SAMHSA: 7.5 million children live with a parent with an alcohol use disorder

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is reporting that 7.5 million children under age 18 (10.5 percent of this population) lived with a parent who has experienced an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

The report is titled Data Spotlight: Over 7 Million Children Live with a Parent with Alcohol Problems. The report is based on data from SAMHSA’s 2005-2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Click here to download the report.

The reported numbers are higher for children living in two-parent households (11.6 percent) compared with children in single-parent households (7.2 percent).

From the SAMHSA news release:

According to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 6.1 million of these children live with two parents—with either one or both parents experiencing an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

The remaining 1.4 million of these children live in a single-parent house with a parent who has experienced an alcohol use disorder in the past year. Of these children 1.1 million lived in a single mother household and 0.3 million lived in a single father household. This study is done in conjunction with Children of Alcoholics Week, February 12-18, 2012.

Click here to read the complete news release from SAMHSA.

Vets project highlights role of Rosecrance experiential therapies program

February marked the inauguration of Therapeutic Recreation Month, a national campaign that highlights how therapeutic recreational therapy can improve quality of life, increase independence and promote health and wellness for people in recovery.

Rosecrance embraces these concepts as part of a nationally recognized experiential therapies program at both the adult and adolescent substance abuse campuses.

Kari Fager, Certified Recreational Therapist Specialist (CTRS), said that the skills patients learn in treatment can help them sustain recovery when they return home. Fager is the therapeutic art and recreation supervisor at the Harrison Campus, the adult treatment center.

“We specifically help them to explore the benefits of leisure, physical activity, and relaxation skills through learning yoga and other meditation techniques, as well as teaching the connection between wellness and recovery,” Fager said.

Art therapy – while different from therapeutic recreational therapy – also is part of the experiential therapies program at Rosecrance, and offers many of the same benefits to people in recovery.

“Patients take a metaphoric look at themselves, their future goals, current road blocks, subconscious thoughts and current feelings,” said Jada Miller, art therapist at the Harrison Campus . “Patients come to embrace learning about themselves and their recovery in a visual way.”

Art therapy gives patients tools to help them better understand their own motivations and behaviors, Miller said.

Valentines for Veterans, a Valentine’s Day project at Rosecrance Harrison Campus, highlighted the impact of the experiential therapies program.

More than 120 hand-made cards were created as part of Valentines for Veterans. Some were presented to vets receiving care through Rosecrance, and the rest were delivered to the VFW Post in Loves Park, which participated in the federal program to distribute the cards.

The project allowed patients receiving inpatient treatment at Rosecrance’s adult substance abuse treatment campus to work on their own recovery while reaching out to thank veterans who otherwise might be forgotten on Valentine’s Day.

“Projects like Valentines for Veterans give patients an opportunity to show their gratitude for the things in life they may not have thought about during their active addiction,” Miller said. “It gives them a chance to look at the bigger picture in sobriety, while also feeling a sense of pride in helping others”

Rosecrance responds to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address

In his Feb. 22 budget address, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced plans to close Rockford’s Singer Mental Health Center. He did not indicate where residents would be relocated.

Rosecrance Health Network President/CEO Philip W.Eaton has issued a response:

We understand the closing of Singer, and it appears to make sense considering the critical financial condition of the state of Illinois. However, we are concerned about a transition plan for these individuals to proper care or to services in the community.

We learned from the round of hearings last year when the closure idea was first proposed that citizens of this state want appropriate care for this population. The committee that was charged with making the recommendation on closure concluded that the state was not ready with a transition plan.

Now, it is critical that the state and appropriate parties in communities begin making a solid plan to care for this vulnerable population.

We are ready to play a role in creating a transition plan for individuals who need the services that currently are being offered at Singer. We desperately need those services in our community and the ramifications of not having them will be dramatic.

Without appropriate transition services and ongoing community-based care, there is great danger of very vulnerable people falling through the cracks. We can expect more and more people to start showing up in emergency rooms, in the backs of police cars or ambulances.

Other portions of the budget speech announced significant cuts to an array of state programs and services. The state currently owes Rosecrance $9 million for mental health and substance abuse services already given to clients.

