Recovery: Children, Adolescents, Transition Age Youth, & Families – By Bill White

Considerable efforts are underway at federal, state, and local levels to extend acute and palliative care models of addiction treatment to models of assertive and sustained recovery management (RM) nested within larger recovery orientated systems of care (ROSC). As that work proceeds, a critical question has emerged about the application of RM and ROSC to the design, delivery, and evaluation of services for children, adolescents, transition age youth, and families (CATAYF). A seminal paper on this question was developed by the City of Philadelphia as part of its systems transformation process (See HERE). Further work in this area is underway in Ohio through the efforts of the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services with funding support from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration System of Care Grant. A critical step in the effort to extend ROSC implementation to youth and their families was the… Continue reading

Days in The Life of An Adult Child – Mistakes

I was working in a new situation and was asked to sort out and manage a large backlog of paperwork. It was a stack at least two feet high; a mountain of dusty paper reflecting all kinds of transactions and data in jargon I could only guess at. Although the task wasn’t as challenging as puzzle-solving, or as creative as re-engineering, I welcomed it. The environment was a tidy, modern office with a cheerful employee. The work required focus and concentration. I missed that kind of nimble mental aerobics and I dove in with gusto. It brought back a similar experience when I was no more than a tot when my mother brought me along to do some grocery shopping. In those days the local groceries were smallish with dull-grey walls of shelves, cans and jars with colorful labels and no flank of gleaming, scanning, beeping cashiering stations. The store… Continue reading

Days in the Life of an Adult Child – Wisdom

Wisdom is commonly defined as having experience, knowledge, and sound judgment. Based on that dictionary definition, it’s attained slowly across time, by living and learning, and not instantly from a jagged bolt of lightning from above, like in children’s cartoons. It’s certainly not the same thing as cognition or intelligence. And it’s hard to quantify or measure, except for subjective comparison of before-and-after spiritual selfies. In the serenity prayer we ask God for three things: acceptance of the things we cannot change, and courage to change what we can. The last and, in my view, most critical component, is the wisdom to distinguish between the two. I’ve struggled with this simple yet powerful triumvirate for decades, usually unsure when acceptance should prevail over courage. As a recovering ACA, I also focus on three areas that closely correspond to the prayer: eliminating denial by fully accepting the reality of how it… Continue reading

Days in The Life of An Adult Child – Wellness

Every time I re-awaken to the notion that self-care is an important part of managing the three-legged healing “stool” of denial-busting, mourning and tender re-parenting I seem drawn to immediate, quick fixes. These fixes are likely a leftover of the family’s immigrant legacy of learned helplessness, victimhood, ignorance, superstition and catastrophizing. My parents on both sides were first generation and my maternal, illiterate, but masterful, grandmother lived with us. There was no problem so small that it couldn’t be met, by the women, with fist biting hysteria, eye rolls that would make Eddie Cantor envious, and repeated threats of “taking the gas pipe.” They all modeled thoughtless reaction, and I think I was a straight A student. So, naturally, recovery wellness meant instantaneous cure to me. I would put my whole focus on it, and make miracles happen. Since I was a runt preemie of only 4 pounds at birth,… Continue reading

What’s the Difference Between Opiate Dependency & Addiction – By Jessica Donovan

What’s the difference between opiate dependency and addiction. Some say none. I say, there is a big difference! Having spent the better part of last year with chronic back and pelvic pain I have been on and off and on and off opiates. Only to be back on again. This time while I await surgery as the source of my pain has finally  been located with no help from my general practitioner but that’s another story. So in the meantime, trying to figure out what’s wrong with me I have been prescribed Norco AKA hydrocodone 10mg and Percocet for breakthrough pain. Let me tell you what – the chemical dependency is real folks! Your brain will become attached to this medication. You will feel the highs and lows of it all. You will get goosebumps and go into full withdrawal if you go 6-12 hours without a dose. Please don’t… Continue reading