cultivating the quality of deep-seated contentment, which constitutes an integral component in enhancing our recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, other addictive disorders. This installment focuses on practical steps we can take to manifest the qualities of contentment and equanimity in our lives.
U.S. Journal Training
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