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Recent News

This May, we celebrate the important contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and invite you to join us in commemoration by supporting culturally responsive care and following evidence-based practices to increase health equity. Learn more about these topics by accessing and sharing related content provided by the Great Lakes ATTC, MHTTC, and PTTC: Webinar […]
Published: 05/03/2023
SAMHSA is alerting providers and grantees to the risks associated with xylazine, a non-opioid veterinary tranquilizer not approved for human use. Xylazine is increasingly found in combination with opioids such as fentanyl. This alert by Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, warns that  "As xylazine is not an opioid, […]
Published: 04/06/2023
April was first designated as Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987 to increase public awareness about the prevention and treatment of excessive alcohol use–which continues to kill more than 140,000 Americans every year.   In addition, alcohol misuse increased dramatically during the pandemic, often co-occurring with opioid use disorder. Between 2019 and 2020, opioid overdose deaths […]
Published: 04/05/2023
  In part 1 and part 2 of the Power of Music series, we shared our observations and experiences of how music affects the emotions and behaviors of clients with substance use disorders and adolescents who might be at risk of substance use. We discussed how music can trigger substance use, yet, when used consciously […]
Published: 02/07/2023
  Every February, during Black History Month, we are reminded that most of us—regardless of color or culture—grew up with an incomplete view of American and European history. We were missing the perspectives of colonized peoples, enslaved Africans and their descendants, and the conquered original nations of this continent. When we lack these perspectives, we […]
Published: 02/01/2023
The story of music as it pertains to substance use is not completely bleak. We have found that music can be used therapeutically as a prevention and treatment tool. Those who may be triggered in reaction to unpleasant circumstances may find it difficult to manage overwhelming thoughts and emotions. Oftentimes, substance use may be the […]
Published: 12/06/2022
Every culture has its own music. This is also true for the culture of addiction. A 2022 study conducted by American Addiction Centers examined the link between music and drug use. The study looked at 14 different genres of music. Drugs were used at musical events most frequently by fans of electronic dance music (67%), […]
Published: 12/06/2022
                                                                            Written by: Kisha Freed and Mark Sanders   What do you do if a client or community […]
Published: 05/16/2022
  Check out the Great Lakes ATTC's podcast series, Encouraging Change: Using Motivational Interviewing in Peer Support, hosted by Kris Kelly, BS and Laura Saunders, MSSW.  We invite you to listen and learn with us as Laura and Kris share their expertise and insights on the integration of these evidence-based practices and recovery-oriented systems of care.  […]
Published: 04/20/2022
A mother returns home from residential substance use disorder treatment. This is her third treatment episode, and she is filled with enthusiasm, joy, and hope as she begins early recovery. But when she opens her front door and enters the living room, she discovers her two teenage sons injecting heroin.   Substance use disorders (SUDs) […]
Published: 04/04/2022
How the counselor-client relationship mirrors the supervisor-counselor relationship Supervisors play an essential role in helping counselors increase their skills, and counselor growth and development have a direct impact on treatment effectiveness and client retention. Often the phenomenon of parallel process operates in supervisor-counselor relationships: Counselors recreate what occurs in supervisor-counselor interactions in the therapeutic relationships […]
Published: 02/25/2022
As we wrap up the last holiday season and launch the new year, many counselors may be working with African American clients who have relapsed. The holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s is filled with high-risk situations that lead to relapse. It can start with a holiday we've created: Blackout Wednesday, the Wednesday before […]
Published: 01/20/2022
During the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s many counselors work with clients on relapse prevention plans. One effective relapse prevention strategy comes from the late Terrance Gorski, known as a pioneer of relapse prevention.   Father Joseph Martin said that Terrence Gorski had impeccable timing (Maher,1997). Between 1986 to 1996, many inpatient substance […]
Published: 12/03/2021
Substance use disorders and mental illness overlap at the rate of 50 to 70%. Compared to individuals with a single diagnosis, those with co-occurring disorders have more hospitalizations, evictions, arrests, suicide attempts, and actual suicides. Historically, a lack of integration between the mental health and addictions professions has led to fragmented services. The end result […]
Published: 10/28/2021
When asked what it takes to be a great football player, Hall of Fame football player Jerry Rice said:    “You have to have a short memory of setbacks and a long memory of success.”   We work in a field where many of the clients we serve may experience multiple setbacks on the road […]
Published: 08/30/2021
Most evidence-based practices are individualized approaches (Norcross, Hogan, Koocher & Maggio, 2017), while substance use disorder (SUD) treatment counselors disproportionately do their work with clients in groups (Velazquez & Crouch, 2016). As the field moves toward evidence-based practices, we will need to demonstrate that group therapy is an evidence-based practice and improve the effectiveness of […]
Published: 08/02/2021
What happens in counseling? William Glasser was in training to be a classical psychoanalyst in the spirit of Sigmund Freud. Glasser worked in the Vienna School for Girls (similar to a juvenile detention center in the U.S.). A 13-year-old girl was having a tantrum, and her behavior was having a negative impact on the entire […]
Published: 06/30/2021
The majority of clients with substance use disorders miss their second outpatient session (Duncan, Miller & Sparks, 2004). A main reason for this is the fact that our deficit based model can negatively impact client engagement. We are taught to search for deficits, setbacks and pathology early in the counseling relationship. At intake clients are […]
Published: 04/14/2021
  Humor can be utilized in substance use disorder counseling to help reduce client resistance, increase rapport between counselor and client, and help facilitate recovery. Some of the therapeutic benefits of humor in substance use disorders counseling include: Laughter as the great equalizer. Maya Angelou told Oprah Winfrey that only equals laugh with each other. […]
Published: 03/12/2021
    Frederick Douglass was the first prominent American to recover from alcohol use disorder (White, 2014). Douglass's alcoholism was triggered by the trauma he endured in slavery. Douglass believed that alcohol was used to control the enslaved people. In his autobiography, Douglass stated that the enslaved would be abused Monday through Friday and given […]
Published: 02/11/2021
Stephanie Brown describes early recovery as the trauma of early recovery for families (White, 2011). This is particularly true as it pertains to opioid use disorder. The client returns home from substance use disorders treatment and the trauma begins. Below is a list of traumatic events and challenging emotions that happen in early recovery. Resentments. […]
Published: 01/15/2021
Americans celebrate many events with the use of alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol has a prominent place at weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, holidays, and even funerals! The holiday season between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s creates a challenge for individuals working to maintain their recovery for multiple reasons. Seeing loved ones drinking can trigger drinking […]
Published: 12/03/2020
Relationships are one of the main causes of relapse (Daley & Douaihy, 2015); thus, an essential part of recovery is helping clients develop healthy relationships. One definition of a substance use disorder is “a relationship with a chemical (drug) that serves as a substitute for true human intimacy.” (Sanders, 2019). Once clients learn to develop healthy relationships […]
Published: 11/09/2020
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