Blog: substance abuse

Substance Use Disorder Treatment Alert!

Deadline Approaching: Review and comment by April 11, 2016

Have you seen the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) proposed changes to 42 CFR Part 2, Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records? If not, we recommend taking a look and commenting as an individual, agency/organizational, or community collaboration. Feel free to share praises and/or critiques about the proposed changes with SAMHSA.

Here are some key highlights:

  • Rewind time to more than four decades ago - 42 CFR Part 2 was conceptualized and approved to provide iPAGE2-COURTROOMndividuals seeking substance use disorder treatment with protections for privacy and confidentiality. It was acknowledged that stigma and fear of potential repercussions (familial, employment; criminal) prevented people from seeking treatment.
  • The last “substantive” update to 42 CFR Part 2 was in 1987 (approaching three decades ago).
  • There have been substantial changes in the way substance use disorder treatment is provided including a greater number of integrated health care centers (primary and behavioral health) and greater use of electronic health records. As such, modernizing 42 CFR Part 2 is necessary.
  • The proposed regulations will continue to apply to federally-assisted “programs“ which “holds itself out as providing, and provides substance use disorder diagnosis, treatment, or referral for treatment.” General medical facilities have always been included as a “program”, but the proposed change adds “general medical practices” to the definition.
  • It proposes if agencies and organizations that have “general designation” on consent form(s) they must provide patients a list of where their information has been shared.
  • Proposes agencies and organizations must have policies and procedures in place to sanitize paper and electronic records.

The Long-Term Effects of Abuse on Incarcerated Teens; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

The role of clergy in fighting addiction

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.

Reclaiming Futures fellow Carol Martin awarded for her work in substance abuse prevention

At their Annual Meeting in October, the Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board recognized two Hocking County, Ohio community members for their work in substance abuse and mental health advocacy.
Carol Martin, Reclaiming Futures Hocking County (RFHC) Community Fellow, received the Hocking County Substance Abuse Prevention Award. She was nominated by Dr. Joe Gay, Executive Director of Health Recovery Services, Inc., a partner member of Reclaiming Futures Hocking County.
"I am humbled and honored to receive the award from the 317 board," Martin said, "but I feel the entire Reclaiming Futures team in Hocking County deserves to be recognized. We all understand the importance of advocating for the youth - the future of our community. They're all our children, and they deserve and need the support of our community."
The event was held at the Vinton County Middle School Cafetorium in McArthur, Ohio. From the event program: "Ms. Martin has tirelessly served in the Community Fellowship position in the Hocking County Juvenile Court Reclaiming Futures grant. She champions the need for quality substance abuse service coordination to benefit children and families involved in Hocking County Juvenile Court."
Carol has served in her Community Fellow role for three and a half years and during her tenure has established the Hocking County Youth Fund, at the Hocking County Chamber of Commerce, in order to help support activities for court-involved youth and their families.  She has also been responsible for developing a mentoring program for Hocking County Juvenile Court and is working closely with Bonnie Loudner from Good Guides Mentoring Program, a part of Good Will Industries, to match youth to adults and recruit and train adults in the community to become mentors.
As an "RFHC Cheerleader," Carol and her husband Roy have personally sponsored monthly activities and awards for Juvenile Treatment Court and Treatment Court graduations.

Photo caption: Roy (left) and Carol (right) Martin at the recent Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board Annual Meeting. Carol Martin received the Hocking County Substance Abuse Prevention Award at recent Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board Annual Meeting. 

Advice to a parent with a teen struggling with drug addiction

I’ll never forget how my hands shook as I gripped my office phone that afternoon. My 16 year-old son called tell me he was a drug addict and that he needed help. Right now.
I must admit I did have suspicions he’d been involved in drugging. His behavior had changed. He was doing so poorly in school that he was on the verge of either failing or dropping out. He struggled with my newly blended family and the move to a new state. I thought everything would work its way out in his life, but the tenor of his voice told me this was something serious.
Even though I’m the parent or step-parent of seven boys, I was totally unprepared. I’d always wished for a book for the teen years to turn to when things go rough, much like my mom turned to her trusty Dr. Spock reference book. But, there isn’t anything like that to help parents navigate today’s minefields.
I flew out the door and was soon home, sitting in my living room, attempting to wrap my mind around the depth of his problems. The night before a drug dealer threatened him. This was serious. Turning to the Yellow Pages, I called several drug rehab facilities in my state, but found only one with an immediate opening. It was two hours away from home and my son sat quietly in the front seat. I felt I’d failed him. Who knows what he felt.
The intake counselor sat us down in a private office and began to do a drug inventory. As the list began to grow from marijuana use all the way down to cocaine and heroin, I shakily agreed to anything to help him get out of the death trap of drug addiction.
My situation wasn’t unusual.

Proposed rule for the health insurance exchanges a threat to mental health and substance abuse disorder providers?

The federal Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule for the health insurance exchanges, created by the new health care reform law.
According to the Legal Action Center, it fails to identify mental health and substance abuse disorders providers as essential community providers that serve predominantly low-income and medically underserved populations. In addition, they state there are other improvements to the proposed regulation that would better ensure that the health needs of people with mental and substnce sbuse disorders are better met.
Read from their statement after the jump: