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Washtenaw Meeting Recaps

DBT. Three Letters. Many Benefits

Jill Polisano, CTRS, McKenzie Luker, CTRS, Kristen O’Dwyer, LCSW and Wendy Besler, MD

For many individuals in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD), three letters can make all the difference in helping to set them
up for long-term success: DBT.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, commonly known as DBT, is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy developed to treat people with multiple mental health conditions. For our February Family Forum, we’ll explore how DBT may also be effective in treating those with SUD and other co-occurring disorders.

To explain the DBT approach and its benefits, we’ll welcome guest speakers Jill Polisano, CTRS, McKenzie Luker, CTRS, and Kristen O’Dwyer, LCSW — the co-owners of Wise Practice PLLC in Troy — as well as Wendy Besler, MD, a psychiatrist and the founder of Advanced Neuropsychiatric Specialists in Farmington Hills.

These experts will discuss how DBT teaches skills that are empowering for individuals in recovery, as they can be used to regulate emotions and cope through distress in real time. Utilizing the modules of Mindfulness, Emotional Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Distress Tolerance, people can learn how to be present in the moment and accept their emotions and actions as valid.

Some of the benefits of DBT may include:
• A decrease in substance use
• A decrease in the physical discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms
• A drop in substance-related impulsivity, cravings and temptations
• Creating and enforcing boundaries necessary for abstinence
• Avoiding triggers and precipitating events that could lead to substance use
• Reducing problematic behaviors that contribute to substance use
• Increasing healthy interpersonal relationships

While there’s no single path to recovery, DBT can be an effective tool in promoting positive outcomes for those suffering dual diagnoses and those who have been unsuccessful with other evidence-based therapies.

Co-Occurring Disorders: The Critical Link Between Mental Health and SUD

Stephanie Marquesano; Dr. Kenneth Minkoff

For our December Family Forum, we’ll welcome Harris’s mother, Stephanie Marquesano, founder and president of the Harris Project, the only nonprofit in the nation committed to the prevention and treatment of co-occurring disorders — the combination of one or more mental health challenges and substance misuse and/or addiction. Stephanie will discuss why it’s crucial for these disorders to be managed together, especially in teenagers and young adults.

Joining Stephanie will be Kenneth Minkoff, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist with additional qualifications in addiction psychiatry, a dedicated community psychiatrist and a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Minkoff is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on integrated treatment of individuals with co-occurring psychiatric and substance disorders or “dual diagnosis.”

Meet MAT: He's in Recovery -- What everyone needs to know about Medication-Assisted Treatment, abstinence and more

Melissa J. Henke, MD

MAT refers to FDA-approved medications to support individuals in their treatment of SUD, while
abstinence often means the complete avoidance of mood-altering substances. So, how do you
know which approach is right for you or your loved ones? And, what are the most important
things to know about both MAT and abstinence?

Narcotics Anonymous: A Proven Program of Recovery

Chris Budrick

In our July Family Forum, we separated fact from fiction regarding NA and its mission to help anyone with
SUD — regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion or lack of religion — to stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live.

The Healing Power of Creativity: How music, art and other creative expression aids in addiction recovery

Anna Byberg, President at Dawn Farm; David Awadalla and Bryce Cobb III

At ourJune Family Forum we invited you to learn more about the healing power of creativity The discussion, led by Anna Byberg, President at Dawn Farm, talked about the importance of expression in the recovery journey. Later in the program David Awadalla and Bryce Cobb III talk about their recovery journey.

Breathe Easy: How a Smoke-Free Recovery Can Lower Your Risk of Relapse

Panel includes: Clifford E. Douglas, J.D., Alena Williams, LMSW, Caravella McCuistian Ph.D.

For our April Family Forum, we’ll examine the link between cigarette smoking and relapse rates; explore the tobacco industry’s role in creating addiction; and provide guidance on how to quit smoking safely and affordably. And, while most SUD programs do not address tobacco use, we’ll reveal why long-term treatment outcomes are better for those who quit smoking.

Recovery and the Courts: How Our Criminal Justice System Is Shaping Addiction Treatment

Bridget McCormack, Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, and Eli Savit, Prosecuting Attorney for Washtenaw County

In the state of Michigan, many courts, prosecutors, and law-enforcement agencies are working to move beyond criminalization and re-think their approach to addiction. These esteemed legal professionals shared their perspectives on the evolving role of the courts in drug treatment.

Understanding Relapse: A New Perspective and Guide

Sanford Behavioral Health Founder and President Rae Green, and Clinical Therapist Carli Noffsinger

FOur December Family Forum presented a new perspective on relapse as a natural consequence of chronic disease. Two leading experts from Sanford Behavioral Health — Founder and President Rae Green and Clinical Therapist Carli Noffsinger — provided a practical guide to addressing relapse.

ADDICTION: Is It Really a Disease, and If So, So What?

Dr. Lynn Hankes, MD, FASAM

Those struggling with substance use disorders are often on the receiving end of negative perceptions, attitudes and sentiments that can act as a roadblock to recovery.

The Truth About Teens and Marijuana

Carl Christensen, MD, Oh.D., FASAM

Our September Family Forum shed light on the negative impact of marijuana, or cannabis, on teens and adolescents. Guest speaker Carl Christensen, MD, Ph.D., FASAM, discussed how marijuana use can affect the developing brain — often with harmful and long-lasting consequences to a teen’s health and well-being.

Bringing Recovery Into Hospitals

Panel Discussion

At our August family forum, Washtenaw FAN hosted a panel of experts representing some of Michigan’s largest healthcare systems who are committed to changing the way we view and treat SUDs.

The Link Between Diet, Mental Health and Addiction

Kristen Alott, ND, MS and Natasha Duarte, MS

As many people struggle with chronic anxiety, fatigue and depression, they experience cravings and addictions to soothe these discomforts. Kristen and Natasha are passionate about helping you develop tools to improve the body’s power supply. The result? Less anxiety and cravings, and more energy and mental clarity to support a more engaged life.

Families Against Narcotics - Washtenaw Chapter

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