Last month, England’s Ministry of Justice announced a new pilot program that will divert people with substance use disorder into treatment, not prison. The program aims to reduce reoffending by replacing “ineffective” short prison sentences with programmes that “will tackle the root causes of criminality.” England’s National Health Service (NHS), Public Health England, and Department of Health are testing the program in five areas before …
Most industries lobby for less government involvement. In treatment, however, CEOs are pushing for more government oversight to protect people from bad actors who use unethical practices. In a July hearing, multiple CEOs called for a “federal intervention” on questionable marketing practices. According to Pacific Standard, “Members of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee organized the hearing as a part of …
Claire Foster Blog
Tough love. Hard boundaries. Ultimatums. Many families use “tough love” to “help” loved ones with substance use disorder. However, research shows that empathy, not isolation, punishment, or tough limits is a more effective approach. According to NPR, studies show that a compassionate approach and voluntary treatment work better than tough love. Kindness and empathy engage people in active addiction and …
Claire Foster Blog
I stumbled into harm reduction by accident. In 2010, I was a struggling writer, trying to figure out how to translate a passion for words into paying the bills. I came across an unusual job posting on Craigslist. The job had some unusual duties: among other things, whoever they hired would have to take a life-sized rubber vagina behind Home Depot department stores to educate migrant day laborers about safe sex.
Fourteen years ago, I developed addiction to pain pills. I had a C-section with my son and after three days in the hospital I was sent home with not only a beautiful baby boy but also a prescription for Percocet. I loved the way it made me feel. I could do anything. I thought I was the best mother ever. I also thought I could keep my newfound love for opioids under control. Sadly, I …
Facebook just took an important step to protect vulnerable people and their families from predatory advertisers. Now, Facebook will no longer show ads for bail bonds or questionable substance use treatment centers. According to Wersm, “Based on feedback from user and experts, Facebook is updating its Ads Policies on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network, to try to curb predatory behaviour and …
Claire Foster Blog

Time To Change The Way We Fish

The Federal Government recently released the annual data showing some modest changes in substance use and the prevalence of substance use disorders. However, one number continues to stick with me every single year – nearly a 90% addiction treatment gap in America continues to persist. That means of the over 20 million Americans who meet medical criteria for substance use disorder, only approximately 10% or just over …
Greg Williams Blog
Data is a valuable asset, but it doesn’t necessarily give a complete picture of the national drug epidemic. Every year, SAMHSA releases its annual National Survey On Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The study tracks substance use, mental health issues, and negative health outcomes in the populations it surveys. However, an Oregon advocacy group is suggesting that we need to be tracking more than just overdoses. NSDUH has …
My son Jaron was a person with substance use disorder and now he is an angel. I will not let his addiction define him! He was so much more. He was a brother, an uncle, nephew, cousin, best friend, and son! He was my only son. My baby, my Scooby. Jaron was like a shooting star that burned out too fast. He could walk …
It never heals. For some of us, it grows larger, causes even more pain and despair, and wakes us in the middle of the night more often than before – if that is humanly possible. Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to any parent; a piece of us dies when our child dies. And while the death of every child is soul-crushing to …