Blog: recovery

Girls and Opioids: Vulnerabilities & Opportunities

In two separate blog posts in 2016, we discussed opioid use rates and substance use issues among adolescent girls involved with juvenile justice. In July 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health (OWH) released a report on opioid use, misuse, and overdose in women. The report provides information on the gender-specific issues and gaps in knowledge regarding females with substance use concerns/disorders. The report discusses the differences among females and males regarding the progression of substance use, the biological, social, and cultural issues (e.g., pain; relationships; family/parenting; trauma, determinants of health), effective treatments and barriers to implementation, and areas for further research. As it relates to adolescent girls (ages 12-17 years old), the report indicates they are more likely to use and become dependent on non-medical uses of prescription drugs as compared to adolescent boys. Access to prescription drugs can come from a home medicine cabinet and may help relieve mental health or physical pain symptoms and/or be part of their peer culture.

Recovery Support Services for Youth and Families

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the April issue of The Atlantic features a story titled - “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous” by Gabriella Glaser. The article sheds light on the recovery support service of 12-step programs through interviews with research and practice experts and personal testimonials.

New Documentary, The Anonymous People, Strives to Transform Public Opinion on Recovery

The Anonymous People, a new documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, examines the deeply entrenched social stigma has kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. Via the website:

The vacuum has been filled with sensational mass media depictions of people with addiction that perpetuate a lurid fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, a grass roots social justice movement is emerging. Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.
The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement aims to transform public opinion, engage communities and elected officials, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting solutions.

The Anonymous People - Theatrical Trailer from Greg Williams on Vimeo.

Share Your Recovery Experience with Faces & Voices of Recovery


Are you a young person in recovery? Share your opinions to help other young people get the help they need !
What issues are particularly important to young people in recovery? You are invited to participate in a telephone focus group, to be held on February 28, that will try to identify what specific issues matter most to you, as a young person in recovery. How are your experiences as a teenager or young adult different than the experiences of adults in recovery?

How we tell our stories matters. Faces & Voices of Recovery, a non-profit advocacy group dedicated to making it posible for more people to get the help they need to recover, is developing a set of webinars to help young people in recovery learn how to tell their stories publicly so that they have the greatest impact. Faces & Voices will use your ideas to tailor its message training specifically to young people in recovery, helping them become as effective as possible as recovery communicators – bringing a message of hope to other young people seeking long-term recovery and to the public and policymakers.

Please share what you think. There will be two focus groups on February 28, each only an hour long. They are scheduled for 2:00 and 6:00, Eastern time. To join, please email Harriet Ullman at harrietullman@yahoo.com to let her know you're interested. 

Topics: No bio box, recovery

Call for Proposals: Recovery Into Practice Institute

Calling all recovery practictioners and researchers: The Addictions and Mental Heath Division of the Oregon Health Authority and Regional Research Institute at Portland State University are accepting proposals for workshops or presentations for the Oregon Recovery Into Practice/ Recovery Into the Community Statewide Institute. The Institute will take place in Portland, Oregon, from April 23-April 25, 2013.

The Institute is focused on bolstering and increasing the availability and utilization of recovery-focused practices in all aspects of mental health services delivery, and to positively impact the achievement of better community inclusion and community integration outcomes in direct consequence of their utilization.
Attendees will include:

Wake up and Smell the Recovery

I'm Devin Fox, and I am a person in long-term recovery. I'm a young person, a gay man, an activist, an advocate, a son, a brother, an employee, an executive director, a social worker, and–most importantly–a human being. To me, being in recovery means being free from drugs and alcohol. In November 2012, I celebrated 4 years of continuous recovery, with all of its ups, downs, and even boring days.
I strive each day to live to my greatest potential and to reach for a life focused on being the best that I can be. My life was not always so solution-focused however. Although my story is not entirely unique, it’s unusual enough to make me feel special.
Those who have known me for a while know I have been an activist and an advocate since grade school. I have an innate ability to gauge a roomful of people's concerns and then clearly articulate those concerns to the most likely person, persons, or system that can bring about some type of effective change. This ability has enabled me to help support young people in recovery as together we seek to make our voice heard in a Nation caught in the grips of a mentality that revolves around the problem of addiction. Instead of this fixation on addiction as the problem, it is time to focus on the solution of a person’s own identified recovery and how we as a whole can support that effort.
Like many others, I suppose, I often feel as if I am focused on how to live only one "life" at a time. The mixing of roles and worlds into one individual can be tricky and most certainly frustrating. As I continue to progress in my recovery, I am discovering and learning to accept my own complexity – the multiple sides of my personality that make me who I am.

