This was originally published for Hazelden Betty Ford’s monthly Recovery Advocacy Update. If you’d like to receive our advocacy emails, subscribe today.
Curation with occasional commentary by Jeremiah Gardner
📕 READ: Results from a large survey published this week found that people in the U.S. who have alcohol use disorder missed more than 232 million work days annually from 2015 to 2019. And the researchers predict the number has likely grown since. “Work has the benefit of giving us structure: You get up in the morning, get dressed, go to work. But many people lost their jobs during the pandemic while others worked at home and lost that structure. We’ve lost our guardrails for certain types of behaviors,” senior investigator Laura J. Bierut, MD, said.
📕 READ: A new JAMA research letter highlights that since 2015, overdose deaths “have been rising most rapidly among Black, Hispanic and Latino communities,” and that “the pandemic has disproportionately worsened a wide range of health, social and economic outcomes among racial and ethnic minoritized communities.” The review of emerging data notes that in 2020, the overdose mortality among Black individuals was higher than white individuals for the first time in two decades. Also, the highest rates in 2020 were for American Indians or Alaska Natives. And while still lower than the other groups, Hispanic or Latina/o/x individuals experienced a 40% increase from 2019 to 2020. Hazelden Betty Ford’s Dr. Stephen Delisi reacted: “It is clear that in all populations, the pandemic years have been catastrophic. Even more clear are the inequities and disparities in the impacts from the pandemic, the responses/treatment options to the overdose epidemic, the resources mobilized within communities, and the lethality of substances available across these different racial and ethnic populations.” The Wall Street Journal reports more.
⌨️ TAKE ACTION MINNESOTANS: For our readers in the land of 10,000 lakes, help us persuade state legislators to pass interstate Counseling Compact legislation. If approved by enough states (it’s pending in many), the compact would allow professional counselors licensed in one member state (i.e. LPCCs in MN) to practice in other member states — empowering more diverse, flexible options to reach the many individuals and families that need healing, hope and help from professional counselors. Minnesotans: take action now!
📕 READ: If you’ve only seen the movies and haven’t read Ironman comic books, you may not know Tony Stark’s history with alcohol use disorder and recovery. Take a look in this fascinating piece about a legendary Marvel issue from 43 years ago that changed comics forever.
📺 WATCH: Check out the trailer for the new Ken Burns documentary Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, which will premiere on PBS stations nationwide on June 27 and 28. The film features first-person accounts from more than 20 young people who live with mental health conditions, as well as parents, teachers, friends, providers and advocates.
📕 READ: A great Q&A between our friends, writer John Lavitt and sports super agent Leigh Steinberg.
📕 READ: We are very excited about next month’s She Recovers Conference!
📕 READ: Count us among those pushing to keep looser, pandemic-era rules for prescribing opioid addiction medicines via telehealth.
📺 WATCH: In a new retrospective episode of his No Thanks But Yes podcast, Donald McDonald asks several guests, “What does recovery mean to you?” Lots of great personal insights that paint a vividly varied picture.
📕 READ: Activists and politicians are jockeying over how to spend legal marijuana revenues. Help people and families affected by addiction, please.
📕 READ: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism advocates for stigma-free vocabulary. Hear! Hear!
🔊 LISTEN: Oakland Raider Pro Bowler Darren Waller talks recovery with Elizabeth Vargas.
📕 READ: Can’t wait for North Dakota First Lady Kathryn Burgum to speak at our Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies commencement.
📕 READ: Yes, it’s true — state and local governments, as employers, can “opt out” of the federal parity act. Learn more.
⌨️ TAKE SURVEY: If you’ve been denied coverage for addiction and/or mental health care, or unable to find care, consider taking this survey and sharing it with others.
📕 READ: The Purdue Pharma bankruptcy case is closer to resolution after the company’s owners agreed to increase the amount they pay from personal holdings in a settlement deal that still needs the judge’s approval.
📕 READ: The U.S. government is concerned about Big Alcohol.
📕 READ: Legal does not mean less risky. Here’s how the marijuana debate impacts student substance use.
📕 READ: A doctor reflects on overcoming therapeutic pessimism.
📕 READ: New legislation would allow pharmacies to distribute methadone and increase the volume a patient can take home at a time.
📕 READ: Not all overdoses are accidental. Learn more about when the addiction crisis and the youth suicide crisis converge.
📕 READ: Not yet a devotee of author, historian and deep-thinking recovery advocate William White? Start browsing the topics in his nine years worth of blog posts.
🧠 RECOVERY ALMANAC: Watch this superb clip (one of my all-time favorites) from March 24, 1998, when William Cope Moyers, his father Bill Moyers, and other notable Americans testified before a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee in support of increased funding for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery.