The Criminalization of Mental Illness
10 Secrets People in Recovery from Addiction Know that Could Help Us All Survive this Global Pandemic
Addiction is disease of isolation, so pandemic puts recovery at risk
Before the coronavirus became a pandemic, Emma went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every week in the Boston area and to another support group at her methadone clinic. She said she felt safe, secure and never judged.
“No one is thinking, ‘Oh, my God. She did that?’” said Emma, “cause they’ve been there.”Now, with AA and other 12-step groups moving online, and the methadone clinic shifting to phone meetings and appointments, Emmasaid she is feeling more isolated. (KHN is not using her last name because she still uses illegal drugs sometimes.) Emma said the coronavirus may make it harder to stay in recovery.
“Maybe I’m old fashioned,” said Emma, “but the whole point of going to a meeting is to be around people and be social and feel connected, and I’d be totally missing that if I did it online.
”While it’s safer to stay home to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19, addiction specialists acknowledge Emma’s concern: Doing so may increase feelings of depression and anxiety among people in recovery —and those are underlying causes of drug and alcohol use and addiction.
“We consider addiction a disease of isolation,” saidDr. Marvin Seppala, chief medical officer at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. “Now we’re isolating all these people and expecting them to pick up the phone, get online, that sort of thing —and it may not work out as well.
”Emma has another frustration: If the methadone clinic isn’t allowing gatherings, why is she still required to show up daily and wait in line for her dose of the pink liquid medication?
The Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Disabilities (RIGCD) has created the following Resource Guide to assist our community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Resources
Patient Advocate Foundation (www.patientadvocate.org) helps federally and commercially insured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases.
The National Alliance of Mental Illness (www.nami.org) offers pay relief program to provide direct financial assistance to insured.
State of Rhode Island Department of Health - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. For the latest information on Rhode Island specific COVID-19 numbers, see RIDOH's COVID-19 Disease Data webpage.
Someone's risk for COVID-19 is closely tied to their recent travel history, and the travel histories of their immediate contacts — specifically, travel to areas with community transmission of COVID-19 or close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. Remember that interaction with someone who had contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 does not pose a risk if that contact is not sick. One of the most important messages for us to remember is that someone’s nationality alone is not a risk factor for COVID-19.
Stay Safe and Healthy Against COVID-19
We at The Journey are concerned about the lives affected by COVID-19 and the health and well-being of our patients and staff members. We continue to monitor and assess this evolving situation and appropriately respond based on guidance issued by public health authorities and other known information.
We hope that some semblance of normalcy will return in our lives. Your well-being, goodwill, and trust as part of The Journey family are most important to us. We must work together to reduce community transmission of the virus. We will continue to update you as needed. We wish you, your family, and our communities the very best.
The Journey to Hope, Health and Healing is excited to announce that all four locations have now available staff members who are. Certified Application Counselor (CAC). They will help patients to apply/re-apply for health insurance through Health Source RI, while on site for intakes, to obtain their medication or to attend counseling sessions.
The Certified Application Counselor (CAC) provide accurate, unbiased information to assist consumers in making health insurance choices that are best for them.
The Affordable Care Act requires the Exchange to provide a “no wrong door” policy for individuals and families who might qualify for health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP instead of a Qualified Health Plan. This means that Certified Application Counselors must be available to support the application and enrollment needs of individuals and families applying for the full spectrum of health coverage options available through the Exchange, regardless of the program(s) for which each individual or family member qualifies.
Health Source RI (HSRI) uses a variety of programs to enhance its outreach and education efforts, including Navigators, In-Person Assistors and Certified Application Counselors (“CAC’s”) as certified by HSRI. The rules pertaining to these programs can be found at 45 CFR §155.210; 45 CFR §155.215 and 45 CFR §155.225. For the sake of simplicity, HSRI refers in-person assisters and navigators jointly as “Navigators.”
Please stop by and our staff members will be happy to help you to meet your medical insurance needs
OUD Death Rates Rise, Methadone is Underused, and Insurers Favor Buprenorphine; Would Coverage of Methadone in Broader Practices Beyond OTPs Be a Solution?