What's Your Life Like in Recovery?

Our friends at Faces & Voices of Recovery are conducting a nationwide survey to document key aspects in the lives of people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. In particular, they are interested in learning more about what happens in the life of a a person in recovery.  
Survey results will be used to inform the public, policymakers, service planners and providers about the milestones people achieve while in recovery. 
The survey is available in English and Spanish and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. All answers will remain confidential.

Topics: No bio box, recovery

Hocking County, Ohio, Celebrates Recovery Month

In beautiful Hocking County, Ohio, about an hour southeast of Columbus, Juvenile Court intake numbers are high due to drug-related offenses. The court has seen the kinship population grow (grandparents and other relatives taking over care of youth) mainly due to the increase in drug abuse and drug-related offenses.
Like all of the 29 Reclaiming Futures sitesHocking County is partnering with courts, treatment providers, juvenile justice, communities and families to meet the urgent needs of young people in the juvenile justice system.
Judge Richard Wallar says it best in a Recovery Month letter in the Logan Daily News:

Please do not lose hope because there is good news. Many local people, including neighbors, relatives and friends, are receiving help and are in recovery from mental health or substance abuse disorders. They are contributing to our businesses, connecting with their families, and giving back to the community. But if we want more people to join them on a path of recovery, we need to take action — now. Too many people are still unaware that treatment works, and that these conditions can be alleviated, in the same way that other health disorders, such as diabetes and hypertension, are being treated. We need to work together to make recovery the expectation.

In celebration of Recovery Month, we honor the Reclaiming Futures Hocking County team for:

Interview with Michelle Muffett-Lipinski on Recovery Schools

In advance of our September 27th webinar, “Implementing Adolescent Recovery Supports & Developing Resources in Our Communities,” we sat down with Michelle Muffett-Lipinski, Principal of the Northshore Recovery High School to discuss recovery programming in schools and communities.
RECLAIMING FUTURES: What is a recovery school? How does it differ from a traditional school?
MICHELLE MUFFETT-LIPINSKI: When I speak about 'what is a Recovery High School,' I prefer to speak only about my experience creating and managing the Northshore Recovery High School. At my school, students are in all phases of adolescent recovery. All students attending Northshore Recovery High School have a DSM IV diagnosis of a substance use disorder which can include abuse or dependence or both. All students attending Northshore Recovery High School come willingly and understand they need the additional support we offer at the school to help keep them sober, make better decisions and eventually graduate high school.
Staff at NSRHS work closely with students' constituents. A typical enrolled student is involved with multiple agencies. We work closely with probation, mental and behavioral health, treatment and community supports to enhance student safety and improve positive outcomes.
We are a small community of about 70 students. We are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and a tuition for each student from the sending school
district. At the foundation of our school is honesty, integrity, restorative practices, accountability and service. Students attend all core classes and electives as enrolled in a typical high school. However, we also facilitate daily groups, ever evolving goal setting, contracts, and on-site drug testing.
RF: What is recovery programming and how does it fit into your school’s curriculum and culture?

