Addiction is a debilitating disease. It’s progressive, chronic, and can kill you.
But it’s also treatable. And there’s been increasingly good news on that front. So, I thought it might be a good time to share a handful of recent stories I’ve come across. Plus, September is Recovery Month, sponsored by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- The American Board of Addiction Medicine has recently launched the first addiction medicine residency training programs for doctors who have already completed training in other specialties. Until recently, only psychiatrists could earn a sub-specialty designation in the field. And because primary care and other doctors are often on the front lines – seeing addicted patients for other complaints, and maybe missing the underlying issues – they’re now being encouraged to get the extra training.
- SAMSHA recently updated its working definition of recovery, which is important for a few reasons. One is that it gives patients, caregivers, and the public some common language to talk about what recovery looks like. For instance, it’s more than just abstaining from drugs or alcohol; it should include community support. Another is that it could help inform policy and advocacy for recovery programs.
In Rhode Island, there’s some good news for recovery, too.
- Classes have just started at Rhode Island’s first recovery high school, the Anchor Learning Academy.
- The Providence Center’s Anchor Recovery Community Center just registered its 100,000th drop-in visitor. The Pawtucket-based drop-in center provides a safe place for people in recovery to hang out, attend recovery support meetings, and get other kinds of training.
- In honor of Recovery Month, Rhode Island is hosting several events, including: Sept. 15, 2 pm, Rally4Recovery Providence; Sept. 20, 2-4 pm: Recovery Housing Fair; Sept. 28, 1-3 pm: Aquidneck Island Rally4Recovery.
- Earlier this summer, National Recovery Month planners honored the head of Rhode Island’s Dept. of Behavioral Healthcare, Craig Stenning, for his work in improving substance abuse treatment in prisons, among other accomplishments.