Blog: News & Views from the Field

Knowledge can be empowering. Whether you are seeking recovery for yourself or someone else, we hope you find our blog topics helpful. Check back often or subscribe today.

Underneath the Opioid Crisis in America: From Each State’s Perspective

The opioid crisis in America is in the news every day and its deadly and pervasive effect on our society is well known. Interestingly, not all geographic areas are experiencing this crisis to the same degree. Region by region, the numbers vary drastically. For example, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioid overdoses increased by 30% in 45 states, between 2016 and 2017. In big cities specifically, particularly in the Midwest, overdoses were up by as much as 54 to 70 percent.

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Be Prepared: How to Access Needed Addiction Treatment on Snow Days

It has been a snowy winter already, and we still have months to go! Snowstorms and icy roads make us all reluctant to leave our homes, but some people are rightly worried that inclement weather also means they are unable to access the treatment and medication they need for drug and alcohol addiction recovery. As a treatment provider in New England, we do our utmost to make sure that our outpatient clients are never without proper care.

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Expanding Access to Addiction Treatment is an Important Step to Combat Public Health Crisis

Addiction is a complex disease with no single solution. It’s not just the disease itself that can wreak havoc on a person’s life, there are many facets of the issue that make the road to recovery seem difficult. Arguably at the top of that list is access to reputable and accessible treatment options, which is why we recently launched two new innovative programs to help people across Massachusetts struggling from drug and alcohol addiction find and receive care quickly.

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Understanding Naloxone: Here’s How You Can Make A Difference for People Struggling with Addiction

Did you know that October 26 is National Make A Difference Day? Coming together to make a difference strengthens communities, overcomes adversity and builds resilience. To honor the event, we’re encouraging all to carry naloxone (otherwise known by brand names NARCAN® and EVZIO®) to save the lives of people dying from an opioid overdose.

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Spectrum Health Systems to Host Free Family Education Program on November 23rd – Sign Up Today!

At Spectrum Health Systems, we know from experience that when someone is struggling with substance use disorder, he or she does not suffer alone – the family suffers as well. As part of our client-centered, holistic approach to addiction treatment, we believe in the importance of family-focused programming.

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How Has Addiction and Treatment Changed in the Last 50 Years?

Spectrum Health Systems was founded 50 years ago, and in that time, we’ve seen extensive strides taken in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Much has changed, and much has stayed the same – some treatments still in use today were introduced as early as the 1960s. Before we jump into changes in treatment over time, let’s start by discussing the issue itself – addiction.

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How to Deal with Triggers in the Workplace

Many believe that addiction only affects the unemployed and homeless when, in reality, most are employed. In fact, of the estimated 96 million adults reported to have a substance use disorder, 72 percent are employed.

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Spectrum’s Domestic Violence Education Program Aims to Change Harmful Behavior, Beliefs and Attitudes

On average, 20 people each minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Each year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men who suffer from domestic violence. With one in four women and one in nine men experiencing severe intimate partner physical violence, they are also likely suffering from sexual abuse, stalking, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted diseases and more.

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1399 Hits

Today’s Students Aren’t Worse Off, They’re Simply Different

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, there is a strong connection between childhood trauma and substance use disorders. Adolescents who engage in problematic substance use are more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, suicidal thoughts, violent behaviors and other mental health disorders.

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1230 Hits

Inside Look: Driver Alcohol Education Program

If you’ve been following our Inside Look series, then you know of our comprehensive continuum of care for people with substance use disorders. What many people don’t know is that we also offer several court-ordered sessions that could fall under the category of preventative care. One such program is our Driver Alcohol Education Program.

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1557 Hits

How One Veteran Tackled Physical Pain, PTSD and Addiction

Every year, in the second week of November, this country honors its heroes. Veteran’s Day is a stark reminder that courageous men and women have fought hard for America’s freedoms. In the addiction community, it inspires us to pause and reflect on the effects of war on our soldiers, long after they leave the battlefield.

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3132 Hits

The Forgotten Population: Inmates in Recovery

An Airing Addiction Recap

 

In a recent study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it was found that 84 percent of current inmates in the state prison system were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of their crime. While that may come as a surprise, the need for addiction treatment within the walls of prison, should not.

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1771 Hits

Are States Ready to Implement Medication-Assisted Treatment in Correctional Settings?

Recently, State Director Earl Warren and Regional Program Director Nicole Rendon from Spectrum’s Correctional Division conducted a workshop on medication-assisted treatment to administrators and behavioral health practitioners attending the American Correctional Association’s 148th Congress of Corrections in Minneapolis. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is being considered by many criminal justice authorities to help address the rising number of individuals addicted to opioids in the justice system.

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What We Can All Learn From Demi Lovato’s Relapse

Pop singer Demi Lovato’s story is common. She was six years sober before she overdosed in her home on July 24. She was revived with naloxone and transported to the hospital. Relapse is often part of the lifelong recovery journey and should not be viewed as a failure. In fact, between 40 to 60 percent of people relapse.

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3313 Hits

Inside Look: Peer Recovery Support

You may have noticed that a lot of our treatment programs revolve around group meetings, group therapy and group activities. Peer recovery support best exemplifies the power of groups to not only help people strive for and maintain recovery, but build a foundation for the rest of their lives.

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Road to Recovery: David Crawley’s Story

Fifty-four-year-old David Crawley grew up in a big family – two brothers, two sisters and two parents. The Crawley family was supportive and loving, but his hometown of Roxbury, Massachusetts was filled with drugs, violence and crime which were hard to avoid.

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How Spectrum Helps Clients and Staff Cope with Death

“We didn’t need news articles to tell us how bad the opioid epidemic is,” claims Heidi DiRoberto, MA, LMHC, program director at Spectrum Health Systems. Before news of the opioid epidemic was being reported in almost every media outlet across the nation, our medical and clinical staff were already into the weeds treating opioid addiction. It is estimated by the Department of Public Health that Massachusetts is experiencing 4-6 fatal opioid overdoes a day.

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An Inside Look: The Family Education Forum

If you’ve been involved in the Spectrum Health Systems or New England Recovery Center communities for any amount of time, you’ve seen or heard us stress the importance of involving family and loved ones in the recovery process. For many years, we’ve offered the Family Education Forum at each of our outpatient centers across Massachusetts.

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2199 Hits

For Spectrum Health Systems, Treating Addiction Often Means Treating Trauma Too

For many of our clients, addiction is usually not an isolated problem. Many also experience mental health issues and the after-effects of physical and mental trauma. The Trauma-Informed Care Program, which we introduced last year, is designed to build understanding amongst our staff and enhance their ability to effectively interact with clients who have suffered from trauma in the past.

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Examining Co-occurring Mental and Substance Use Disorders - A 3-Part Series

Part 1: The Challenge of Mental Illness in Substance Abuse Treatment

 

This is the first of three blogs to examine co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. In this first blog, we review the prevalence of mental disorders among persons in addiction treatment, myths related to mental illness, key problems and challenges, and how to accurately identify persons with mental disorders. A second blog will explore effective treatment strategies for this population, and a third blog will focus on the importance of continuing care and transition services for persons who have co-occurring disorders.

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5210 Hits