By: Rashetta Fairnot, Public Health Advisor, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
We had the pleasure of hosting the latest Recovery Month Twitter chat on behalf of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) with co-hosts Linda Kaplan, M.A., Senior Public Health Advisor, Marsha Baker, LCSW, Public Health Advisor. It was facilitated through the @RecoveryMonth Twitter handle, using the hashtag #RecoveryChat, and embraced the theme: “Recovery Support: Prevention, Collaboration, and Recovery Management.” The event focused on how society can proactively promote behavioral health, as well as how it can coordinate treatment and recovery support services with mental health, prevention, and intervention strategies. The real-time chat demonstrated the benefits of communicating substance misuse and mental health information and resources with people throughout the Nation. One participant, Empowered Ideas’ co-founder, Virginia Johnson, summed up the conversation well when she pointed out, “It is important to not just focus on individual needs but create the community wide support that makes recovery possible.”
Thirty-five individuals, organizations, treatment centers and other agencies joined us for an hour-long discussion. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Phoenix House, PPC.org, SMART Recovery HI, and the Entertainment Industries Council are some of the agencies who were able to join us.
We would like to thank the 114 Twitter users who promoted or participated in the #RecoveryChat, and for posting original comments, questions, and retweets around the country. Collectively, participants’ questions, answers, and commentary reached nearly 1.5 million people, including individuals who may be on their own path to recovery. The impressive turnout was a result of those who shared the Twitter chat event with their followers and members, such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Partnership at Drug Free.org, girlshealth.gov, the American Psychiatric Association, and numerous others.
Please mark your calendars and tune in to the next #RecoveryChat on Wednesday, May 30, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.
In case you missed it, you can read the full transcript here and view question and answer highlights below:
– How can treatment/recovery support services coordinate with prevention/intervention strategies and why should they?
- @hmeitiner: #recoverychat Ideally, the more education and prevention efforts we start early, the less treatment will be necessary for #addiction
- @SullivanCARES: @RecoveryMonth I think both entities can learn from each other. Important not to lose core mission/identity of both. #recoverychat
- @drugfreetx: First treatment/recovery need to coordinate services. The rest will actually be easier! #RecoveryChat
– What are some elements that contribute to long-term recovery?
- @ADEP4Aggies: new behaviors, new support systems, new view of self #Recoverychat
- @Phoenixhouse: Family, friends, colleagues who are conscientious and support you in your recovery are key. Sense of humor doesn’t hurt! #recoverychat
- @TreatTexas: Outcome tracking for needed policy and continued funding. #recoverychat
– How can communities be proactive in promoting behavioral health?
- @D_Absolut_Truth: @RecoveryMonth: Reducing stigma & opening dialogue
- @EmpoweredVA: How to be proactive? #1 Don’t be afraid to speak up, collaborate across the continuum of care and advocate for policies. #RecoveryChat
- @Phoenixhouse: Prescription take-back days, school awareness/education events that teach healthy coping skills, good clean sober fun! #recoverychat
– How should mental and substance use disorders be treated as a whole?
- @hmeitiner: Substance abuse disorders should be treated as what they are: chronic medical conditions, like diabetes or heart disease. #recoverychat
- @D_Absolut_Truth: parity is important they should be treated as any other health disorder with TX encouragement and support @RecoveryMonth #recoverychat
- @EmpoweredVA: Mental & substance use disorders must be addressed holistically. Treatment will not work if one returns to same environmt. #RecoveryChat