This month’s Partners Facing Addiction post features a digital recovery program based in Virginia, a recovery data group in Montana, and a national nonprofit that raises awareness about fetal and maternal health. If you’d like your organization to be considered for an upcoming Partners Facing Addiction post, answer a few short questions here.
R1 Learning is a unique, digital recovery platform that provides engagement tools for substance use prevention, addiction treatment, and recovery programs. R1 offers training and certification, enterprise licenses, and curriculum consulting services to support its digital tools, such as Discovery Cards and Group Kits (with companion Facilitator Guides, PPT slides, and posters). The company also supports programs, counselors, peer recovery coaches, and educators to be more effective in teaching relevant evidence-based topics in substance use disorder, life skills, and other behavioural health topics.
R1 Learning created the Discovery Cards as a way to increase engagement, participation, and spark meaningful conversations about recovery. The “cards” are guided recovery activities with titles like “Phases of Addiction,” “Relapse Phases & Warning Signs,” and “Affirmations.” Each card includes four activities and educational information for group discussion. “Relapse Phases,” for example, explains the Gorski model of relapse and highlights 10 progressive emotional and mental states that occur on the path toward relapse. R1 Learning suggests that education about substance use disorder supports proactive planning and action, making better choices, and improving long-term outcomes for people coping with addiction.
Founder Tom Karl, who is a person in sustained recovery, presented at the CCAPP Conference earlier this year in San Diego, CA. Approximately 100 individuals attended the program. Tom presented on the topic of the importance of learning in the recovery process. He specifically presented ideas and strategies to improve engagement, learning, and outcomes for programs through learning metrics and creating measurable learning objectives; learning settings and classroom structures that support dynamic learning; and learning styles, for groups or one-on-one meetings.
Currently, R1 Learning is focusing on projects that increase awareness about substance use disorder. They’re developing learning curricula for recovery and treatment programs. They’re also building special group and one-on-one engagement tools that can be adapted to different learning styles.
Recovery Data Solutions
Recovery Data Solutions is a firm based in Montana that works with recovery organizations on developing tailored solutions that aid in the collection, reporting, and evaluation of mission-critical data. In order to support recovery organizations, RDS creates the infrastructure that teams use to communicate, store data, measure outcomes, and help people.
RDS believes “that those closest to a problem are closest to a solution. Our team is solely comprised of persons in recovery and our outspoken allies.” The team works closely with prevention, recovery, and treatment providers to create better data collection and internal organization systems. They assist with systems auditing, strategic planning, data evaluation, automation, custom software, real-time reporting, and other essential supports.
Data-driven storytelling can be essential for capturing grants and other funding. RDS uses recovery-based metrics to help its clients justify, improve, and capitalize on their work with the recovery population.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS)
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) believes that by recognizing addiction and supporting women to receive appropriate treatment, we can prevent future alcohol or other substance exposed pregnancies. Healthy mothers are more likely to have healthy babies, which can break the cycle of addiction. The highest risk group for having a substance exposed pregnancy are women at high risk for substance use disorder. NOFAS works closely with the recovery community so that the issue of substance use, addiction, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are not forgotten and are on the radar screens of addiction professionals.
On November 14, 2018 in Washington DC, NOFAS held their annual Celebration of Champions. Awardees included Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Senator Patty Murray of Washington and Elizabeth Parra Dang of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Senator Lisa Murkowski was there to personally receive her NOFAS Circle of Hope Warrior Woman Award from two members of the NOFAS Circle of Hope.
Jennileigh D. and Stephanie C., both members of the NOFAS Circle of Hope (COH), provided moving personal testimony describing their journeys through addiction while pregnant and their lives today in long-term, abstinence-based recovery.
Both women received praise and admiration from the 100 attendees as well as invitations to speak at other venues about addiction and recovery. Currently, NOFAS is gearing up to enhance its speakers bureau. They are providing free training to women that have used alcohol or other substances during pregnancy and that may have a child with FASD or that was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This is a multi-year national project that is starting in the Washington DC-Metropolitan area. Women will be trained in the science of addiction, FASD, NAS and public speaking skills. After training, they may have opportunities to speak at various functions and be paired with physicians to educate the medical and healthcare community. (For more information about this program, please contact Kathy Mitchell.)