Workplace addiction was the topic of a Boyle County public forum in which Stepworks’ Dr. Tom Ingram was a featured speaker. Pam Wright of The Advocate-Messenger covered the forum and threw a spotlight on Dr. Ingram’s remarks about understanding addiction. Dr. Ingram emphasized that understanding addiction as a common brain disease is essential to helping employees get treatment for their condition.
Addiction doesn’t recognize boundaries, whether they are the boundaries that separate one addictive drug from another or the differences between one person and another. Anyone can suffer from the disease of addiction regardless of biology or background. Any addictive substance can be the one that destroys a life. Writing in Esquire, Christine Suhan offers a powerful account of her struggle to emerge from the depths of a debilitating meth addiction.
Join Stepworks and Chrysalis House at the Chrysalis House Community Center for the next live presentation in our series of speakers on current topics in addiction.
Tuesday, November 10
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Chrysalis House Community Center
1589 Hill Rise Dr
Lexington, KY 40504
Our next speaker series event covers the intersections of addiction with other health issues. This educational forum is open to the public (please RSVP above) and will feature two speaker presentations. Shawn Ryan, MD, from Brightview Health, will speak first, followed by Jason Joy, LLPC, from UK Medical Center.
If you attended our first speaker series event with A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, you learned about the changes in healthcare law that are bringing addiction care into mainstream healthcare systems. In this upcoming presentation, we’ll expand on the relationships between diagnosing and treating substance use disorders and providing general healthcare services.
Part I: Insights from the ED: How to Appropriately Assess, Diagnose, and Refer Patients for Substance Use Disorder Treatment
Shawn Ryan, MD, BrightView Health, Cincinnati, OH
Hospital emergency departments see a high volume of patients, many of whom are suffering from undiagnosed substance use disorders. However, in the past, emergency department physicians and nurses haven’t been adequately trained to diagnose underlying addiction disorders. Now that addiction treatment is being integrated into mainstream healthcare systems, it’s more important than ever for ED healthcare workers to know how to conduct screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for substance abuse.
Part II: Medical Complications of Care for Those with Substance Use Disorders
Jason Joy, LPCC, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY
In part two of this speaker series event, Jason Joy will help us to step outside the emergency department to look at broader issues related to treating health conditions when a patient is also suffering from a substance use disorder. Health intervention outcomes and patient quality of life will be maximized only if healthcare workers address the substance use disorder that may be interfering with the patient’s health or treatment. This talk will also cover how a patient’s history of substance abuse can make certain medical procedures more difficult or problematic. For those in the field, it will offer practical suggestions to improve current treatment models.
Come meet the team at the Stepworks of London residential center on Thursday, October 22! We’ll be hosting a public Open House event from 2-7 p.m., during which we hope to introduce ourselves to the community and show what we have to offer.
When: Thursday, October 22, 2-7 p.m.
Where: Stepworks of London, 3825 Marydell Rd., London, KY 40741
The entire staff of Stepworks of London will be present at the Open House to meet with community members and answer any questions that you might have about what we do. We’re looking forward to introducing ourselves to you and showing off our state-of-the-art treatment center.
We hope to make the Open House a memorable event that showcases what we do best. The event will include catered refreshments, door prizes, and tours of the residential center. Stepworks of London has been open since April 15, 2015, and we’re excited about the work we’ve already accomplished and the future of our London facility. We’ve already had many clients graduate from our residential treatment program. Come meet the team at the Open House and we’ll be happy to share more about what we hope to do for the London community. We’ll see you there!
Stepworks is proud to present the first in a special series of speakers on addiction education, treatment, and technology. You can find this special series and future resources and events through Stepworks Connect, a new free source of podcasts, videos, and other educational supplements. Through Stepworks Connect, we hope to help educate the public and medical community on the disease of addiction and cutting-edge treatment solutions.
Changes in Addiction Treatment with A. Thomas McLellan
This month, Dr. A. Thomas McLellan discusses how recent policy changes in insurance coverage have created new opportunities for prevention, early intervention, and treatment of substance use disorders. Dr. McLellan is among the foremost names in substance use research and public policy, having published over 400 articles of addiction research. He founded the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) and has worked as Science Advisor and Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The presentation will include an overview of recent health insurance policy changes and cover key issues for clinical and administrative personnel dealing with substance use problems in clinical populations.
The Live Event
September 14, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Chrysalis Community Center
1589 Hill Rise Drive, Lexington, KY 40504
About the Speaker
A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. is the founder of the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) and an experienced substance abuse researcher. From 2009 to 2010, he was Science Advisor and Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a congressionally confirmed Presidential appointment to help shape the nation’s public policy approach to illicit drug use. At ONDCP, Dr. McLellan worked on a broad range of drug issues, including formulation and implementation of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy and promotion of drug treatment through the broader revamping of the national health care system.
