Recovery FALL 2016 ISSUE



HOUSING Maryland







Family Recovery Program



CONTENTS To send a comment or question, write to: Family Recovery Program 239 Gay St,

Family P R O G R A M

Recovery FALL 2016 ISSUE

FEATURES 08 AMOTHER’S STRUGGLE FRP graduate reunites with her daughter

Baltimore, MD (410) 605-0492

Family Recovery Program is published by

12 THERE’S NOTHING LIKE FAMILY FRP founder works to strengthen family structure 16 A PARTNERSHIP BUILT FOR CHANGE M-ROCC partners with FRP to support parents through addiction recovery 46 PLANTINGTHE SEEDS OF RECOVERY Gerald Hill works with clients to customize a process to a successful recovery 50 WHEN ADDICTION CHOOSES YOU Rita Randle helps recovering parents find a better life 54 A NEWSTART FOR BALTIMORE Dana Young commits his life to improving the community and serving others 60 HOUSINGMARYLAND Local non-profit seeks to strengthen public housing network

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IN THE NEWS 24 BEND BUT DON’T BREAK Yoga is being used to help people maintain recovery and avoid relapse 26 COPINGWITH DISCRIMINATION Discrimination remains largely ignored as a cause of substance abuse 28 FIGHTING FIREWITH FIRE Researchers look to combat addiction through repurposed pharmaceuticals 30 HIDDENDANGERS Alcohol poses whole host of health concerns 32 MORETHAN SKINDEEP Implant represents revolutionary approach to treating opioid addiction

34 UNDERSERVED AND UNDETERRED Overcoming the unique challenges LGBTQ individuals face with addiction 36 RELAPSETRACKERS Fitness trackers can help prevent relapses 38 PROLONGINGTHE PAIN Study suggests painkillers may be having the opposite effect in the long run 40 GROWING CONCERNOVER HEROIN USE New poll shows Americans are increasingly concerned with the dangers that heroin use poses to the country 44 BOOM, BUST, ANDDRUGS Study says economic downturn leads to increase in substance use disorders


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Because my family needed me.

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After losing custody of her daughter, Kimberly Evans was approached by a Family Recovery Program staff member who handed Evans a card and told her that they might be able to help get her child back home. A year later, after graduating from the program, she has her daughter back.



Young and alone Evans’ addiction began at a young age. She grew up in Baltimore with a mother who was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Her parents were separated and Evans lived with her stepfather, a man who sexually abused her when she was barely a teenager. Though she told her mother, the situation didn’t change and Evans eventually left home when she was just 13 years old. Moving in with her boyfriend who was in his 20s, she entered a new home that was as horric as the one she’d left behind. Her boyfriend was physically abusive to her throughout the two years she lived with him. “It was not a good situation to be in, especially as a child,” Evans says.

This led to a string of unhealthy relationships with other men who abused the young girl. Because of her age, she was dependent on the men to keep her from becoming homeless. The dependency became detrimental and she moved to her own place in her early 20s. Around this time, she began abusing cocaine, marijuana and alcohol as a way to cope with the hardships she’d faced. Noticing his daughter’s growing addiction problems, her biological father tried to get her to enter recovery in 2001. “I wasn’t ready,” Evans says about her rst attempt. “He was trying to do what was best for me, but I just wasn’t ready at the time.”

A hard separation When she gave birth to her daughter two years ago, her baby was born drug-exposed. Though she had started recovery in 2012, she relapsed and was using while pregnant. Her baby was taken away and put in foster care. The decision to enroll in Family Recovery Program came out of the desperation to see her child again. “It was really hard being separated from her. Her foster parents are great people, but I couldn’t handle not being able to have her with me,” Evans says. Family Recovery Program transformed her life, helping her gain visitation rights, weekends and eventually full custody. They even connected her

with Dayspring Programs Inc., which helps provide transitional housing for women and children. The Family Recovery Program has provided a network of support that Evans still uses, even after graduating. She believes the program is special because of the attention, time and care they give to each individual. The staff are committed and hands-on in their work, ensuring clients receive and utilize any resource or treatment that is available. “It’s probably one of the best programs I’ve been a part of. They do whatever they can to help you,” Evans says. “It makes all the difference to have staff care that much. It denitely made a difference for me.”




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There’s Nothing Like Family FRP founder works to strengthen family structure and create community

At the core of Dr. Jocelyn Gainers’ vision for Family Recovery Program is the power of community. “The focus has to shift from changing individuals to collective change. People don’t just exist as individuals,” says Dr. Gainers, executive director at Family Recovery Program (FRP). “We exist within our families and communities.”

“People don’t just exist as individuals.” - Dr. Jocelyn Gainers executive director Family Recovery Program


An alarming education

Dr. Jocelyn Gainers’ mother, who worked as a school counselor in Baltimore City, would often share stories about the students she worked with and the problems their families were facing. Years later, while doing undergraduate work in psychology, Dr. Gainers received first-hand exposure to those same hardships being endured by her community. She visited homes filled with poverty and dysfunctional family structures, providing her with insight into the effects of both. Dr. Gainers believes that trauma is the root of both of these issues. Lower-income communities generate more traumatic experiences in individuals. If the trauma is not properly healed, it affects the family as a whole. Each member of the family, including children, may be dealing with a unique trauma which, taken together, can create a toxic environment. To help repair this damage, Dr. Gainers is dedicated to identifying all possible resources that could help individuals heal and make families more stable. “I said to myself early on that if I had the chance to work with families and help them, I would do whatever it takes,” Dr. Gainers shares.

Family support At Family Recovery Program, families are treated together and encouraged to support one another. It’s especially beneficial for children to see their parents progress through recovery. “Most children we work with are fearful that their parents will leave again,” says Dr. Gainers. “I’ve seen kids get nervous when their moms leave the room. So once a family is reunified, we want to keep it that way.” FRP equips their clients with skills and resources that will help preserve their recovery long after leaving the program.The Parent Mentors Program allows FRP mentors to accompany parents throughout the day and help prepare them to be productive citizens and parents, helping them shop for their family’s groceries and taking them to community meetings. Recently, FRP also completed a project that will provide families with two and three bedroom houses for up to 18 months after leaving treatment. It aims to help maintain sobriety while keeping families close and comfortable.

A common goal In the 40 years since her mother first shared stories of Baltimore’s struggles, Dr. Gainers is worried that change isn’t occurring fast enough. While she sees more availability of resources, there’s still a pressing need to strengthen the network of public assistance facilities across the city. “What we try to do at Family Recovery Program is replicate community through our affiliations,” Dr. Gainers explains. “That’s how change can happen for the long-run.” They do this by connecting clients, businesses and government programs throughout Baltimore. Partnerships are essential to FRP, which runs as a non-profit and relies on outside providers and funding to help meet the needs of every client.

“We all help each other towards a common goal. It’s like a family.” “I’ve seen kids get nervous when their moms leave the room.” - Dr. Jocelyn Gainers

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A Partnership Built for Change M-ROCC partners with FRP to support parents through addiction recovery

Serving the community In 2013, two years after M-ROCC was founded, they received a grant that allowed them to expand their reach.They now provide technical assistance for clients who own or operate supportive housing and treatment centers.They’re also a central point for recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, hoping to generate awareness and funding to change the state of addiction recovery. M-ROCC works with their supportive housing affiliates to maintain standards for the recovery community. Part of the process involves an inspection of each recovery house that looks at organizational standards, fiscal management, the house location, as well as operational, recovery support and property standards.

Entering into the business of addiction treatment is a big endeavor. When planning to start and maintain a recovery house, it can be tough to know where to start. “The big question I get asked is how to tap into state funding,” says Carlos Hardy, CEO and founder of Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Community (M-ROCC). “I help them understand what state mandates are for public services.” Hardy works with various programs across Baltimore, hoping to advocate and support anyone dealing with addiction so they can improve their wellness and sustain recovery. His organization partners with other programs across the city to build a strong network of support for every patient.

“I hope to make lasting change for Baltimore.” -Carlos Hardy CEO and founder Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Community


This critical examination ensures that every house approved by M-ROCC can achieve its highest potential and provide excellent services to recovery patients. Hardy understands the treatment needs of those battling addiction because he has been in long-term recovery himself since 1993. He’s served in a range of leadership roles, working for Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems and serving as a director with Light Street Housing Corporation. His radio show “Beyond the Wire” discusses the misrepresented narrative of Baltimore portrayed in the media and offers a fuller perspective on the city. “I hope to make lasting change for Baltimore. I’ve committed my life to it,” he says.

Doing it right “Family Recovery Program is a great example of how you do this thing right,” Hardy says, talking about FRP’s efforts to grow the recovery community and help expand access to resources. “Their focus is on family reunification.That’s the driving force behind everyone who works there.” FRP partners with M-ROCC to provide a holistic treatment that aids clients in all aspects of their lives. Hardy works closely with Dr. Jocelyn Gainers, executive director of FRP, to bring superior recovery options to Baltimore. “A lot of the time, centers throw up their hands and say this is the best we can do. Family Recovery Program proves there’s no limit to how much a treatment center can do for their clients,” says Hardy. “They go above and beyond for every patient and the community as a whole.”

“Their focus is on family reunification.” -Carlos Hardy


The Family Recovery Program s uccessfully reunites families by offering specialized

programs to meet the recovery and life skills needs of parents. Family Recovery Program


Family Recovery Program 410-605-0492

Genesis Program The mission of the FRP Genesis Track is to reduce a child’s exposure to out-of-home placements when that child is removed for a second time from a parent’s or legal guardian’s care before the child exceeds the age of seven due to parent’s substance abuse and recent relapse. The FRP Genesis Track provides intensive case management, bi-weekly to monthly oversight by the court, placement in an appropriate substance abuse treatment program within 24 hours of their referral (if available) and other supportive services including transitional housing and mental health services over a six to twelve month period.


Phoenix Track The Family Recovery Program (FRP) has developed the Phoenix Track, which is an accelerated 6-month programwith specialized groups that focus exclusively on marijuana use and abuse, recovery frommarijuana abuse and the coping skills to enjoy a sober lifestyle.

Family Recovery Program



Horizon Program

www. f rp - i nc . org

The Family Recovery Program (FRP) has been partnering with BCDSS to assist in reunification efforts since 2005. On July 1, 2012, FRP introduced the Horizon Program. The focus of the Horizon Program is to prevent removal of the child/children ages 0-7 of CPS and Family Preservation Units’ cases that otherwise would have substance abuse as the primary factor as the reason for removal.

Family Recovery Program


Family Recovery Program

On average, FRP parents spent 138 days in treatment; non-FRP parents spent 82 days in treatment.

www. f rp - i nc . org





24555 Southfield Rd., Suite 100 Southfield, MI, 48075

888 . 392 . 6042 248 . 864 . 8592 23

Clinical Laboratory Testing with Clinical Connect

Clinical Connect is a leader in Clinical Laboratory testing, offering laboratory services as well as practice management tools to help clinicians coordinate and optimize patient care.

Clinical Connect was originally founded in 2011 with a laboratory in Southfield, MI focused on the esoteric testing using liquid chromatography – mass spectrometery (LC/MS) technology. In 2014, Clinical Connect established a Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of leading experts in various fields of medicine, providing guidance on our in-house research programs. Based on the recomendations of the SAB, Clinical Connect developed a custom therapeutic drug monitoring report that provides customers with clear and concise insight into a patient’s medication use.

Clinical Connect currently offers a variety of tests for urine, oral fluids and blood samples.

"Clinical Connect currently offers a variety of tests for urine, oral fluids and blood samples."


Clinical Laboratory Testing with Clinical Connect Clinical Connect, our mission is commitment to high quality toxicology laboratory testing and outstanding customer care service. Our goal is to assist physicians with patient outcomes which lead to patient satisfaction. We are dedicated to patient-centered care providing timely information and diagnostic testing. Our vision is to be a respectable and leading authority of reliable testing and results while providing healthcare professionals the needed information in making treatment decisions. We value our patients where we focus on providing the best in both product and service to the evolving and dynamic healthcare specialty of toxicology. The combination of physician and patient outcomes is the principle behind our commitment to high quality toxicology laboratory testing and outstanding customer care service.

"Our goal is to assist physicians with patient outcomes which lead to patient satisfaction."

Compliance Program At Clinical Connect, we adhere to the importance of trust, integrity and leadership that play in the healthcare industry. Thus, Clinical Connect is committed to the highest standards of compliance and ethics. Clinical Connect’s Compliance Program was designed to ensure that the organization upholds all legal, ethical and regulatory laws, policies and standards in the industry. As the national leader in independent clinical laboratory testing, Clinical Connect owes its success to its long-standing commitment to support science, its national ethical standards and a compliance program based on guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Through its Corporate Compliance Plan, Code of Conduct and other related policies and procedures, Clinical Connect has established standards and procedures to promote the highest ethical culture and discourage inappropriate conduct. It is the fundamental policy of Clinical Connect to conduct its business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and the ethical standards and practices of the industry and the organization.









Why is Clinical Connect ISO important to me? The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) establishes strict quality-assurance standards to guarantee consistently high-quality results. Organizations certified under ISO have been inspected to ensure that all company processes and practices meet and maintain the quality of output. At Clinical Connect, we believe that meeting these standards is the best way to demonstrate our commitment to quality in all of our services. I don't see the test I need. Can you still help me? Clinical Connect is a full-service reference lab. If you have specific needs or are interested in having a test created to meet your specific needs, please contact your sales representative. We will work to satisfy your request in a professional, timely manner. How do I get my reports? For your convenience, reports can be viewed online, faxed, and mailed.

How accurate are my test results? Laboratory testing results are accurate and reliable.The identification of individual drugs at Clinical Connect is achieved using a highly selective methodology called mass spectrometry (MS), which allows the laboratory to make unequivocal identifications. For this reason, all urine specimens should be submitted to our laboratory for testing, as instant devices such as urine cups or dipsticks do not offer this level of selectivity or accuracy. How are samples sent to your lab? We use UPS for all of your shipping needs. No matter where you are in the country, we can receive your sample the next day. In addition, we will provide you with specimen-collection kits that come pre-addressed and ready to ship back to us. Who supplies the collection kits? Clinical Connect supplies everything that

you need to do your testing, at no cost to you. If you have never placed an order with Clinical Connect, contact a member of our sales team or Client Services at 888-392-6042 to get started. What else is involved in confirmation testing? Confirmation analysis comprises chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry identification to detect and verify the presence of drugs in a specimen. Confirmatory testing is performed utiliz- ing LC/MS, and LC/MS/MS method- ologies and encompasses additional steps before and after the actual analysis.These steps include chemical extraction, which is performed prior to analysis in order to remove any interfering substances, data review, and data certification. Clinical Connect's confirmation process ensures that the results we deliver are accurate and precise every time.

"There are two common ways that users attempt to “cheat” a urine drug test: modify their urine sample with chemicals or drink large amounts of water prior to testing in order to dilute their sample."

What if I have questions about my results? Our full-time toxicologists and chief medical officer are always willing to assist you with the interpretation of results. Simply call Client Services at 888-392-6042. One of our representatives will connect you with an available expert. You may also e-mail questions to When reviewing a lab report, what does "Canceled: due to interference" mean? Interference is an unknown signal that prevents accurate identification of drugs during the confirmation analysis. Its origin cannot be determined, but it may be an endogenous compound (a naturally occurring compound within the body), a prescription medication, or something added to the specimen after collection. In instances where a definite positive or negative result cannot be determined for a drug, the test is conducted a second time. After the second attempt, if the drug in question still cannot be accurately determined, the test for that drug is canceled. What does a negative result mean? Did the donor have anything present in their sample at all? A negative result does not necessarily mean there is zero trace of a drug in a given sample. Rather, it indicates that the drug was not detected above the pre-determined cut-off concentration. For example, a cut-off of 300 ng/mL for benzodiazepines means that the combined total of cross-reacting benzodiazepines in the specimen must be above 300 ng/mL to register on the test and produce a positive result. Specimens that contain a combined total benzodiazepine concentration of fewer than 300 ng/mL will register on the test as negative.Therefore, in some cases, low concentrations may be present, but a negative result shows up on the report and is still considered to be an accurate test result.

How do urine alcohol levels compare to blood alcohol levels? Ethanol (drinking alcohol) may be detected in blood and urine after consumption of alcoholic beverages. Blood and urine ethanol concentrations may be very different, depending on the time between ethanol consumption and specimen collection and frequency of urination.The ethanol concentration will often be higher in urine than in blood. In some cases, urine ethanol may be highly positive and the blood completely negative.Therefore, urine ethanol cannot be used to estimate a blood ethanol concentration. Is there anything that can be used to "cheat" a urine test? There are two common ways that users attempt to “cheat” a urine drug test: modify their urine sample with chemicals or drink large amounts of water prior to testing in order to dilute their sample. Many products are available on the Internet claiming to enable a person to produce a negative test result after drug use if that product is added to a urine sample. Most of these products contain strong chemicals known as oxidants, which are capable of modifying the chemical structure of a drug. Complete Toxicology Laboratories (Clinical Connect) tests every urine sam- ple for the presence of oxidants to identify potential adulteration. How do I deal with marijuana? This a complex issue. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA. For that reason, many providers will not prescribe opioids to patients using cannabis. Other providers reference State ‘Medical Marijuana Use’ laws and feel comfortable prescribing opioids to cannabis users. Some providers adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and request the lab to remove marijuana from the UDT so that positive results are not seen. Do your homework and create an office policy.Then disclose this policy to your patients.






Clinical Connect Laboratory (CCL) is your source for navigating patient centric laboratory medicine in the ever changing healthcare landscape.


Substance Abuse Millions of Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. In order to properly treat substance abuse, it is critical to identify the addiction and create a plan of action to combat it. Effective drug monitoring is crucial to formulate the right plan of care and take the first step to rehabilitation and prevent further disease and complications. At Clinical Connect, we offer a wide range of optional panel selection, giving you the tools you need to monitor and eliminate any type of substance abuse. We make it easy for you to test your patient population, receive results and handle any questions or concerns you may have. Our professional staff has years of experience and promises to exceed your expectations.


Individual Drug Test Selection Clinical Connect provides health care professionals with the choice of individual test selection, as opposed to pre-set panels of tests. Collect specimens (urine or oral fluid) and send to Clinical Connect to identify the individual drugs and metabolites selected based on medical necessity. MethodTesting Selection Clinical Connect provides health care professionals with the choice of testing methods, either by an immunoassay, immunoassay with quantitative results by liquid chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), or a single quantitative test by LC- MS/MS for each individual drug ordered based on medical necessity. Clinical Supplies for Testing Specimen cups, test requisition forms and shipping supplies are available to customers through Clinical Connection's Laboratories Order Supplies.* CLIA license required for in-office urine drug test devices.

Together, we can control drug abuse in your practice and enhance the quality of care. Don’t become a victim of preliminary findings delivered by point-of-care testing cups or bench top screens.These methods provides a fast turnaround, but not the accuracy or precision of an in-depth toxicology report available from liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Many physicians don’t use point-of-care cups because they are unreliable and misleading. Confirmation testing is the only reliable method that is 99.99% accurate and checks for metabolites as well as the parent drug. Your quality of care depends direClinical Connecty on how well you monitor your practice and patient compliance in any treatment plan. Let Clinical Connect work for you to ensure practice compliance. Start Monitoring Clinical Connect’s medication monitoring and drug detection services provide more than just test results to health care professionals. We deliver the comprehensive scientific data backed by service and clinical consultation to help interpret results for more informed clinical decisions. Complete Toxicology Laboratories provides health care professionals with choices to design their medication monitoring and drug detection program to best suit the unique needs of their patients and their practice.


