UNITE to Face Addiction: I am Not Alone

October 29, 2015
Brendan Gault
University of Nevada Reno Recovery & Prevention Community

Brendan (second from left) in front of the White House
with fellow students from NRAP: 
Alicia M., Dan S., and Claire C.
I am a person in recovery from a substance use disorder and a member of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Recovery & PreventionCommunity (NRAP). I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the UNITE to Face Addiction Rally in our nation’s capital.
     UNITE to Face Addiction was an attempt to raise awareness about the addiction crisis facing our country. The object of the rally, which was held on the National Mall, was to show that there really are people, like me, who are affected and, more importantly, recovering from the disease of addiction.

"Goomers" and Frequent Flyers: Adjusting Attitudes

October 22, 2015

Louise Haynes, MSW
Medical University of South Carolina

Have you ever heard the term "Goomer?"  It's the acronym for "Get out of my emergency room" and was the 1970s term for a person who would be later called a "frequent flyer"--someone who was seen repeatedly in hospital emergency departments. The person often had a mental illness, substance use disorder, or both. "Goomers" were reviled by medical residents working in emergency rooms because they required lots of time and attention, and visit after visit, they never seemed to get any better. For many physicians, exposure and training in the treatment of addiction has consisted of caring for the down-and-out emergency room patient who barely survived from crisis to crisis. Physicians-in-training rarely, if ever, saw substance abusing patients get better, and their knowledge of what we know as recovery was non-existent.

Is that still true today?


Weapons of Mass Ridiculousness: Stomping out Teen Smoking

October 16, 2015
Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Editor, NIATx

This month's ATTC Network iTraining (Thursday, October 22, 2:00-3:30 ET) features an overview of SAMHSA's 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health results. Jonaki Bose, Chief of the Populations Survey Branch at SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, will give a "big picture" of the results and also discuss the most significant changes since last year's survey.

Register for the webinar here.

One promising result in this year's survey is the decrease in tobacco use among teens. I checked in with Dr. Bruce Christiansen, tobacco researcher at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, on what factors might be contributing to that trend.

A variety of things, says Dr. Christiansen.


UNITE to Face Addiction: This is just the beginning

October 12, 2015
Kim Johnson, PhD
Co-Director, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Deputy Director, NIATx

Two days before the UNITE to Face Addiction rally, forecasters were predicting that Hurricane Joaquin would hit the East Coast by the weekend. Everyone kept saying that the hurricane was only a metaphor; that people in recovery had been to hell and back and Hurricane Joaquin didn't scare them.

Thankfully, Joaquin changed direction at the last minute and headed out to sea. Talk about a sea change. We didn't need to prove anything, as thousands of people gathered under overcast skies on October 5 to celebrate recovery on the National Mall.