I often get asked, what does “recovery” from addiction actually mean?
It may come as a surprise that attempts to define recovery from substance use issues are fairly recent. Just 15 years ago, stakeholders in attendance at the first National Recovery Summit took up the task of developing a definition of recovery along with associated principles. The definition they came up with is as follows:
“Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.”
In this Keep Talking episode, Dr. Leslie Korn talks with Gay Maxwell about "integrative medicine" and how her holistic approach to the treatment and prevention of mental health and addiction disorders not only includes counseling and psychotherapy, but the use of dietary and supplement protocols.
Vermont is fortunate to have an established system of outpatient care for people who are recovering from opioid addiction. In fact, our state’s Hub and Spoke system has been nationally recognized as a model for other states struggling with the current opioid epidemic.
The concept and practice of enabling is a powerful and complicated issue—one that comes up regularly in my work as a clinical psychologist at the Brattleboro Retreat. Enabling has parallel meanings. To enable can refer to our interactions that empower others to develop and evolve. It also includes those well intended or protective actions that unfortunately may contribute to perpetuating or aggravating another person’s problems.
Following news reports about a recent spike in heroin overdoses in central and northern Vermont, the Vermont Department of Health issued a warning to street drug users about a particularly powerful strain of heroin that has turned up in several communities and caused at least 10 individuals, one of whom later died, to overdose in a 50 hour stretch during the weekend of Aug. 13 and 14.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a tragic new report showing suicide rates in the U.S. have risen to a 30-year high. While the rise was particularly sharp among women, the report also outlined increases in rates of suicide among nearly all races and age groups.
Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Bi-polar disorder. Alcohol and other drug problems. If left untreated, psychiatric and addiction challenges like these can damage careers, hurt relationships, and even destroy lives. That’s why the skilled caregivers at the Brattleboro Retreat are dedicated to helping children, adolescents, and adults who face mental illness or addiction find the hope and healing they deserve.
Raina Lowell is a mother, community outreach coordinator in northern Vermont, and author of the "How to Love a Drug Addict" blog. She appeared in the 2013 documentary film "The Hungry Heart". As part of her journey toward recovery, Raina received care at the Brattleboro Retreat.
The Brattleboro Retreat's Stand Up to Stigma campaign is about helping people understand what is true and what is not true about mental illness and addiction. We also want to encourage and empower people to shift attitudes--their own, and those of their family members, friends, co-workers, and community members.
In this Keep Talking segment, host Gay Maxwell, LICSW, is joined by Todd Kammerzelt, MD, Unit Chief of the Brattleboro Retreat's Co-Occurring Disorders Inpatient Program. They address the myths and truths about the disease of addiction as well as addiction recovery. Taped at BCTV in May 2014.