Florida Case Stokes Debate About Juvenile Justice and More; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Florida Case Stokes Debate About Juvenile Justice (Wall Street Journal Law Blog)
    In Florida, a 13-year-old boy is being accused of killing one of his younger brothers and sexually-abusing a half-brother, stoking a debate there about how courts should handle juveniles charged with violent crimes, according to a story by the Associated Press.
  • Judge Changes Plea Deal after teen Tweets Displeasure (Wave3.com)
    A teen's determination leads to changes in a plea deal in a sexual assault case. The judge who opened up her juvenile courtroom to the public after a Savannah Deitrich tweeted about the case announced changes late Friday afternoon.
  • Senator Durbin Announces More Than $5.6 Million In DOJ Funding To Enhance Illinois Justice Programs (ENewsParkForest.com)
    U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently awarded a total of $5,671,165 in grants to support the establishment or enhancement of several justice system programs in Illinois. These programs provide support and services to a number of Illinois communities through research and education initiatives, as well as legal assistance and support services.
  • Solutions Sought for Disparity Among Shelby County's Youth in Juvenile Court System (The Commercial Appeal)
    It's not clear why the percentage of African-American youths referred to the juvenile court system in Shelby County Tennessee is 3.4 times the rate for white juveniles. Do they commit more crimes? Or does the way police apply their discretionary powers play a role?

King County, Washington, Celebrates Recovery Month

king county proclamations
Many of the 29 Reclaiming Futures sites helping communities break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime celebrate Recovery Month, hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) each September. They, along with our King County site, which includes Seattle, Washington, are spreading the positive message that prevention works, adolescent substance abuse treatment is effective and people do recover. 
King County convenes a multi-disciplinary planning committee (chemical dependency, mental health and community mobilization) to reach people across cultures and disciplines to reduce the stigma for people in recovery.
They actively develop the Recovery Oriented System of Care model, starting with mental health and gradually including substance use disorders. This year, King County is working with their County Council to include substance abuse disorders in the recovery ordinance so that it becomes a behavioral health recovery oriented system of care. (The recovery ordinance ensures that the publicly funded mental health system in King County is grounded in mental health recovery principles.)

Celebrate Recovery Month

For the 29 Reclaiming Futures sites using evidence-based practices to break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime, September holds special promise. This is the 23rd year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has designated September Recovery Month to promote the message that prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover. 
This year's Recovery Month theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: It's Worth It." The theme emphasizes the benefits of preventing and overcoming mental and/or substance use disorders and the importance of involving everyone in these efforts.
Please visit Recovery Month on SAMHSA.gov to find events, planning tools and other resources to help your community participate. Involvement can be as simple or robust as you choose. 
A few ideas include:

How do you celebrate Recovery Month? We appreciate hearing from you. Please share your ideas and comments below.  

After Treatment: The Role of Community-Based Partnerships in Substance Abuse Recovery

In honor of Recovery Month, I'm sharing the Road to Recovery's latest video on the importance of community-based organizations. Reclaiming Futures is a huge believer in connecting young people with long-term community supports so that teens don't find themselves in the same situations that got them in trouble. 

From the Road to Recovery:

Recovery Month Toolkit Webinar Rescheduled to 8/16/2012

The Recovery Month Toolkit Webinar has been rescheduled to August 16, 2012, at 1:30 pm Eastern time. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that you will join us on August 16th to discuss how best to use SAMHSA's Recovery Month Toolkit to educate your community about ways to support recovery efforts. 
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For the 23rd year, SAMHSA designated September Recovery Month to promote the message the prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover. This year's Recovery Month theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: It's Worth It." The theme emphasizes the benefits of preventing and overcoming mental and/or substance use disorders and the importance of involving everyone in these efforts. 
In order to educate communities about treatment and living in recovery, SAMHSA created a Recovery Month toolkit. The toolkit provides tips for planning Recovery Month events and includes promotional and educational materials. Reclaiming Futures is excited to host a webinar featuring Ivette Torres of CSAT to discuss how you can best use the toolkit to plan your own Recovery Month events. 
Speakers include:

LIVE WEBCAST: ONCDP Director Kerlikowske from Betty Ford Center on Monday, June 11th 9:30 PST/12:30 pm EST

Call on all Americans to lift the stigma attached to substance use disorders
On Monday, June 11—almost one year following the passing of former First Lady Betty Ford—White House Drug Policy Director Kerlikowske will deliver a major address on recovery at the Betty Ford Center. At the Center, he will be joined by Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Goodwill Ambassador Christopher Kennedy Lawford.

The speakers will call on all Americans to lift the stigma too often attached to substance use disorders and outline the importance of eliminating barriers to recovery and supporting those in recovery.

Watch the LIVE WEBCAST

When: Monday, June 11th
9:30 PST/12:30 pm EST