By Barbara Goodheart, ELS
The problem of methadone underuse isn't new-but the authors of a recently published paper offer ways to fix the situation; ways that are both new and innovative. If broad regulatory changes aren't going to happen, they say, the solution may be to empower private insurers to make methadone more accessible to patients by, for example, allowing it to be prescribed without the comprehensive care required under the current system.
And they offer specific steps to make this happen.
The rise in non-fatal and fatal overdoses involving stimulants with and without opioids in the United States
This report analyzed recent trends and changes in nonfatal and fatal stimulant overdose rates, with and without opioids. In 2017, almost 75% of overdose deaths involving cocaine and half involving psychostimulants also involved at least one opioid. Overall, the analysis found that rates of overdose emergency department visits involving cocaine with an opioid increased in recent years, as did those involving psychostimulants, both with and without opioids. These increases occurred across a broad range of demographic groups and geographic areas, underscoring the dynamic and evolving overdose crisis in the U.S. Deaths involving cocaine and opioids increased more than cocaine deaths without an opioid from 2016-2017, suggesting that the opioid overdose epidemic is contributing to recent increases in cocaine-involved overdose deaths.
Regional trends in suspected synthetic cannabinoid exposure from January 2016 to September 2019 in the United States
Synthetic cannabinoids bind to the same brain cells as tetrahydrocannabinal (THC), but they are different chemicals. Synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., K2, Spice) may be used in a variety of ways, including sprayed onto plant material and smoked. Synthetic cannabinoid products are unsafe and many are illegal.
Trends in Opioids Prescribed at Discharge From Emergency Departments Among Adults: United States, 2006–2017
This report describes trends in opioid prescribing at emergency department (ED) discharge among adults from 2006–2007 through 2016–2017 by selected patient and hospital characteristics, and the type of opioids prescribed. The findings from this report include the most recent trend estimates from a nationally representative survey showing that the percentage of ED visits by adults, which resulted in an opioid prescribed at discharge, increased from 2006–2007 through 2010–2011, and decreased from 2010–2011 through 2016–2017. Continuing to assess trends in opioid prescribing in the ED setting is important to monitor the effects of public health policy at the national level.
Fentanyl Test Strips – Prevent Overdose RI
Fentanyl analogs. Fentanyl test strips might not detect some fentanyl-like drugs that have been found in Rhode Island, like carfentanil, sufentanil, alfentanil, benzylfentanyl, benzoylfentanyl, U47700, and U49900.
RIDOH Director, Nicole Alexander-Scott, testifies on behalf of Rhode Island and ASTHO
We're proud of RIDOH Director, Nicole Alexander-Scott, who testified this morning on behalf of Rhode Island and ASTHO (Associated State and Territorial Health Officials) before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce in Washington, DC. This hearing on "State Efforts to Curb the Opioid Crisis" brought together state leaders from Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Watch the full hearing here >
Cannabis-related psychosis, addiction, ER visits: For young users, marijuana can be a dangerous game
Some research has suggested that for new or infrequent users, vaping cannabis produces stronger effects than smoking. In this year's mysterious rash of vaping-related lung injuries - which has accounted for 52 confirmed deaths as of mid-month in 26 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - many involved vaping THC products.
5 New Year's Resolutions to Strengthen Your Recovery
Here comes a new year, and with it comes the opportunity to make some resolutions that will strengthen your recovery during 2020. You may be tempted to simply resolve to stay sober during the new year, but that’s the kind of generalized resolution that’s tough to keep. A single overwhelming goal for the new year can make it hard to achieve, according to the American Psychological Association. Smaller, more realistic resolutions that involve incorporating healthy changes into your everyday life are easier to attain.
Here are five excellent resolutions that are attainable daily and will promote successful long-term recovery.
The Journey to Hope, Health and Healing remains committed to continually improving quality of services provided to persons served and their families as well as focusing on customer service and excellent service outcomes.
The Journey is proud of its 2019 achievements.
In October 2019 The Journey to Hope, Health and Healing renewed its Two-Year State Licensure through RI BHDDH for all four sites.
In November 2019, The Journey to Hope, Health and Healing was awarded with Three Year CARF Accreditation for all four sites. CARF Accreditation signifies a seal of approval and assurance that our organization meets and applies internationally recognized Standards of care.
