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.”
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.
Recent news of the closure of Maple Leaf Treatment Center in Underhill took many of us in the field of mental health and addiction by surprise. Too many Vermonters in need of addiction treatment are already underserved. And the sudden loss of Maple Leaf's 41 beds along with its outpatient program for people battling opioid addiction is an unfortunate blow that will further strain our state's loosely stitched patchwork of mental health and addiction services.
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.
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.
Members of the Brattleboro Retreat's clinical staff discuss the hospital's philosophy and approach to treating substance abuse and addiction.
I’m often asked by concerned parents and other individuals who have regular contact with young people: “Is it possible to recognize when a teen, or even a younger child, has a drug or alcohol problem? What should I look for?” The short answer is yes, it is possible; but the longer answer can be much more complicated. That’s because it is not unusual for older people to be completely unaware of a young person’s involvement or dependence on alcohol or other drugs.