More on National Recovery Month
As you saw from Part I, this month offers much hope for those on their path to recovery.
This blog post will focus the way the healthcare community and youth (ages 12-25) can help with the process. It will recovery tools available for providers and individuals as they look for helpful resources.
Two Valuable Recovery Communities
Healthcare is a broad field usually involving the following professions:
- Primary Care Physicians
- Addiction Specialists
- Nurse Practitioners
- Health Educators and
- Peer Coaches
Just as providers identify and treat heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, healthcare professionals must screen their patients for mental and substance use disorders. We know this group can have a significant impact on preventing, treating, and promoting recovery to their patients.
Here are stark statistics from 2017:
- 16.7 million individuals 12+ years of age and older reported heavy alcohol use to their healthcare provider
- 11.4 million people misused opioids
- 774 thousand individuals used methamphetamines
As healthcare costs escalate due to repeat patient visits, we hope all healthcare professionals will help their patients find hope sooner through recovery. Case in point: The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates it costs the United States $232 billion annually in health care costs due to substance misuse.
How You Can Help
Even if you are not in the healthcare field, you can encourage the following actions by this community of caretakers:
- Encourage their treatment of the whole patient – addressing physical, mental, and emotional needs
- Secure training and certification to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid disorder treatment
- Promote SAMHSA’s National Helpline for free, confidential treatment referral when their office is closed. SAMHSA is a 24/7 service providing English and Spanish speaking phone support.
- Please send them to the American Public Health Association Substance Misuse web page for information and resources on how to address this issue.
- Provide a link to the CDC presentation on non-opioid treatment options for chronic pain.
- Please encourage them to take the free, online training about assessing and managing suicide risk.
Youth – 12 to 25 Years Old and the Leaders that Serve Them
The time from entering middle school to becoming a young adult is a period of change for most young people. This change includes growth and uncertainty, making this population especially vulnerable to outside influences such as alcohol, misusing prescription drugs, and bullying.
- 85% of high school seniors said it is easy or effortless to obtain alcohol, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
- The National Youth Tobacco Survey notes there has been a 78% increase in e-cigarette users between 2017 and 2018.
- According to the CDC, 20% of students across the US are bullied.
What You Can Do to Help
- If you have children in your household, talk to them about recovery. Remind them is nothing to fear or be shameful about it. Recovery can give them a much better life as depicted here by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
- If your college students are living away from home, encourage them to seek out campus health services. Check out our blog post about other things college-age students can do to keep their stress levels down.
- If you work at a middle school, high school, or college, use the Recovery Month Toolkit to get the word out to your students.
- If you are on a college campus and struggle with mental illness, consider starting or becoming involved in Active Minds. View a list of the chapters. Below is a brief video about their purpose:
- If you are a parent of a 12-18-year-old, download the SAMSHA’s Talk. They Hear You. App. Here’s a brief video about it:
- Go to StopBullying.gov to understand more about what it is, how to prevent and assess it.
- Download the I am Sober app to your smartphone to keep track of your recovery progress and milestones.
Remember, above all, recovery is possible with the right support and tools!
About Coleman Professional Services
Individuals can recover if they have access to care and have a support system to guide them. You can call us 24 hours a day, seven days a week to initiate a mental health and substance use disorder treatment plan.
Our experienced and licensed staff serve individuals seeking assistance for an emotional or behavioral problem, addiction, or are living with severe mental illness. Our services promote recovery and resiliency using evidence-based practices.