Behavioral Health Treatments & Services Learn how health care professionals address common mental illnesses and substance use disorders and how SAMHSA helps people access treatments and services.
Road to Recovery Radio Series
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.
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.
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 will review 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.
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 this 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.
This episode highlights the 2014 Recovery Month campaign’s many accomplishments and looks forward to a successful 2015 Recovery Month.
Recovery housing is increasingly recognized as critical to recovery for many individuals. This episode examines the growing support for recovery housing in many states and communities and highlights the many forms these programs can take. Sober housing and recovery housing can be tailored to specific demographic groups such as adult men, adult women, young adults, and college students.
The episode looks at the activities and programs offered in these housing settings including mediation, one-on-one counseling, group sessions, peer recovery support, medication management, spiritual engagement, and others.
Additionally, the episode explores strategies for overcoming challenges to providing recovery housing as the need for this service is likely to rise in the future.
Children in homes with substance use are at great risk of developing substance use disorders and lifelong mental health issues. Targeting these families is a priority treatment and recovery concern as well as an effective prevention strategy. It’s critical to work directly with the family environments where these disorders begin to prevent mental and/or substance use disorders.
This episode focuses on the relationship between substance use and trauma, acknowledging the long-term effects on children and families.
Children of parents with substance use disorders (including parents with these disorders who are incarcerated) are also commonly involved with child welfare and foster care systems, creating other long-term challenges. The episode presents strategies to identify and work with troubled families to break the cycle of substance use.
Victims of natural or man-made disasters need support to recover from the trauma of the event. Trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues. It can also put victims at higher risk for substance abuse.
This episode looks at why disaster victims need support both immediately after the event and over the long term.
Governmental agencies, community-based organizations, and others in disaster response need to plan to effectively address the behavioral health needs of these victims.
This episode looks at the importance of understanding a specific community’s culture when providing recovery services.
Overcoming language barriers and appreciating the health-related beliefs and practices of different communities is becoming increasingly important with our nation’s rapidly changing demographics. “Community” is broadly defined in this episode to include racial and ethnic groups as well as other clearly defined groups such as faith communities and military families.
The episode focuses on Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans to illustrate the need for cultural and linguistic competency when working with racial and ethnic groups.
It offers principles and best practices for effectively reaching targeted communities, including:
- Understanding the community’s language, values, and norms
- Enlisting help from respected members of the community
- Building peer support among community members
This episode highlights the 2013 Recovery Month campaign’s many accomplishments and looks forward to a successful 2014 Recovery Month.