Recovery Advocacy News, Issues, Must-Reads & Musings (March 2024)

Curation with occasional commentary by Jeremiah Gardner

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
4 min readFeb 15, 2024

NOTE: This was published for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s monthly Recovery Advocacy Update. If you’d like to receive our advocacy emails, subscribe today.

Dr. Jorja Jamison (far left) of the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School testified to a Minnesota Senate committee in support of changing the counselor licensure law to allow individuals with master’s degrees to qualify even if they don’t have a bachelor’s degree. For context, see: Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School approves Alternative Admissions Pathway.

📕 READ: “Anyone who thinks we can’t afford effective drug treatment doesn’t understand the costs of addiction.” That smart assertion comes from the New York Times Nicholas Kristof in response to his own rhetorical question: “What if high-quality treatment programs were available free to all 48 million Americans over the age of 12 who, according to federal estimates, have a substance use disorder involving drugs, alcohol or both?” In part 7 of Kristof’s series, How America Heals, Kristof profiles a successful treatment program in Oklahoma offered for free as an alternative to incarceration.

❤ RIP: · Recovery advocates nationwide are remembering the recently passed Mike Barry from Kentucky, who led many efforts to expand recovery across America. Read more about his life and career.

📕 READ: Another recovery advocate lost this past month was the hilarious comedian Richard Lewis, who helped many others, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

📕 READ: Hard-hit by the addiction crisis, Oregon reverses course on drug decriminalization. For additional context, read CNN’s up-close and in-depth profile of Portland entitled: This is what the fentanyl crisis looks like in a state rethinking its historic drug policy.

📺 WATCH: I started a new book after watching the video trailer for recovery advocate Phil Valentine’s CONTINUE: Right Click on the Appalachian Trail.

📕 READ: Sauna and Sobriety, a new recovery-oriented opportunity in Minneapolis, got a notable shout-out in this fun New York Times story: Saunas in Minnesota: Midwesterners Are Sweating it Out This Winter.

🔊 LISTEN: In a new podcast, Tommy Rosen shares thoughts in response to the question: How Can I Inspire Others Into Addiction Recovery?

📺 WATCH: Revisit a wonderful video by our friend Perry Gaidurgis called “Shattering the Silence,” featuring several notable and familiar faces including the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School’s 2024 commencement speaker Jerry Moe.

📕 READ: Our friend Bill Stauffer writes about the persistent problem of alcohol misuse, saying “we have normalized the drug, we have normalized the devastation, yet not the treatment or recovery from it.”

📕 READ: New federal data show nationwide deaths tied to alcohol use rose 29% in just five years, with the COVID pandemic “most likely” a main cause of the increase.

📕 READ: Liver disease can cause symptoms that look like dementia. A new analysis suggests many such cases are missed when they could be treated.

📕 READ: As sober-curious movements continue to take hold, a few terms are now being added to labels such as alcohol-free and non-alcoholic. Learn the difference.

📕 READ: A Tennessee bill pushes to ban the sale of cold beer to decrease DUIs.

📕 READ: Sober-curious speakeasies have become New York’s hottest new night out.

📕 READ: A new report points to alcohol as a possible factor in Iowa’s high cancer rates.

📕 READ: 11% of 12th graders reported Delta-8-THC use, according to NIDA.

🔊 LISTEN: Smart Approaches to Marijuana launched a new podcast.

📕 READ: With enthusiasm for craft beer leveling off, Chicago’ breweries are looking to capitalize on the THC-infused beverage market. We’ll have to see how this trend goes …

📕 READ: Mental health is seen as a top health threat to U.S.

📕 READ: The White House Challenge to Save Lives from Overdose is a nationwide call-to-action to stakeholders across all sectors to commit to save lives by increasing training on and access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal medications.

📕 READ: There may be some learning to glean from this: Theft of drug recovery books at San Francisco public libraries leads to proposed free book program.

📕 READ: Dig into the latest substance use trends in Millenium Health’s new Signals Report, which is based on 4.1 million urine samples collected from January 2013 to December 2023 from people receiving some kind of addiction care.

Jeremiah Gardner is director of communications and public affairs for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Jeremiah Gardner



Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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