The “Cool Spot”

(Posted March 2017)

If you are a treatment provider or a teacher, take a look at the website sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) called the “Cool Spot.” The website provides resources to help you educate and work with younger clients or students in interactive ways. The “Cool Spot” offers tools for teachers and group facilitators. The page contains lesson plans that include quizzes, challenges, answer keys and scripts for role-playing scenarios about peer pressure. Increase your educational Tool Box by viewing https://www.thecoolspot.gov/teachercorner.aspx.

Learning Tool to Enhance Group Activities

(Posted February 2017)

Do you facilitate a group as part of substance abuse treatment?
Do you struggle with how to keep the participants actively engaged?
Do you teach a health education class that addresses substance abuse issues?

If your answer is YES, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has developed a new BINGO GAME activity to be used by teachers and group facilitators. It was offered as an activity to use during the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW). The NDAFW week was held last month but to support ongoing efforts, the NDAFW web page posted the new BINGO GAME for ongoing use in the classroom and group setting. The game, instead of displaying the words BINGO at the top, uses the five letters NDAFW. Using the same process as traditional Bingo, the activity leader will call out a vocabulary word, rather than a number, and read the description that follows. If the player has the word under the correct letter, that space is covered. The point of the game is to educate players about certain topics and facts related to drug and alcohol use in an interesting and fun manner. The game continues until a player has a winning “BINGO” pattern. To liven up your group and enhance learning, download the NIDA game from: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week/get-activity-ideas/ndafw-bingo.

Support National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

(Posted January 2017)

It’s not too late to be a part of the National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW). The week is a national health observance week for teens that promotes local educational activities and events. The week is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It uses NIDA science based information to SHATTER THE MYTHSTM,SM about drugs. Take advantage of the learning opportunities for the young people in your community and become a participant in the week’s activities. Try the new, fun activity: NDAFW BINGO! To access the NDAFW BINGO and many other fun learning resources, link on to https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week.

Knowledge Network for Systems of Care TV

(Posted December 2016)

As a provider, you may be seeking more resources to assist you with the services you provide to transitional age youth, often called emerging adults. The transitional age youth is an assorted population to work with. As teens enter the next phase of life, their focus changes and is often overwhelming for them. There has been an interest the past few years to learn more about the age group and how to support teens as they enter adulthood. The research indicates there are a variety of unique issues and needs for this age group. To help understand these needs and issues, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed a series of webisodes that are provided on Knowledge Network for Systems of Care TV (KSOC – TV). The network provides web-based technical assistance programs featuring behavioral health experts that discuss current issues in children’s mental health. Links for two webisodes addressing transitional age youth issues are provided below.

You may review additional resources provided on KSOC – TV and SAMHSA by visiting the SAMHSA site at http://www.samhsa.gov/children/multimedia.

national-drug-alcohol-facts-week-logo-09-08-2016

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is Announced

(Posted September 2016)

On August 25, 2016, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) announced the next National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) will be held on January 23-29, 2017. The weeklong event links teens with scientists and other experts that create a safe spot for teens to ask questions addressing alcohol and other drug use and not experience judgment or lectures. Since the NDAFW began in 2010, the number of community-based events has sprung up with over 2,000 held last January throughout all 50 states and in 10 states. The week’s events may be sponsored by an assortment of organizations, such as schools, community groups, recreational groups, mental health agencies and substance use disorder organizations.

To support preparation for the week, event sponsors are offering online resources that offer guidance to teens and the adult coordinators. The website will offer information on how to make an event, how to publicize it, and how to obtain scientific data on drugs. If event sponsors register online, they will have free booklets with science-based facts about drugs and alcohol, including NIDA’s teen publication, Drugs: SHATTER THE MYTHS. In addition, each year NIDA and NIAAA develop a new interactive National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge. The quiz is fun and a challenging tool to incorporate into the week’s events. NDAFW scientists will hold their annual “web chat” with hundreds of teens from around the country on January, 26, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. More details on the popular annual chat, including registration information and previous transcripts is available on https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week-begins-january-23.

Educational Resources

(Posted July 2016)

Looking for current and accurate resources for use in your substance use education groups?

Do you provide substance use disorder prevention and treatment services within your area?

If so, you may want to review the resources provided on the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website for teens. NIDA has partnered with Scholastic, Inc. in the development of a variety of tools to help with your educational goals. The site, updated on May 27, 2016, includes:

  • Lesson plans with an activity finder,
  • Drug facts information and statistics,
  • Curriculum and infographics,
  • Interactives and videos,
  • Brochures.

If you are in search of learning tools to engage your clients or to meet substance abuse education goals, go to: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/teachers. These tools are a helpful resource for either the classroom teacher or treatment group facilitator.

Promoting Parent Involvement

(Posted June 2016)

If you are struggling with how to boost the importance of family involvement within your agency’s service delivery, take a look at the resources offered on youth.gov website. The U.S. government website offers you a variety of facts and resources about evidence-based programs for families who may be in need of your services. The web link shares eight helpful hints for encouraging active family and community involvement. The hints address enhancing school success, reducing risky behavior, building healthy relationships and promoting family retention in services. To access the information, click on: http://youth.gov/youth-topics/family-community-engagement?

