State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) is teaming up with the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) to present their annual conferences in one event June 23-25 in Orlando, Florida. The conference agenda has been designed to appeal to both managers and clinicians in addiction treatment, prevention, and recovery organizations, as well as to policy makers and payers. In keeping with a NIATx principle that encourages organizations to seek innovation from unlikely sources, plenary sessions will showcase quality improvement initiatives outside of health care.
Preconference workshops on June 22 will share fundamentals in performance measurement and process improvement. For more information about the joint conference, visit
Gift Site for Recovery
The Elements of Nurture Web site at
www.elementsofnurture.com offers books, jewelry, and gifts promoting recovery and wellness. Elements of Nurture, geared toward those affected by a loved one’s addiction, is operated by Jayne Ferreira, an addictions counselor in Canada who seeks to give friends and family members of addicts some tools for showing their support. Proceeds from the sale of some items support a variety of substance use charities.
The site also includes information on the “1-Year Challenge,” an awareness campaign encouraging loved ones to support an addict by pledging not to use alcohol or illegal drugs themselves for one year. The site states in reference to the pledge, “It is letting others know that you don’t need to alter your mind to relax or have a fulfilled and happy life.”
Course on Acamprosate
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Knowledge Application Program has introduced its first online e-learning course, entitled “Acamprosate: A New Medication for Alcohol Use Disorders.” The course is geared to help professionals include acamprosate in an alcohol treatment plan for clients for whom its use is appropriate. Those taking the course will learn about the medication’s use, side effects and contraindications; information to discuss with clients; and how acamprosate compares with other medications used to treat alcohol use disorders.
Those who successfully complete the course will receive one continuing education unit from NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals at no cost. To access the course, visit
Alliance With Software Company
Toledo, Ohio-based Brown Consulting in February announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a strategic alliance with NextStep Solutions, Inc., a Michigan-based provider of decision support software to addiction and mental health services agencies. According to the software company, the NextStep suite of products was designed with a great deal of provider involvement and is intended specifically for use in residential, outpatient and private practice settings.
Brown Consulting states that it was attracted to NextStep’s intuitive Web-based patient management information system and a medical records management system that allows for the implementation of comprehensive care plans. For more information, e-mail Erin Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug Awareness Posters
A new organization called the International Drug Awareness Research Foundation is seeking to empower parents in the effort to protect their children from the harms caused by illegal drugs, and the group has issued a poster to encourage dialogue in homes and schools. Entitled “The Self-Destructive Use of Drugs,” the poster uses plain language and medical facts to explain drugs’ damaging effects, displaying the mind-body drug connection with use of a powerful graphic. The poster is designed to serve as a constant visual reminder that presents young people with information in a non-judgmental manner. For more information about the foundation and its materials, visit www.idarf.org.
Accounts From Alcoholics
A new book from The Johns Hopkins University Press uses dramatic first-person narratives to explore the hearts and minds of alcoholics and to chart the course from “hitting bottom” to achieving sobriety. Last Call is written by Jack H. Hedblom, MSW, PhD, a psychotherapist in private practice in Towson, Maryland. The book can assist professionals as a case book and can be used by family members of alcoholics to offer insight into the illness.
“This book is a great adventure story told vividly by one who has lived the adventure with many who lost their way with alcohol,” Paul R. McHugh, MD, former director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins, writes in the book’s foreword. “Their individual stories, the pitfalls where they stumbled along the 12-Step path, and the humane, psychologically informed efforts and enterprises used successfully to rescue them provide rich instructive detail and bring vividness to the whole narrative.” For more information, visit