Learn about addiction & mental health.
The Journey Series is a free, on-demand virtual series on addiction and recovery. The library of 11 videos is available anywhere, anytime. In 2020, partners worked together to host this online learning series for National Recovery Month. Hear from experts in the field discussing examples of how Walker County, Alabama and across the state are responding to the evolving opioid epidemic.
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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE JOURNEY SERIES
Central to the Network's goal is partnership and collaboration, a lesson that translates to other local, state, regional and national audiences looking to make a change.
The spectrum of topics featured represents the diverse network of partners who work together to respond to this issue. Session topics are listed below. Click on the link below to go directly to the session, or scroll down to browse:
BROWSE SESSION RECORDINGS
In the opening session for Journey Series, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall shares some encouraging news in the state’s effort to curb opioid deaths. He provides updates on the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council and other state-level efforts. Then Rev. Robin Hinkle & Rachel Puckett discuss efforts happening at the county-level in Walker County, as well as what to expect over the course of Journey Series.
“I am convinced that if we were having this conference again 10 years from now, our panels at that point would be focused on the significant progress that’s been made to address addiction in this community, of reduced overdose deaths and of restored individuals and families. We would be sharing a success story for other communities to know what can happen when people are mobilized across multiple disciplines and come together to deal with this issue."
STATE OF ADDICTION: THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC & THE CRISIS IN ALABAMA
The session addresses our country's opioid crisis, particularly how it's affecting our community and what we can do to mitigate it. The talk is delivered by Sherie Schaffer, MS, ADC, LPC-S, NCC of Bradford Health Services. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speaker and access their contact information.
ADDICTION 101: BRAIN SCIENCE OF ADDICTION
Addiction 101 addresses several of the most common questions asked about addiction, with the aim of increasing understanding of disease. The talk is delivered by Mike Wilkerson, MD, FASAM of Bradford Health Services. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speaker.
HOW TO ASK FOR HELP & START THE INTERVENTION PROCESS
This panel provides insight for people who have questions or concerns about how to seek help: that can be people seeking help for themselves, for a family member, or for a member of their congregation. Panelists Paige Britton, CRSS and Stephanie Schilling, CRSS, LMSW, along with moderator Barbara Brown Medders share how their personal experiences shape the way they help others today. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
THE PROVIDER PERSPECTIVE: THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
Panelist members discuss how their respective treatment and recovery organizations serve patient/clients through an evolving opioid epidemic and the Covid-19 pandemic. The panel, moderated by Tommy Maddox of Desperation Church, represents residential, outpatient, and transitional housing, including both Alabama Department of Mental Health-certified providers and faith-based programs. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
“What gives me energy is seeing someone who was once nearly dead and today they are a great husband, father, mother, deacon, serving on their local political board, and they've reengaged in life mentally, spiritually and physically."
-Brandon Lackey, panelist
ROLE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN ADDICTION & TREATMENT
Addiction should be understood like any other chronic, relapsing disease by all, and especially by health professionals - nurses, social workers, case managers, peers, doctors, receptionists. Brent Boyett, DMD, DOD, DFASAM digs deeper into the brain science of addiction and whole-person treatment options that equip any audience member with the knowledge to better work with friends, family, patients and clients who struggle with addiction. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speaker and access their contact information.
This session pairs perfectly with The Provider Perspective: Whole-Person Care. You can hear from providers who are putting
Dr. Boyett's recommendations into practice.
THE PROVIDER PERSPECTIVE: WHOLE-PERSON CARE
Whole-person care for mental and substance use disorder treatment is critical. Panel members operate within models that treat a patient or client's substance use disorder treatment along with co-occurring mental health diagnoses and primary care needs. They will speak to the importance and challenges of treatment within this context. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN ADDICTION & TREATMENT
The prevalence of mental and substance use disorders in the criminal justice system is significant. The Alabama Department of Mental Health is leading a multi-county initiative that connects people involved in the criminal justice system to treatment. Partners in the project, Walker County DA’s Office and Recovery Resource Center, are implementing solutions to better serve community needs as partners in ADMH’s project. The project creates another pathway to treatment through the criminal justice system. This new pathway joins diversion programs including pre-trial and Drug Court programs in Walker County to better address the needs of people struggling with addiction. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
INTERVENTIONS TO REDUCE RISK FACTORS IN YOUTH
April Knight, Director of Prevention Services at Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center, outlines what students are learning and important tips parents need to know. Drug prevention programs for youth address protective and risk factors. NWAMHC implements evidence-based curricula for students in Walker County, including new initiatives recently funded by a CDC Opioid Overdose Prevention grant. NWAMHC serves those with mental disorders, intellectual disabilities, and persons suffering from chemical dependency in its 5 county area (Walker, Fayette, Lamar, Marion, Winston). See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
Not One More Alabama
The Discovery Room is a trailer designed to simulate a typical teenager’s bedroom. Parents will be invited into the trailer to “discover” some of the telltale signs of a child using and hiding drugs of all kinds. It demonstrates the need for parents to remain vigilant and aware of the everyday activities of their child.
GUARDIANS OF ADDICTED
Treatment from addiction is not just for the individual but also for the family. Carie & Art discuss Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL), a guide for families as they better understand their role in the recovery process. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
ADDICTION & SENIORS
Addiction among 65 and up is often underestimated and under-diagnosed, which can prevent them from getting the help they need. Additionally, the caregivers of older individuals may struggle with addiction presenting a complex path forward. See the Speaker Directory to learn more about the speakers and access their contact information.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2020 PARTNERS
Amidst the first months of the Covid pandemic, adapting the event from a one-day in-person event to a six-week virtual series was a relatively easy endeavor with the collaboration and support of many partners.
The Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama sponsored the event.
Bradford Health Services made the transition to virtual seamless by managing the Zoom Webinar platform and ensuring the continuing-education contact hours would be available.
Walker Area Community Foundation (WACF) assigned intern Laynie Snyder to coordinate the transition to virtual and event planning during her summer internship through the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Program. WACF also donated its Vimeo channel to house all session recordings.
The development of The Journey Series program and diverse expertise on addiction and recovery would not have been possible without the network of partners who remained dedicated to the series even as their daily operations presented unprecedented challenges: