Current Addictions and Mental Health Resources

By: Dr. Dawn-elise Snipes

Anyone can have a mental illness, regardless of age, gender, race, or income. Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or AIDS. It is believed that one in five adults and children has a diagnosable mental disorder, one in every 10 young people age 9 or older has a serious emotional disturbance that severely disrupts daily life.and one in four families will have a member with mental illness. Children who develop depression often have a family history of the illness, many times a parent who had depression at an early age. Untreated mental health problems can lead to suicide, which is the sixth leading cause of death for 5- to 14-year olds. An estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need.It is important to remember that mental illness occurs at any age, but most often appears for the first time between the ages of 25 and 44. With proper treatment, most people suffering from a mental illness can return to normal, productive lives, and almost everyone receives some benefit from treatment.

The causes of mental illness are complicated. Mental health disorders in children and adolescents are caused mostly by biology and environment. Examples of biological causes are genetics, chemical imbalances in the body caused by genetics, lack of sleep or poor nutrition, or damage to the central nervous system, such as a head injury, lack of oxygen in child birth and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Many environmental factors also put young people at risk for developing mental health disorders. Examples including exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead; exposure to violence, such as witnessing or being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, drive-by shootings, muggings, or other disasters; stress related to chronic poverty, discrimination, or other serious hardships; and the loss of important people through death,divorce, or broken relationships.

The following six preventive services are recommended and can be carried out in a clinic, church, library or local community center:

1. Prenatal and infancy home visits or support groups.

2. Targeted cessation education and counseling for smokers, especially those who are pregnant.

3. Targeted short-term mental health therapy.

4. Self-care education for adults (money management, relationship skills, stress management).

5. Mentoring and adult supervised after-school and weekend programs

6. Brief counseling and advice to reduce alcohol use.

Over the years I have found that finding good information is kind of like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The following links will take you to addictions and mental health sites that have the most current and useful information for addictions counselors, rehabilitation counselors, mental health clinicians, nurses and (of course) program administrators. All of the resources are FREE so you can order copies for your colleagues and/or staff!

Clinical Preventive Services in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Update: From Science to Services This report has been prepared to summarize the most promising preventive interventions of a behavioral nature intended to impact mental and substance use disorders, or in some cases, medical outcomes. This review focuses on prevention interventions that are primarily delivered by health care systems. Interventions provided in schools, worksites, communities, and criminal justice systems were excluded, as were population-based interventions.Clinical

Preventive Services in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Update: From Science to Services Special Report: Preventive Interventions Under Managed Care: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Programs and services that prevent substance abuse and mental health disorders have the potential to lessen an enormous burden of suffering and to reduce both the cost of future treatment and lost productivity at work and home. The availability and accessibility of these interventions to the millions of Americans whose health care is provided by managed care organizations depend upon the services' status as covered benefits.

Get Connected! Toolkit (Linking Older Adults With Medication, Alcohol, and Mental Health Resources) Alcohol, medication misuse, and mental health problems can be significant issues for older adults. This kit is designed to enable their service providers to undertake health promotion, advance prevention messages and education, and provide screening and referral for mental health problems and the misuse of alcohol and medications. The kit includes a coordinator's guide and program support materials such as education curricula, fact sheets, handouts, forms, and resources.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): The Basics (CD Rom) This mini CD-consisting of slides and accompanying notes-provides the latest and most accurate information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders or FASD. The CD includes essential facts on what FASD is, how it's caused, how many people have it, and much more.

Quick Guide for Clinicians Based on TIP 47, Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment This pocket-sized booklet concisely presents information from TIP 47, including the principles of intensive outpatient treatment (IOT), the services offered, treatment engagement, clinical issues and challenges, and the approaches used in IOT.

TIP 46: Substance Abuse: Administrative Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP), Substance Abuse: Administrative Issues in Outpatient Treatment, was written to help administrators address the changing environment in which outpatient treatment programs operate. The TIP provides basic information about running an outpatient treatment program, including strategic planning, working with a board of directors, relationships with strategic partners, hiring and retaining employees, staff supervision, continuing education and training, performance improvement, outcomes monitoring, and promotion of the program to potential clients, funding agencies, and government officials. More specialized sections address challenges that have emerged and gathered importance in the last decade: preparing a program to provide culturally competent treatment to an increasingly diverse client population and succeeding in a managed care-dominated world by diversifying the funding sources a program draws on.

TIP 45, Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment TIP 45 provides lists and tables related to such topics as initial evaluation domains for clients in detoxification, guidance on assessment and rehabilitation planning, and the management of intoxication and withdrawal from specific substances or substance groups such as alcohol, marijuana, stimulants, and opioids.

TIP 44: Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal Justice System Research consistently demonstrates a strong connection between criminal activity and substance abuse; research also finds that involvement in substance abuse treatment reduces recidivism for offenders who use drugs. This TIP presents clinical guidelines to assist counselors in dealing with problems that routinely arise because of their clients' status in the criminal justice system.



Good resources for teachers and parents regarding mental health and addictions can also be hard to come by. Additionally, many parents have a hard time sticking with programs because day-to-day things come up---working late, homework whatever. It is often more effective to use these materials in a group setting. Not only does it allow the parents and children to spend time together, but families can provide social support to one another. The following FREE resources are available for order and/or download and can be easily used in a classroom, homeschool or church setting.

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior - Science of Addiction (As seen on HBO's Addiction: Communities Take Action) This landmark publication provides scientific information about the disease of drug addiction, including the many harmful consequences of drug abuse and the basic approaches that have been developed to prevent and treat the disease, and aims to increase understanding of the basics of addiction to help people make informed choices in their own lives, adopt science-based policies and programs that reduce drug abuse and addiction in their communities, and support scientific research that improves the Nation's well-being.

Building Blocks for a Healthy Future Family Guide

The Building Blocks Family Guide contains ideas for fun activities and discussion starters for you and your children, as well as advice and guidance on topics such as active listening, rule making, and being a good role model. It also can be used to guide you through the rest of the Building Blocks materials with your children.

Brain Power! The NIDA Junior Scientist Program: Grades K-1 Grades 2-3 Grades 4-5 The Brain Power! program takes students step by step through an exploration of the processes of science and how to use these processes to learn about the brain, the nervous system, and the effects of drugs on the nervous system and the body. The materials include a videotape, a teacher's guide, trading cards, and parent newsletters.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): The Basics (CD Rom) This mini CD-consisting of slides and accompanying notes-provides the latest and most accurate information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders or FASD. The CD includes essential facts on what FASD is, how it's caused, how many people have it, and much more.

Family Guide to Systems of Care for Children With Mental Health Needs Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign is a national public education initiative emphasizing attention to children's and adolescents' mental health. It supports the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program, in place in communities across the Nation, which is demonstrating the effectiveness of systems of care in meeting the services needs and improving the lives of children with serious emotional disturbances (SEDs) and their families. This campaign is managed by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S.

Department of Health and Human Services. The guide is intended to help parents and caregivers seek help for children with mental health needs. Information is provided on what parents and caregivers need to know, ask, expect, and do to get the most out of their experience with systems of care.

Reach to Teach Educating Elementary and Middle School Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Reach To Teach is a resource guide for parents of a child with an FASD and for teachers in elementary and middle schools who work with children who have an FASD. It provides a basic introduction to these disorders and tools to improve communication between parents and teachers.

Heads Up: A website with .pdf printables from scholastic publishers.

Real News About Drugs and Your Body. Here you'll find real, science-based facts about the effects drugs have on the teen brain and body. Check out the articles and features below to get the latest facts so you can make smart choices about your health.

Addictions
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