Welcome to the September issue of the Overdose Prevention Project's e-newsletter! In this issue you will find information about and events for National Recovery Month as well as an entire section devoted to returning Iraq & Afghanistan veterans and the issues they face regarding substance abuse.
Amanda, Ronni & Nancy
Overdose Prevention Project
||September is National Recovery Month!
While National Recovery Month themes change each year, it is important to note that the message does not: Recovery is everywhere
! Join us as we celebrate in Maine & Nationwide! There are 4 SAMHSA-sponsored events happening in September. FMI Contact Deb Dettor
, Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery (MAAR) and be sure to Check Out Recovery Maine on MySpace!
||Highlighting the Issues: Veterans & Substance Abuse
||NY Times Special Series War Torn: After the Battle, Fighting the Bottle at Home
"Most nights when Anthony Klecker, a former marine, finally slept, he
found himself back on the battlefields of Iraq. He would awake in a
panic, and struggle futilely to return to sleep. Mr. Klecker's case is part of a growing body of evidence that alcohol
abuse is rising among veterans...Studies indicate that illegal drug use, much less common than heavy
drinking in the military, is up slightly, too."
Read More / View Video
The Women's War
"On the morning of Monday, Jan. 9, 2006, a
21-year-old Army specialist named Suzanne Swift
went AWOL. Her unit, the 54th Military Police
Company, out of Fort Lewis, Wash., was two days
away from leaving for Iraq. Swift would later say that she had every
intention of going back to Iraq. But in the
weeks leading up to the departure date, she
started to feel increasingly anxious. She was
irritable, had trouble sleeping at night, picked
fights with friends, drank heavily."
Suzanne's Story / "Behind the Story" (Interactive Video Feature)
||Articles & Data Related to Veterans & Substance Abuse
||College Helps Veterans Navigate Life After Combat
"Day after day, the soldiers march into Catherine Morris's office at Sierra
College in Rocklin, Calif. They bring the familiar baggage of student life: Worries about whether they
are majoring in the right subjects. Concerns about juggling work and classes.
Questions about how they might improve their English grades. They also bring Iraq." (Belleville, IL)
Returning Combat Veterans at Increased Risk for Alcohol Problems
"A survey of active-duty veterans and National Guard and Reserve
personnel has found that those who were exposed to combat in Iraq or
Afghanistan are significantly more likely to engage in heavy drinking
and report negative outcomes from drinking, Medical News Today reported August 13."
Army medic made famous in Iraq photo dies Joseph Patrick Dwyer, 31, dies of an apparent overdose
"A former Army medic made
famous by a photograph that showed him carrying an injured Iraqi boy during the
first week of the war in March 2003 has died of an apparent overdose, police
SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies:
Alcohol & Drug Use Among Veterans
data...indicate than an annual average of 7% of veterans aged 18 or older experienced
past year serious psychological distress, 7.1% met the criteria for
a past year substance use disorder, and 1.5% had co-occurring serious
psychological distress and substance use disorder."
||Substance Abuse & PTSD Resources for Veterans
||SAMHSA: Resources for Returning Veterans and Their Families Finding Mental Health and Substance Abuse ServicesDisabled American Vets (DAV): Veterans & Substance Abuse
attention must be paid to treating substance abuse among our veterans returning
home from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan."
US Department of Veteran Affairs/National Center for PTSD Fact Sheet: Treatment of the Returning Iraq War Veteran
"The co-morbidity of PTSD with
alcohol and drug problems in veterans is well established (American Psychological Association, 2003).
returning veterans, it will be useful to provide education about safe drinking
practices and the relationship between traumatic stress reactions and substance
US Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs: Comprehensive Legislation to Improve Care for Invisible Wounds of War
"U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI),
Chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs...introduced comprehensive mental
health legislation. "'Servicemen and women return from war suffering from
invisible wounds that are complicated and wide-ranging,' Akaka said. The
solutions put forth in this legislation will help lead to proper mental health
care for our veterans.'"
Welcome Back Veterans
"The players and
owners of Major League Baseball have contributed their time and resources to
help returning soldiers and their families through Welcome Back Veterans. Now
it's up to us to join the effort and do our part by giving generously."
Save the Date: October 17th "Street Drug Training" (Sponsored by MaineGeneral & AdCare)
purpose of this training is raise awareness of street drug trends in Maine. The training will provide information about what's
going on now and what to expect down the road, what people are using, how they
are using, etc. The training will also
provide information about the prevention initiatives going on in Maine. FMI Contact LeeAnna LavoieDrug Overdose Prevention Health EducatorMaineGeneral Medical CenterPrevention Center, 621-3740 or email@example.com
Workshops on Centering Prayer at the
Alcyon Center in Seal Cove
group of recovery advocates and spiritual leaders have collaborated to sponsor
four workshops in September (12th & 13th, 19th & 20th) on Centering Prayer following the speaking
engagements by Father Thomas Keating held in July in Bar Harbor. As Keating
describes it, 'Centering Prayer is a method of refining one's intuitive
faculties so that one can enter more easily into contemplative prayer. It is not
the only path of contemplation, but it is a good one.' The daily practice has
been adapted for use by many people in recovery."
information or to make a reservation, contact Kathy Miller at the Maine Lighthouse at 207-288-3331
or firstname.lastname@example.org, or The Alcyon Center
at 207-244-1060 or email@example.com.*The Alcyon Center is a retreat space in a quiet,
wooded setting along the coast of Mount Desert Island. Overnight accommodations
are available at various prices. The fee for the workshop plus six follow up
sessions is $20. Space is limited and reservations are
||National News You Can Use|
||Next Meeting & E-News Sharing Link|
|Our Website Has Been UPDATED! We've streamlined our page and now each branch of substance abuse prevention programs--Overdose Prevention Project, One Maine One Portland and the Portland Women's Taskforce--has its own logo and program-specific links. We also have added our PSAs to the OPP site--Check us out at: www.substanceabuse.portlandmaine.gov Next Meeting
Our next meeting is scheduled for October 8, 2008 from 2:00-3:30 at Merrimack River Medical Services. If you'd like more info or would like to inquire about joining us, please contact Ronni Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 756-8116.
If you or your organization would like to donate funds toward the purchase of calling cards to be handed out at outreach sites, please contact Amanda
Share Our E-News!
||Who We Are...|
|Overdose Prevention Project Members
OPP is made up of numerous statewide and local treatment and prevention
providers as well as other state and local agencies. Representatives
are from: Discovery House, CAP Quality Care, Portland Police Department
and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, OSA, Community Substance Abuse
Centers and various departments within the City of Portland's Public
Health Division (Health & Human Services Department).
Call Ronni Katz, City of Portland Public Health Division's Substance Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator at 756-8116 or Amanda Edgar,
City of Portland Public Health Division's Community Health Promotion
Specialist at 756-8053 for more information about the OPP's efforts or
to learn more about community resources!
To prevent drug
overdoses by providing support, advocacy, education & outreach to
the Portland community through positive collaborations &
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The Overdose Prevention Project is supported by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and the City of Portland Health & Human Services Department, Public Health Division
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