Rosecrance Chief Financial Officer John Schuster issued a response to the cuts:

Just Medicaid alone is a significant cut. The governor proposed an 18 percent cut. That would be a cut of about $1.8 million for us. And then he proposed 40 percent cut in mental health grants. How bad that is depends on how it’s implemented, whether it is a mix of rates and eligibility and types of services covered. The bottom line is it hits the most vulnerable people.

The overall impact is difficult to determine right now, but on the face of it, it appears that we would see a reduction of about $3 million in state funding that Rosecrance uses to serve the most vulnerable people.

This is a starting point for our planning, but we still have to see what the Legislature does and how Department of Human Services implements the inevitable reductions.

Eaton and Schuster both were quoted in this Rockford Register Star article on the budget.

Study: Alcohol in movies may lead to underage drinking

The journal BMJ Open reports that watching movies that feature alcohol consumption doubles the likelihood that teens will start drinking alcohol.

According to

The two-year study of more than 6,500 American kids, ages 10 to 14, also found that teens who are exposed to alcohol-fueled movies are more likely to progress to binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row) HealthDay reports.

Study findings show that the proportion of kids who started drinking alcohol more than doubled from 11 percent to 25 percent, and the proportion of those who started binge drinking tripled from 4 percent to 13 percent.

Teens being exposed to movies that feature alcohol use led to 28 percent of kids drinking alcohol and of those teens, 20 percent moved on to binge drinking, noted the survey. Researchers also underscored that the association was not only seen with movie characters who drank on-screen, but also with alcohol product placement throughout the movies.

Read the complete story from The Partnership for here.

February is Therapeutic Recreation Month

February is Therapeutic Recreation Month at Rosecrance. Along with improving quality of life, therapeutic recreation also has many other benefits:

1. To promote and enhance quality of life
2. To offer activities that are meaningful to each client
3. To enhance or maintain cognitive abilities
4. To enhance or maintain physical abilities
5. To promote emotional and psychosocial well-being
6. To provide opportunity for socialization
7. To offer opportunity for creative expression
8. To offer opportunity for decision making, choice, and responsibility
9. To offer opportunity for spiritual expression
10. To offer solace and relaxation
11. To provide opportunity for fun, pleasure, and enjoyment
12. To offer opportunity to share common interests, cultures, and experiences
13. To promote independence and decreased learned helplessness
14. To provide opportunity to learn new skills, adapt old skills, and enjoy new leisure experiences

For more information on therapeutic recreation, visit the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification website.

Rosecrance partners with Crusader in effort toward integrated care

Rosecrance’s partnership with Crusader Community Health was featured in the Rockford Register Star.

Partnership focuses on serving whole person

Download this news release as a PDF

A new partnership between Rosecrance and Crusader Community Health signals important progress toward integrating behavioral health and primary health care to better serve the comprehensive needs of patients.

Rosecrance has embedded a mental health counselor at Crusader’s clinic on West State Street in Rockford to take on-the-spot referrals for mental health services from nurse practitioners and doctors who see patients for their medical issues. The next step is for Crusader to assign a staff member to the Ware Center to serve clients who go there for services but whose overall health could benefit from primary care services. Crusader officials say they intend to expand the program soon.

Will Holm, a licensed clinical social worker for Rosecrance, is the first staff to be assigned to the program full time. Holm sees up to a dozen Crusader patients daily for mental health assessments or to provide solution-focused brief therapy for conditions such as stress or anxiety. When necessary, Holm has immediate access to the psychiatrists at the Ware Center to consult on a patient’s medication needs. He can make referrals to the Center for individuals with severe mental illness in need of ongoing services.

The arrangement exemplifies a national trend toward integrated care, which means treating the whole person. The collaboration for what is being called “bi-directional care” is among less than a handful of such programs in the state.

“For so long, behavioral health services have been kept at arm’s length from primary care,” Rosecrance President and CEO Philip Eaton said. “Think of how much better we can serve patients who enter the doors at Crusader or Rosecrance if we truly listen to them and assess their emotional needs right alongside their physical health needs. This is very important to the continuum of care in our community.”

Research has shown that individuals with severe mental illness live an average of 25 years less than the average for the rest of the population. That alarming statistic is one of the driving forces behind the collaboration between Crusader and Rosecrance.