Taking the Mystery Out of Implementing Evidence-based Programs

(Posted October 2015)

Over the years the substance use disorder (SUD) field has recognized and implemented a variety of evidence-based programs and practices. The primary experts on evidence-based programs and practices are the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). As an organization begins the process of selecting an evidence-based program, it may need some guidance with the process. For assistance NREPP has developed an online course that is also available to download and print. The course, A Road Map to Implementing Evidence-based Programs, provides guidance for the selection and implementation of evidence-based programs related to prevention and treatment that are available today. The course goals address how to select the program that best matches your organization’s needs and how to carry out the steps necessary to implement the selected program.

Whether looking for a program that addresses underage drinking, substance use disorders, parenting, bullying, or treatment of a mental health disorder, the information contained in the NREPP course can help in the selection, implementation, and sustainability of the program.

With the online version of the course, the user may click on additional information not provided in the print version. The online version provides links to:

  • A glossary of evidence-based terms;
  • Community Needs Assessment Resources and Tools;
  • Questions to Ask: Financial and Personnel Resources;
  • Organizational Capacity Resources and Tools;
  • Commitment and Buy-In tool;
  • Program Registries Resources and Tools;
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Checklist for Program Fit;
  • Fidelity and Adaptation Resources and Tools;
  • National Implementation Research Network.

The site also provides links to Best Practices and Potential Challenges related to each implementation stage. Check out the resource, A Road Map to Implementing Evidence-based Programs, available on http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/02_about.aspx.

Introducing the Illinois Family Resource Center (Posted August 2015)

Beginning April 1, 2015, Central East Alcoholism and Drug Council implemented the first steps to the development of the Illinois Family Resource Center. The Family Resource Center is a project funded by the Illinois Adolescent Infrastructure and Treatment Enhancement Initiative (SAT-ED). The Illinois SAT-ED is a federal grant funded through the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT) with the intent of supporting the enhancement and dissemination of evidence-based substance abuse treatment and recovery support services for teens and their families. The goal of the Family Resource Center is to ensure family involvement in all aspects of adolescent care within the Illinois substance abuse treatment system. To assist in meeting this goal, the Family Resource Center has begun a pilot process implementing evidence-based family curricula into both Adolescent Residential and Adolescent Outpatient programs. The Center will compile “lessons learned” and develop strategies that may be shared with other organizations seeking information about the process for selecting and implementing family focused substance use services for adolescents.

On July 1, 2015, the Illinois Family Resource Center website was launched as an information and resource link for parents, teens and providers. There will be new articles placed on the web pages each month. The web links will be updated on a continuing basis. Please take a few minutes and browse through the pages. As the Family Resource Center project expands, the Family Center Coordinator will be networking with other agencies who are involved in adolescent treatment services with the intent of sharing information.

If you are interested in learning more about the Illinois Family Resource Center or sharing “lessons learned,” please contact Nancy Phillips, Family Center Coordinator, at (217) 258-6018 or email info@illinoisfamilyresourcecenter.org.

Families of Youth with Substance Use Disorders: A National Dialogue (Posted August 2015)

 The history of family engagement in substance use disorder treatment services is fraught with problems. Research has shown that the participation of families in adolescent substance use treatment is a vital piece of successful recovery. Other systems that serve youth, such as mental health and developmental disabilities, have included families as active partners in the treatment process successfully. In 2005 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) developed the Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Coordination (SAC) grants. Fifteen states were awarded 3-year grants to increase the capacity of the states to provide effective, accessible and affordable treatment for adolescents and their families. One of the five priority areas of the state grantees was on developing family involvement. Because of the SAC initiative, the states made substantial progress involving families at the practice, program, and policy levels. These state efforts resulted in the National Family Dialogue meeting held in 2009.

On March 27 and 28, 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) gathered a group of providers, family members, federal government representatives and consultants for the first national meeting to include family members of youth with substance use disorders (SUD). The majority of the family members attending were participants in the SAC State’s efforts. This group came together to identify challenges and opportunities to improve the adolescent treatment/recovery system as well as to strengthen family involvement at the Federal, State, and Tribal levels. Thirty-four states, the District of Columbia, and Tribal Nations were represented at the dialogue meeting.

The CSAT/SAMHSA National Family Dialogue meeting included the following goals:

  • Strengthen and shape the roles and responsibilities of families as valued substance use treatment/recovery system partners and advocates.
  • Develop supports to empower families of youth with substance use disorders in order to create positive changes in the substance use disorder treatment and recovery system.
  • Develop recommendations for CSAT/SAMHSA on strengthening and expanding family involvement in youth substance use disorder treatment and recovery at the practice, program, and policy levels.

During the two days the participants heard presentations from representatives of all the groups attending. The presentations were processed within small groups that were facilitated by a team including a family member and a substance use professional. There were five small groups that made recommendations addressing the following:

  • Challenges for youth in the current substance use disorder treatment and recovery system,
  • Ideal features of a youth treatment/recovery system and necessary actions to realize these features, and
  • Definition of the roles of family members and the supports necessary to sustain family member involvement in the treatment/recovery system.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Families of Youth with Substance Use Addiction: A National Dialogue. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Provider section will continue to provide information about history and current efforts to involve families in substance use treatment at the practice, program, and policy levels.