December 2016 Alumni News
Surgeon General Releases Report on Alcohol, Drugs, & Health
History was made on November 17th with the release of FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA, The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. The 428-page document is the first report on substance-use disorders and the wider range of health problems related to alcohol and drug misuse that has come from the Surgeon General’s office.
Martha Meehan-Cohen, Director of Development & Alumni Relations, visited NBC10 Philadelphia to talk about the historical report.
Community officials and concerned citizens from Queen Anne’s and surrounding counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore assembled on November 17th for a presentation on the addiction epidemic and its impact on their region.
Ashley presenters James Ryan, Alex Denstman and Martha Meehan-Cohen spoke of the magnitude of the problem and what can be done about it at the local level. James’ discussion about what addiction is, its causes, symptoms, and stages of recovery, helped attendees better understand this increasingly complex disease. Alex spoke of Ashley’s program and treatment approach, while Martha cited some startling statistics from the Surgeon General’s Report on Addiction which had been released earlier that day.
Highlights from the presentations included the financial and societal toll as documented in the report: More than $700 BILLION per year in increased healthcare costs, crime and lost productivity; 570,000 deaths each year due to drug use; the reality that 99% of high school students are exposed to illicit drug use of some type by their senior year.
A Q&A with the audience highlighted the dearth of resources available in this region, while it underscored the devastation wreaked by the disease. Several parents, emotional wounds still fresh, spoke of losing their children to overdose and the frustration they experienced because of a lack of understanding and awareness of resources available to help. The group acknowledged that events of this type can help them to better identify potential problems sooner so that steps can be taken to avoid further loss of life.
This community education event is one in a series of regional outreach efforts Ashley is doing in collaboration with the Nikki Perlow Foundation.
More than 50 alumni, family members and friends of Ashley attended a panel discussion at the Sheppard-Pratt Conference Center in Baltimore with Ashley clinicians and special guest host— author, actor, and former pro skateboarder, Brandon Novak. The panel spoke about the increased challenges posed by the holidays that can create stress, fear, anxiety and an increased opportunity for relapse.
This event, part of the Strengthening Our Recovery series offered by Ashley throughout the year and in various regions, was well-received with many attendees expressing thoughts as to the importance and timeliness of the topic. Visit our event page to look for Strengthening Our Recovery and other events planned in your area or sign up for our e-newsletters by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, November 14th, Ashley partnered with New Day Campaign on their Coffee House Series: Addiction Now, to showcase the fantastic artwork of the young adults in our Extended Care Program. The topic of the artwork was “What is a craving?” and our young adults, and the women at the Marian House, talked about their artwork and their experience with cravings.
There was plenty of great conversation, food, and performances by local artists. All in all it was a great night for removing the stigma against addiction and mental illness, and educating each other about what a craving looks and feels like.
The New Day Campaign uses art-based programming and public engagement to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and substance use, making the world a more healing place. The New Day Campaign began in 2015 and is based in Baltimore, Maryland.