Recovery Month Reflections

As we come to the close of Recovery Month, it has become ever clearer how fitting this year’s theme was: Recovery is for Everyone: Every Individual, Every Family, Every Community. As the executive director of The Council of Southeast PA and PRO-ACT, I have the privilege of hearing so many recovery stories and, this year in particular, the truth of that statement is powerful. Knowing how important gratitude is to recovery, I would like to acknowledge and share deep appreciation for those who worked tirelessly to ensure our region has a deep and resilient recovery community. Those of us working in recovery-oriented organizations owe a debt of gratitude to those who had a vision for a different way forward and helped create a new way of understanding a community approach to recovery. Here in Southeastern PA, those individuals include my predecessor at The Council, Beverly Haberle; former DBHIDS Commissioner Dr. Arthur Evans, who is now CEO of the American Psychological Association; and current DBHIDS Deputy Commissioner Roland Lamb, to name a few.  Roland retires at the end of this month, so I also want to extend my deep thanks to him for his support and leadership – and to the support he has extended to our organization It is truly an exciting time to be leading an organization that provides [...]

2021-09-27T12:56:11-04:00September 27th, 2021|Addiction & Recovery|

Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community

Each year during National Recovery Month, we celebrate those who have faced adversity from mental health or substance use challenges. We typically use this month to encourage others who may be struggling, reflect on our own recoveries, and educate those seeking to support others. This month is a reminder that at the core of recovery are individuals actively working on themselves. Every individual’s story and reasons for being in recovery should be acknowledged as their truths. Recovery can be unique to each person. We need to elevate those individuals, celebrate their successes, and support them when needed. Every individual is entitled to the opportunity for recovery. In Philadelphia, we have a recovery-oriented system of care that encourages long-term support and recognizes that individuals may follow many pathways to recovery. Throughout the city, there are treatment options to support an individual’s recovery including evidenced-based practices, acute settings, and long-term resources. Recovery is not typically an isolated process. Those closest to the individual can be involved in many ways. Family and close friends provide significant support and necessary connections. Being a reliable caregiver for those in recovery requires preparedness, knowledge of the resources, and a desire to support even when things are difficult. An available, reliable caregiver can help improve chances of ongoing recovery. That individual now has someone to reach for [...]

2021-09-22T16:44:54-04:00September 22nd, 2021|Addiction & Recovery|

Recovery Month: Opioid Addiction, Recovery, & Overdose Prevention

As Philadelphia continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is still facing an opioid use and overdose epidemic. Every neighborhood across our city and country is affected as well as all racial and ethnic groups. Addiction to opioids can happen to anyone, no matter age, gender, income, or family upbringing. As we celebrate Recovery Month 2020, we must do all we can to support those struggling with this addiction so that they, too, can experience recovery. What exactly are Opioids?  Opioids are a class of drugs prescribed to relieve pain (often termed, 'pain killers.') Common brand names include: OxyContin® and Percocet® (oxycodone) Vicodin® (hydrocodone), and Kadian (morphine.) When appropriately prescribed by a doctor, opioids help the brain block the feeling of pain and help many people to cope with the pain caused by surgery, physical trauma, and chronic ailments. Also included in the opioids class is the illegal drug heroin (which is chemically similar to prescription opioids), and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical academic center, notes that people who take potentially addictive drugs as prescribed rarely abuse them or become addicted. But taking them not as prescribed or for an extended time increases the risk of misuse and addiction. Once addicted, it is challenging to stop continued use. When a person is addicted to a drug, [...]

2021-09-27T12:27:47-04:00September 24th, 2020|Addiction & Recovery|

Stop Vaping

E-cigs. E-hookahs. Mods. Pens. Vapes. Whatever the name, e-cigarettes are not safe. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. E-cigarette use among youth was recently declared an epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General. Some e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes, cigars or pipes. Some e-cigarettes look like pens, USB sticks, or other everyday items. Despite the “vaping” name, e-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.” It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds; cancer-causing chemicals and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said, “No one knows what’s in these products. Even the FDA doesn’t know, because they haven’t required manufacturers to submit a list of ingredients. My message to people in Philadelphia is this: don’t use products that you don’t know are safe. Until we know more, don’t vape.” “These products are addictive and killing young people,” added Mayor Jim Kenney. “The FDA should have regulated this industry a decade ago, and Philadelphia won’t sit idly by waiting for federal action.” Behind The Haze is dedicated to revealing the truth about vapes, so you can see the real facts for yourself.   [...]

2021-09-27T12:30:22-04:00November 3rd, 2019|Addiction & Recovery, Awareness, Family & Youth|
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