All staff members at The Journey remain dedicated to the pursuit of providing the very best care and evidence-based practices in a person served centered treatment model and facility.
State official hears success stories in visit to Westerly substance abuse program
WESTERLY — Chris dabbled with drugs recreationally early in his life, but following reconstructive surgery on his leg he got hooked on the pain pills his doctors prescribed. His dependency eventually led to 10 dark years of using drugs almost daily and spending every dollar he could find on drugs from street dealers.
“I tried to stop on my own. I could make it for three days but then I’d go back to it,” Chris said Wednesday as he told his story to Eric J. Beane, secretary of the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
Beane heard Chris’ story during a visit to The Journey Hope Health and Healing Inc., an outpatient center on Beach Street that offers medication-assisted treatment and comprehensive recovery services for substance abusers. The center was recently named a center of excellence by Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force.
“I got sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Chris said. “I knew that to get to the root of what was causing me to use like this would start with the first step of stopping.”
The medication that he receives at The Journey has kept Chris off the pain medications that drove him to the brink of homelessness for close to two years, he said. He praising the work of his counselor, Alison Barber. “It’s so important to have someone express interest in your life and your feelings and thoughts and interests. When that connection happens, then you’re willing to be held accountable,” Chris said.
The Raimondo administration, Beane said, is committed to ensuring access to treatment for all those suffering from a substance-abuse disorder. To receive the center of excellence designation, a facility must offer an array of recovery services, including medication-assisted treatment, and make working relationships with other agencies.
Read the full article here: www.thewesterlysun.com
Providence Fire Stations Connect People To Addiction Treatment
Providence Safe Stations is available for those who are struggling with substance use disorders. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can visit any of Providence’s 12 fire stations, speak with the trained staff on duty, and immediately get connected to treatment support and services.
More info at: www.pvdsafestations.com
To understand why America’s opioid epidemic keeps getting worse, just look at this map
If we don’t provide even the bare minimum in evidence-based treatment, this crisis will keep getting worse. America’s opioid epidemic keeps getting worse, with the latest data showing that drug overdose deaths in the US climbed by roughly 21 percent between 2015 and 2016 — from a record high of more than 52,000 to a new record of nearly 64,000. About two-thirds of those overdoses were linked to opioids.
To understand how this crisis keeps growing, take a look at an insightful map by amfAR, an advocacy group dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. The map shows three things: the availability of facilities that treat drug addiction, the facilities that provide at least one medication for opioid addiction (marked as MAT, or medication-assisted treatment, on the map), and the facilities that provide all three kinds of medications for opioid addiction.
A Seven-Step Plan for Ending the Opioid Crisis
More treatment. Stronger oversight. And above all, bolder leadership. The opioid epidemic is now a full-blown national crisis, yet the federal government continues to dawdle. President Donald Trump declared opioid addiction a public health emergency, and he talks a tough game. But he has not taken forceful action. If he will not lead, Congress must -- and now, before the crisis grows even worse.
Opioid overdose deaths rose 28 percent in 2016, to 42,000 men, women and children. Some 2.6 million more Americans are addicted to opioids, and communities in every region of the country are suffering from the resulting trauma. Largely as a result, life expectancy declined in 2016 for a second straight year -- something that has not happened since the early 1960s.
Reuters Investigates: Helpless and Hooked...
Newborns die after being sent home with mothers struggling to kick drug addictions.
Part 1: In America, a baby is born dependent on opioids every 19 minutes. But doctors aren’t alerting social services to thousands of these infants, many of whom come to harm in families shattered by narcotics.
LEHIGHTON, Pennsylvania – Brayden Cummings turned 6 weeks old the morning his mother suffocated him.
High on methamphetamine, Xanax and the methadone prescribed to help her kick a heroin habit, 20-year-old Tory Schlier told police that she was “fuzzy” about what happened to her baby boy.
Police weren’t. In an affidavit, the officer who went to Schlier’s house on October 17, 2014, said the mother had fallen asleep on Brayden, “causing him to asphyxiate.”
Like more than 130,000 other children born in the United States in the last decade, Brayden entered the world hooked on drugs – a dependency inherited from a mother battling addiction.