Dr. McLellan has more than 35 years of experience in addiction treatment research. In 1992, he co-founded and led TRI (until his ONDCP appointment) to transform the way research is employed in the treatment of and policy-making around substance use and abuse. In his career he has published over 400 articles and chapters on addiction research. From 2000-2009 he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and he has also served on several other editorial boards of scientific journals. Dr. McLellan is the recipient of several distinguished awards, including the Life Achievement Awards of the American and British Societies of Addiction Medicine (2001 & 2003); the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Innovator Award (2005); and awards for Distinguished Contribution to Addiction Medicine from the Swedish (2002) and Italian (2002) Medical Associations.
In the 1980s, with his colleagues from the Center for the Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. McLellan introduced the Addiction Severity Index and, later, the Treatment Services Review. Both are among the most widely used assessment instruments in the world.
Our topics of discussion will include:
- Innovations in screening and brief intervention: applications in school systems and primary care
- Harm-reduction methods: what they are and why they are so controversial
- Maintenance medications
- Overdose prevention and reversal
- Syringe exchange
- Creating welcoming treatment environments that engage and retain patients
- Technological and administrative solutions
All training series events will be recorded and available for later viewing.
Individual drug users aren’t always the only ones who suffer as a result of their drug use. Hikes in the number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) highlight the need for programs that treat opiate-dependent pregnant women. The problem of addiction during pregnancy is growing throughout the U.S., but the biggest crises are taking place in southern states like Kentucky. The Courier-Journal reports an alarming rise in NAS in the span of just one year. From 2013 to 2014, the number of infants admitted for hospital care for the syndrome in KY rose by 48 percent.
Back in March 2015, Kentucky lawmakers passed a heroin bill that, for many fighting the heroin epidemic in the state, was a long time coming. Now state officials have outlined plans for how they will allocate the $10 million of funding that was included in the final KY heroin treatment bill. KY Justice Secretary J. Michael Brown shared how the funds would be split between different treatment vectors in the state. Much of the funding will be going to the Department of Corrections in some form or another, while another large portion will be reserved for community mental health and treatment facilities.
In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brown emphasized the state’s determination to channel funds to programs that prove they use evidence-based treatment methods and get good treatment results. The state will reportedly begin accepting grant applications from mental health and substance abuse treatment centers in July. According to the Enquirer, advocates for heroin treatment in Northern Kentucky have been critical of the funding allocations. Some feel that the state should be explicitly expanding treatment capacity at rehab facilities with the funding instead of waiting for grant applications. They claim the need for heroin treatment in Northern KY is acute and urgent.
Is too much of the funding being reserved for KY heroin treatment in jails?
Another point of contention seems to be that the largest portion of heroin funding is going to supplement programs in jails and the criminal justice system in general. A total of $3 million will be used to fund substance abuse treatment programs in jails for county and state inmates. Northern KY county jails have already announced projects to expand substance abuse treatment programs in their facilities. Half of the $3 million in Department of Corrections funding will be used to provide medication for maintenance treatment for those who are released from incarceration.
Another portion of the funding has been reserved for the creation of “rocket docket” programs intended to speed up prosecution and sentencing procedures for drug offenders. Although the primary intention here is to increase efficiency in the courts, it should also result in county jails that are better able to provide detox and treatment to inmates by reducing overcrowding. Currently, local jails cannot meet the demand for treatment due to large inmate populations with a high rate of substance abuse disorders. These new funding measures aim to create a more efficient drug treatment system in the county jails.
More funding for pregnant women seeking KY heroin treatment
More of the funding will be used to enhance other vital drug treatment programs. A social workers program intended to promote alternative sentencing plans for drug offenders will receive $1.2 million. Another $1 million will go to programs that provide services to addicted pregnant women and infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome. The latter is an important area of treatment, with many noting the need for more programs that address the medical concerns of pregnant women suffering from substance abuse.
Several KY counties seek to improve Northern KY drug treatment efforts by creating a shared policy center for the region, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Northern KY Office of Drug Control Policy is planned to open July 1, 2015, using funds from three counties in the region: Kenton, Boone, and Campbell Counties. This regional office will be tasked with the research and proposal of effective drug treatment and prevention methods for the counties, which are facing tough problems with drug abuse, especially from heroin.
A recent outbreak of HIV infection in rural Indiana has Kentucky officials on alert for new HIV infection cases from sharing needles while injecting heroin and other opioid drugs. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an HIV outbreak centered in a small rural community in Indiana, in which most individuals who were infected had been engaged in shared drug use activity, most commonly injecting an opioid painkiller with shared syringes. They found that 135 people in a community of 4,200 were infected with the virus. Kentucky health officials are concerned the state could be at risk for a similar outbreak.
Fewer people died from heroin overdose in 2014 than in the previous year in some Northern KY counties, where the heroin epidemic is hitting communities the hardest. This comes as encouraging news for a region desperate for effective solutions to a drug problem that has seemed only to worsen in recent years. While the decrease in overdose deaths in some counties may be small, it could be a sign that prevention and treatment strategies are finally starting to reverse the epidemic.