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Recovery Month 2018: A Roundup of Resources from the ATTC Regional Centers

September 17, 2018

Maureen Fitzgerald
ATTC Network /NIATx

Recovery Month celebrates the message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. ATTC Regional Centers across the U.S. are helping to spread that message through presentations, publications, conferences, and by supporting local and regional Recovery Month activities. Most of the products developed by the Regional Centers are relevant and available to all, no matter where you live. You can find them on Products and Resources page on the ATTC Network website.

Here's a roundup for your reference:

Central East ATTC is going purple for Recovery Month! The September issue of this Center's monthly newsletter, The Dialogue, appears in purple font to honor people in recovery--like the two who share their inspiring stories in the newsletter.

"We wanted our September issue to highlight the positive message of Recovery Month and showcase personal stories of recovery," says Debora Doherty, Senior Technical Assistance and Communications Specialist at Central East ATTC. 

The newsletter also offers information on regional and national training events and resources.
Read the September Dialogue here.

Great Lakes ATTC: What is an RCO (Recovery Community Organization), and how can you start one? Julia Alexander, STR-TA consultant and former executive director of the Minnesota Recovery Connection, shares her personal story of recovery along with tips on starting an RCO in this podcast, first in a series launched for Recovery Month.
Listen to the 12-minute Great Lakes ATTC podcast here.

Mid-America ATTC: 2018 Recovery Month Community Bulletin. This downloadable flyer provides essential facts about substance use disorders and what people can do to help someone experiencing a mental illness or substance use disorder. It includes data and infographics from the NIH website.

"We who are immersed in this information may think that others know the essential facts, but Recovery Month reminds us that there is always need for greater awareness and more information in the general public," says Jan Wrolstad, Associate Director of Mid America ATTC.

Mid-America ATTC also provides fact sheets for Alcohol Awareness Month (April),  Problem Gambling Awareness Month (March), and Hepatitis C Awareness Month (May).

Mountain Plains ATTC and Pacific Southwest ATTC have teamed up with CASAT at the University of Nevada to provide a 4-part webinar series, the Building Recovery Capital Through Digital Health Technologies.

Recent research showed that almost 1/5 of the US population has used the web to seek support/information from an individual (peer) with a similar health condition (Pew Research Center, 2013). As part of the peer support services for individuals with SUDS, both peers and practitioners need to increase their awareness of digital health technologies that can help individuals: into and navigate systems of care; stay engaged in the recovery process and live full lives in their communities.

"This webinar series helps peers and practitioners build their digital health technology tool belt to expand/enhance recovery support service delivery," says Nancy Roget, Co-director of Mountain Plains ATTC. 

For Beth Ruthkowski, Co-Director of the Pacific Southwest ATTC, the partnership to produce the series illustrates how regional centers can maximize their resources to extend training to audiences beyond their borders.

 "By partnering with the Mountain Plains ATTC, we are able to provide high-quality recovery-focused education to hundreds more providers across a vast geographic area than we could if we just targeted a single Region for the webinar series,” adds Beth.

The webinars are offered every Wednesday in September from 3:30-5:00 PDT/MST. They will also be recorded and available for viewing as course modules at a later date.

New England ATTC is supporting Recovery Month activities in several of the states it serves. Events include the Rally4Recovery in New Hampshire, Step into Action Chittenden County in Vermont, and the Rally4Recovery in Rhode Island.

Northeast & Caribbean ATTC: "Relapse Prevention for Counselors/Peer Advocates in Recovery," a two-part webinar series, September 26 and 27. Attend these webinars to learn about the special challenges for counselors and peer advocates in recovery, warning signs, and guidelines for self-care.  For more information or to register, click here.

Northwest ATTC: Solution to Addiction Symposium. On September 26, the NWATTC is co-sponsoring a large Addiction Solution Summit in Skagit County, Washington,  in collaboration with Skagit County commissioners, Skagit County Public Health Department, and the Swinomish Tribe.

"This is a large recovery event with an expected attendance of around 500 community members and providers," says Denna Vandersloot, Co-Director of the Northwest ATTC. 

The goal of the event is to bring community members together for a call to action to create an environment that fully supports recovery.

Southeast ATTC: The Southeast ATTC’s Products and Resources page features presentation slides from Dr. Davine S. Ricks’ recent webinar, “Faith-Based Organizations: Understanding Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Community,” just one example of this Center’s work with faith-based communities.

“In a recovery-oriented system of care two of the foundational principles are that there are many paths to recovery and the importance of building on cultural strengths and resources,” says Ed Johnson, Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Southeast ATTC. “In communities of color where there is a strong faith-based background, people are much more likely to first go their pastors if they or a family member needs help with a substance use disorder. The Southeast ATTC works to help clergy and others in faith communities to build their skills and knowledge in helping people achieve and maintain recovery.”

South Southwest ATTC: Recovery Oriented Systems of Care. The South Southwest ATTC helped the state of Texas develop its first Recovery Oriented System of Care, the Houston Recovery Initiative, in 2010. The model was so successful that the state expanded it to 18 other communities, ultimately deciding to fund recovery services statewide.

A report recently published by the South Southwest ATTC, The Recovery Support Services Project Fiscal Year 2017 Final Evaluation Report, gives an overview of the statewide project.

 "Texas is one of the first states to implement recovery services over a long period of time," says Maureen Nichols, Director of the South Southwest ATTC. "For me, one of the most striking statistics coming out of the report is from a qualitative survey of 560 people still engaged with their recovery coaches after two years. Of the 40 percent in that group who reported a return to substance use at some point, 77% said that reconnecting with their recovery coach helped them get back on track with their recovery journey."

Download a copy the full report here.

National American Indian & Alaska Native ATTC: Sean Bear, Co-Director of the National American Indian & Alaska Native ATTC, bases his teachings about health and healing on the American Indian concept of the Medicine Wheel. He provided an overview of this concept in the recent webinar, Recovery Month: The Medicine Wheel as a Way of Life.

“Native Americans are likely to step away from traditional practices out of respect when they are using alcohol or other drugs,” says Bear. “Recovery is a good time to return to traditional healing practices such as the Medicine Wheel, which represents the connection between body, mind, spirit, and emotions. It also offers a guide that people can use to connect with their personal and spiritual powers.” 

View the presentation handouts and recording.

The ATTC Network Coordinating Office: ATTC NCO Director Laurie Krom shares a personal story about recovery in the September issue of the ATTC Messenger, the Network's monthly e-newsletter:

"To me, the purpose of Recovery Month is to tell as many people as possible in the loudest way possible that there is HOPE. I am regularly amazed and inspired by the personal and professional successes of my friends and colleagues in recovery. Recovery Month is our time to celebrate these achievements, to celebrate the possibility of hope." 

Read Laurie Krom's complete article here.

New Resource from the Network Coordinating Office

Also this month, the Network Coordinating Office is pleased to release the ATTC Educational Packages for Opioid Use Disorders. These digital resources are designed to help peer support workers, social workers, and counselors and psychologists build the knowledge and skills required for treating people with opioid use disorder on the continuum of prevention, treatment, and recovery.

That's just a sample of the kinds of trainings and products that the U.S. based ATTC Network is offering this month. Visit regularly to find out about the training and technical assistance that we provide to the treatment and recovery communities all year long!

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The opinions expressed herein are the views of the authors and do not reflect the official position of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), SAMHSA, CSAT or the ATTC Network. No official support or endorsement of DHHS, SAMHSA, or CSAT for the opinions of authors presented in this e-publication is intended or should be inferred.