March 2015: Kick-off Show
Aired: March 4, 2015
This episode highlights the 2014 Recovery Month campaign’s many accomplishments and looks forward to a successful 2015 Recovery Month.
April 2015: Substance Use Among Youth and Young Adults: Pathways to Health and Lifelong Success
Aired: April 1, 2015
This episode focuses on the complex challenges faced by America’s high school and college students. It examines the connection between increased academic and emotional stress and substance misuse, such as underage drinking on college campuses and prescription drug misuse.
Studies show that youth who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to have preventable problems such as:
- Higher absence and poor or failing grades in school
- Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities
- Physical and sexual assault
However, schools can be a secure place for students to start their recovery and to sustain it. Panelists in the episode explain that for some students, their recovery path goal is graduation while others see recovery as a lifestyle choice that supports their future career.
This episode examines successful student wellness programs and support systems, such as on-campus sober housing and weekly group meetings. These need to be in place to help students increase awareness, promote prevention, and sustain recovery, which can contribute to success in academic life and beyond.
May 2015: Healing and Empowerment: Families on the Road to Recovery
Aired: May 6, 2015
Engaging families in recovery can improve communication, reduce stress, and increase success. Family members are often critical providers of support, love, and care throughout the recovery journey. But they need their own resources and networks. They need to share experiences and get help navigating the emotionally stressful recovery process of their loved ones.
This is especially true for military families. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common and devastating condition that leads veterans and family members alike to use drugs and alcohol to cope. Because of duty assignments, members of the military are often separated from their families for long periods of time. As a result, the family often goes through life challenges and stress.
This show examines the benefits of peer support and networks aimed at families as well as the individual member in recovery. The panel reviews models and approaches to family recovery and, specifically, effective support networks and resources. These include resource centers on military bases for families of service members and veterans coping with separation and comorbid conditions, including PTSD.
June 2015: Screening and Assessments for Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders: The Role of Primary Care
Aired: June 3, 2015
In 2013, almost 8% of Americans aged 12 or older needed treatment for a substance use disorder but didn’t get it. This episode examines ways to reduce the number of untreated individuals through accurate and efficient screening and assessment in primary care settings. These procedures could also be a crucial point in identifying co-occurring disorders.
One such procedure is Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). This is an evidence-based practice that can be used to identify mental and/or substance use disorders and direct patients to both appropriate care levels and specialty facilities. For example, SBIRT can help primary care practitioners develop questions to find out if a prescription is truly necessary for a patient.
Making SBIRT a standard practice in primary care settings could help reduce the burden on other social service and criminal justice settings by identifying a potential mental health illness in an at-risk patient.
In addition, screening for infectious diseases should be a protocol in the primary care setting. IV drug users have high rates of HIV, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and antibiotic-resistant infections.
The episode’s panel reviews SBIRT’s elements. They look at how it has and can continue to be incorporated into primary health care settings to screen for mental and/or substance use disorders and help reduce overprescribing of medications. In addition, a preview of the collaboration between SAMHSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that focuses on guidelines gives health care professionals who prescribe opioids a framework for safer prescribing.
July 2015: Overcoming Trauma and Violence: The Power of Resiliency
Aired: July 1, 2015
Trauma’s effects often place a heavy burden on individuals, families, and communities. Trauma can result from a single incident, such as a car crash, or from chronic, emotional, and physical trauma such as bullying or sexual abuse.
Past trauma can lead to mental and emotional states that hurt a person’s recovery. This is supported by the findings of the landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. The study found a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease as well as mental and/or substance use disorders.
For example, an individual can develop a substance use disorder to manage the distress of trauma’s effects and traumatic stress symptoms. In turn, an individual’s substance use disorders can be a risk factor for the onset of trauma, such as physical or sexual assault and accidents, as a result of risky behavior.
This episode explores the three “Es” of trauma: Event(s), Experience of Event(s), and Effect. It also emphasizes the fulfilling path to resiliency that helps people tap into their strengths.
SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care and Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint offers service providers and the public evidence-based approaches to treat these conditions as trauma-informed approaches become a more central focus in behavioral health care systems.
August 2015: Preventing and Addressing Homelessness Among People With Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders
Aired: August 5, 2015
People experiencing homelessness can have great difficulty overcoming or managing mental and/or substance use disorders. Of the approximately 610,000 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2013, 1 in 5 had a serious mental illness. Slightly more than 1 in 5 had a chronic substance use disorder.
This episode examines the causes of homelessness for people with mental and/or substance use disorders. Panelists discuss various evidence-based models that address homelessness. They also highlight current programs that are successful at reducing these conditions and that are providing health, screenings, and wellness resources.
The discussion includes an overview of housing options, from emergency shelters to transitional housing. In addition, this episode gives perspectives from families affected by loved ones with a mental and/or substance use disorder who experienced homelessness and their path to stable, supportive housing.
September 2015: New Technologies for Whole Body Health and Wellness
Aired: September 2, 2015
This episode looks at the use of new technologies that help people track their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Innovations in health information technology and telemedicine have expanded the delivery of treatment and recovery services. New online tools for treatment and recovery such as “virtual” communities, telemedicine portals, and “virtual” counselors offer individuals tailored services.
The episode reviews SAMHSA’s new mobile applications and interactive tools. These include an anti-bullying app, the suicide prevention phone line, and innovative mobile resources to help prevent underage drinking.
This episode also examines new self-directed tools for wellness, including fitness tracking devices, apps that encourage exercise and reduced calorie intake, and programs that allow patients to self-monitor their own mental health. Additionally, the episode discusses tools to help individuals access recovery and support networks through their mobile phones.
Patients should be encouraged to talk to their provider about how the tools benefit their health and wellness. The episode’s panel discusses how patients and health care professionals alike can learn about health information technologies designed to prevent substance use, promote early intervention, and provide methods for healthy lifestyle behaviors and overall wellness—all essential components of a successful recovery journey.
November 2015: The Road to Recovery 2015: Showcases of Events
Aired: November 4, 2015
This episode will feature footage, photos, and interviews of participants from nationwide events as individuals, families, and entire communities celebrate Recovery Month.
In addition, the episode will highlight the positive and affirming message realized by millions of Americans: Behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover!