Moving beyond 'spaghetti suppers' to fund peer support services
By Tyler W. Myroniuk, assistant professor, Department of Public Health, University of Missouri
Without organizations in the ecosystem of recovery engaging in peer recovery work, treating substance use disorder is unattainable at the population level. But those organizations—mostly non-profits—need funding to retain staff, increase programming, and simply pay rent for their community spaces; the money must come from somewhere. Even though the Biden administration has provided an unprecedented amount of funding to tackle substance use disorder (the President’s 2022 State of the Union speech highlighted this), many organizations do not feel the impact of this policy change.
Our recently released report, titled “Barriers to Acquiring Funding for Organizations in the Ecosystem of Recovery,” summarizes Quality Improvement (QI) work that we undertook in 2022 to identify the largest perceived barriers in these efforts and convey policy recommendations largely directed at federal and state government agencies. The leaders of over 200 organizations across the US participated in a survey and 85 leaders participated in one of 16 focus groups. To our knowledge, no prior substance use disorder work has engaged such a large number of organizations in the ecosystem of recovery. In the process, we generated a sample list of over 500 organizations in the ecosystem of recovery, which was an important task itself because no single comprehensive list exists. This QI study was motivated by a prior needs assessment of how to build and strengthen the capacity of the peer recovery community and is the first comprehensive empirical examination of the thought processes and struggles that lead organizations in the ecosystem of recovery to pursue funding or not.
The ATTC Network is funded by SAMHSA and the author’s opinions do not necessarily represent the opinions of SAMHSA or the ATTC. We respectfully offer this article to encourage healthy discussion to advance our field.
Join us for the first-ever Syndemic Solutions Summit
The ATTC Network National Coordinating Office is proud to partner with our colleagues across the public health spectrum on the first-of-its-kind summit focused on syndemic solutions for some of our nation's most critical epidemics.
Seats are selling quick at the Syndemic Solutions Summit, hosted by the Collaborative to Advance Health Services at the University of Missouri Kansas City. This inaugural event will be held on July 26-27, 2023 in Kansas City, MO. The day-and-a-half summit will focus on discussing and generating solutions for syndemic approaches to end the intertwined health conditions of five epidemics: HIV, STIs, Viral Hepatitis, Substance Use Disorders and Mental health, and Reproductive and Sexual Health.
SAMHSA Resources Spotlight
PTTC Network Prevention Research Briefs
Women’s use and misuse of substances create unique challenges, especially in treatment and recovery from opioids. Medical research on substance use by women, along with other health-related concerns, is largely lacking, especially research specific to women and their physiological differences and tolerance of substances to that of men. In the case of opioids, this is significant. The exclusion of women in addressing the opioid epidemic in research has created a crucial knowledge gap for ensuing successful prevention, treatment, and recovery for women who use, misuse, or addicted to opioids.
Use of the veterinary drug xylazine is having a profound impact on the health of those who use illicit substances across the United States. Originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer in 1962 as a large animal sedative containing a muscle relaxant with analgesic properties, xylazine was never intended for human consumption and therefore identified as a non-classified drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), requiring only a veterinarian’s prescription. In humans, xylazine acts on the central nervous system and may cause drowsiness, slowed breathing, decreased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and even amnesia. So when did this veterinary drug enter into the street drug supply chain, and how did it get there?
TA Center Resource Spotlight - PTTC Network
The Introduction to the Prevention Core Competencies for Prevention Professionals, covers the foundations of substance use prevention science for early and mid-career prevention professionals. By taking this free course, participants will be able to expand their knowledge and skills in the field of prevention.
The curriculum utilizes evidence-based strategies for adult learning; and builds upon and complements existing workforce training curricula and resources (e.g., Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Training (SAPST), Foundations of Prevention Science and Practice Curriculum, and Universal Prevention Curriculum). Get started here.
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