The patient referrals to Holm at Crusader are entirely voluntary. Crusader staff members report minimal patient resistance to seeing Holm and talking about their possible mental health needs.

“The demand is greater than we’d anticipated,” said Mark Kendall, Crusader’s chief operating officer. “Our primary care providers barely have time to diagnose the physical needs and a mental health diagnosis takes even longer.”

Judy Emerson
Director of Communications
Rosecrance Health Network
1021 N. Mulford Road
Rockford, IL 61107
815.387.5605 (office); 815.262.4685 (cell)
jemerson (at)

About Rosecrance
Rosecrance is a private not-for-profit organization offering behavioral health services for more than 14,000 children, adolescents, adults and families each year. Rosecrance provides addiction treatment through inpatient and outpatient programs in Rockford, IL, and services at six satellite offices in Chicagoland. In addition, Rosecrance offers community mental health services in Rockford and Belvidere. The organization was founded in 1916.

Facebook, SAMHSA and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline team up

In December 2011, Facebook, SAMHSA and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline teamed up to launch a suicide prevention tool on Facebook.

The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook, using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout the site. The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an e-mail from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on a link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker.

Read the news release here.

Rosecrance, State's Attorney to address mental health of South Beloit students

The Rockford Register Star‘s Greg Stanley wrote today about a partnership between Rosecrance and Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato in the South Beloit School District.

In South Beloit, Stanley writes, the number of students from low-income families reached a new high 63 percent of the student body in 2011 — up from 45 percent in 2001. In response, the high school’s administration is emphasizing positive coping mechanisms for students to deal not only with the economy, but other issues that may be out of a teenager’s control.

From the Rockford Register Star:

On Wednesday, the high school will host a program to teach students and parents about the dangers and prevalence of synthetic drugs. State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato and a representative from the Rosecrance Health Network will speak about the drug, mental health effects of substance abuse and how parents can recognize signs and symptoms of its use.

In the coming weeks, South Beloit teachers also will be trained to spot the growing concern of self-mutilation, or cutting, among students and strategies to prevent it.

“Self-mutilation seems to be really prominent for kids who are coping,” Kiel said. “Our kids are talking about it, Hononegah (High School) kids are doing it. What we want to do is make sure parents and teachers and the kids themselves know there are better ways to cope.”

Read the entire article on the Register Star’s website.

Study estimates 200 million people worldwide using illicit drugs

The Lancet, a leading world medical journal, has released a three-part series examining addiction from a global perspective.

The series’ authors, Louisa Degenhardt and Wayne Hall, estimate that 200 million people worldwide use illicit drugs each year. Their first paper is the series examines the adverse health effects of dependence on different drugs, and compare them with tobacco and alcohol use. Other papers in the series examine the effectiveness of drug control initiatives, and assess whether international drug conventions are effective or not in protecting public health.

From the Los Angeles TimesBooster Shots blog:

The authors point out that many people who use illegal drugs don’t just stop at one, a factor that could cause even more health woes.

In looking at mortality rates, though, drug use takes a back seat to some other substances. In 2004 the World Health Organization reported that globally there were 5.1 million deaths due to tobacco use, 2.25 million from alcohol and 250,000 from illegal drug use. But when looking at years of life lost, drugs came in the highest at 2.1 million (followed by alcohol at 1.5 million), since younger people are generally more susceptible to drug-related deaths.

Read the Times’ write-up of the report here.

Read the complete report from The Lancet here.

In the news: Rosecrance a partner in care at Crusader

The Rockford Register Star‘s Melissa Westphal wrote about Rosecrance’s partnership with Community Crusader Health in today’s paper.

The partnership provides a licensed clinical social worker on site at Crusader’s West State Street office to allow for immediate response for behavioral health issues.

From Westphal’s article:

Will Holm, a licensed clinical social worker with Rosecrance, is now embedded at Crusader’s West State Street clinic. His office space is on the same medical unit as primary care providers who can refer patients to him in “real time” if they identify needs during routine appointments.

Officials say this setup reduces the chances of patients skipping out on referrals for mental health assessments, therefore improving both physical and emotional treatment outcomes.

“We’re really treating the whole person, not just looking at the physical,” said Mary Ann Abate, Rosecrance’s chief operating officer of mental health.

Read the complete article on the Register Star’s website.