FSDP President and Co-founder Barry Lessin will be speaking on several panels at the Drug Policy Alliance’s 2015 International Reform Conference, November 18-21, 2015, a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. It brings together over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries.
FSDP will have an exhibit booth and sponsor a Community Session for attendees and FSDP community members to gather and network to share our vision for how drug policy reform can empower families.
We are bringing communities together to create a new vision and approach to help those who confront substance use and mental health issues every day.
Our inaugural event, “Bringing Communities Together: A New Vision for Helping Individuals and Families Impacted by Substance Use and Mental Health Issues”, convened in New York City in September 2015, was a highly acclaimed collaboration of friends, family and internationally-lauded professionals coming together for a panel discussion and town hall-style meeting focusing on these issues impact individuals and their families.
Harm reduction psychotherapy affords us the opportunity to empower people by engaging people’s strengths and tap into their resilience to not only develop a healing path for themselves but also, if they choose to, for their family.
Here’s an article that describes my work with a woman in individual treatment and how she was able to apply her progress in treatment to overcome barriers and positively impact her role as a mother with her substance using son.
I’m curious about some of the barriers our community members have faced/ are facing in working to improve family relationships?
The future of SUD treatment will acknowledge that teens’ and young adults’ substance use is not assumed to be a disease process but occurs in the context of normal adolescent development. Treatment will focus on helping young people develop strategies and skills to make healthier choices and manage their emotions more effectively.
Family therapy will be a part of treatment where appropriate to empower parents and offer a road map for them to be more effective parents going forward.
One of the reasons I became involved in drug policy reform was because young people in my practice began dying from accidental overdose–this was alarming, but what was unacceptable to me was that there were few answers as to why.
Many states now have some form of naloxone access legislation as well as a 911 Good Samaritan law that will grant at least limited immunity for people calling 911 to report an overdose.
Unfortunately, there are still many barriers to actually implementing naloxone access programs. Here’s an article I wrote to explain some of these barriers and how individuals and families can overcome them:
Throughout my career as an addiction psychologist, I have always appreciated and embraced the challenge of working with people with substance use problems and the often-complex interaction with mental illness.
When confronted with the news that your child is using drugs or alcohol, normal parental worry quickly escalates to fear. Many parents often feel helpless and out of control, especially when attempts to intervene fail. It can be like trying to drive your car from the back seat, or even worse–from the trunk.
The future of SUD treatment will acknowledge the importance of family health. Family therapy will be a part of treatment where appropriate and be fully integrated into a person’s treatment plan to empower parents and loved ones by offering a road map to help them be more effective parents and family members.