In The Mix
Where I share a collection of things and topics of interest I am reading, listening to or talking about
Welcome to “In The Mix” where I share what has piqued my curiosity and interest, heard through the grapevine or landed in my lap every two weeks (sometimes every week). A relevant curation of books, articles, websites, events, podcasts and such that might interest you too! I am a voracious & curious reader, explorer of innovation and thought leadership.
I participated in Mobilize Recovery last week, a recovery advocacy conference. Attending conferences and other learning opportunities helped me get a solid education and powerful understanding of evidence based addiction/substance use disorder science and best practices for long term recovery. They’ve also exposed me to the smartest people in the room when it comes to policy, science, research, innovation in treatment, harm reduction and recovery. One of my favorite people to learn from, who consistently blows my mind is Dr. John Kelly. Here is a 2021 presentation for The Society of the Study of Addiction and an EXTREMELY well researched and well articulated keynote he did in 2018 in Minnesota on Treatment and Recovery if you want to get a real feel for his work. Keynote and National Service Recovery Forum. He is “Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute.”
One of the keynote speakers at Mobilize Recovery was Gabby Bernstein, Author of ten books on spirituality and a woman in long term recovery. My first experience of Gabby was in 2013 when I read her book Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self Love and Miracles. Her story resonated with me and it sparked a deeper desire to explore my own spirituality. It was one of those books falling off the shelf in the bookstore moments when my life was so challenging. I was in desperate need of spiritual guidance and grounding. She has a new book out, which I haven’t read, called Happy Days, The Guided Path from Trauma to Profound Freedom and Inner Peace. (I don’t think anyone has mentioned to her that we use person first language now, but maybe they did after her keynote.) It’s based on Internal Family Systems (IFS) and if you’re not familiar with that, here’s a place to explore it. If you’re seeing a therapist, hopefully you are if you’re in this arena, it’s a good system to explore with them.
I also learned about this website from former US Senator and Mental Health Parity activist Patrick Kennedy. Among other valuable things happening there, they are registering complaints to gather data regarding insurance system failure to treat addiction with parity. If “you, a family member, or your patient has experienced a denied claim for mental health and/or addiction services. The information you provide will help us to shape public policy and influence legislation in order to move us towards full parity implementation and mental health equity.”
If you haven’t seen this little gem done by The National Institute of Health (NIH), take the few minutes and share it if you feel so called. Due to the ways we’ve been conditioned by society, our own internal stigmas can get in the way of understanding why our kids don’t stop using even when things are chaotic in their lives. Understanding “why” it is so hard to stop helps us maintain emotional neutrality, be empathetic in our response and non-judgmental in our relationship. Science backs getting help for a disorder of the brain caused by toxic substances. There is not a piece of research that supports waiting for it to get worse to act.
If you’re wondering what the national standard of care for substance use disorder should be and where we are headed and quickly picking up speed as a society, check this out.
And a recent Washington Post article by Raising Lazarus and Dopesick Author, Beth Macy about Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder as a very obvious solution that could be implemented right away.
Whats rising right now is the sea change in how addiction is treated and all the ways people are working to reduce stigma, create access to treatment and recovery supports and help families get the support needed faster without tearing them apart first. Gen X and Boomer mothers and grandmothers inherited an opioid crisis during a war on drugs, treatment program corruption and a system failure to respond to a treatable health condition properly and humanely. The way substance use disorder/addiction is treated is evolving. Evolution is necessary. We’ve lost too many people we love to outdated ideology and policy that caused more harm to people and their families.
Hand over your heart, deep breath, we can walk this evolution together.
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