Pain Management Why is it important to monitor abuse and diversion of controlled substances while providing the right care for your pain patients? Pain medications are being abused all across the United States.Therefore, as a physician you must help abolish the trend while providing an effective treatment plan for your patients. In this day and time, no patient should have to suffer by experiencing the unpleasant sensation of pain due to physician’s fear of prescribing controlled substances to well deserving patients. To control abuse, physicians must monitor pain medications to ensure practice compliance. Clinical Connect provides you with an easy and efficient way to monitor compliance.


Cliicl Confidence Instilling


24555 Southfield Rd., Suite 100 Southfield, MI, 48075

888 . 392 . 6042 248 . 864 . 8592 35




Testing Methods In-office Urine Drug Testing (UDT) In-office (point-of-care) testing can be conducted with CLIA-waived instant-read devices, as well as instrumented devices (e.g. analyzers). hese devices perform qualitative immunoassay tests only. In-office urine drug test devices are used to provide health care professionals with immediate information, particularly on initial patient intake. While providing certain clinical value to the treating health care professional, these qualitative immunoassay tests identify the presence of a drug class, and a few specific drugs.The limitations of point-of-care testing, including cutoff levels and known cross-reactivity, is important to consider. When it is clinically necessary to identify all specific drugs and illicit substances, laboratory quantization provide more comprehensive results for patient care decisions.

Laboratory Testing with LC-MS/MS Technology

Laboratory testing, such as liquid chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry (LC-MS/ MS), is a more specific method, and returns a quantitative analytical result.These results provide precise identification of all drugs and metabolites present or absent. When used alone or in combination with qualitative immunoassay testing, LC-MS/MS testing can provide health care professionals with critical information to support patients’ overall treatment plans. Laboratory testing by LC-MS/MS uses significantly lower cutoff levels than in-office drug tests and is, therefore, more accurate in determining medications and other substances present in, or absent from, a patient’s system at the time of the test.

"When it is clinically necessary to identify all specific drugs and illicit substances, laboratory quantization provide more comprehensive results for patient care decisions." 37

Clinical Connect currently offers a variety of tests for urine, oral fluids and blood samples using liquid chromatography – mass spectrometery (LC/MS) technology.

Billing Policies Patients with Insurance

Upon completion of the testing services, Clinical Connect will file a claim for services rendered on the date of your office visit. Once this is claim isprocessed, you will receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance company.This not a bill. If a balance is due, you will receive a separate invoice from Clinical Connect stating the amount owed and the date payment is due. Clinical Connect has relationships with an extensive number of insurance networks and offers flexible payment options to best meet your needs. For more information, call us at 888-392-6042 and ask to speak with a billing specialist.

Patients without Insurance Clinical Connect which flexible payment plans are available to you. To learn more, call 888-392-6042 and ask to speak with a billing specialist. Clinical Connect offers financial assistance to patients that are experiencing hardship.


Women's Health OB/GYN using drug screening as part of their daily routine are increasing across America. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends physicians to test their patients for illicit drugs so they can seek help and reduce complications during pregnancy and delivery. Drug and alcohol abuse have a direct correlation with obstetric and pediatric complications. Birth defects and developmental disabilities due to prenatal alcohol exposure can be easily prevented in the United States. If more women are tested for alcohol and drug abuse, they are more likely to take action to stop it. It is a moral and ethical obligation on obstetricians to implement a protocol for drug screening in their practice. No child should have to suffer for a lifetime due to birth defects that could have been prevented by taking the neccesary steps of analyzing your patient’s urine or oral specimens for potentially harmful drugs.

Primary Care Practice Prescription medications are necessary to run a practice effectively and providing the right treatment plan is vital to your practice. With prescription drug abuse on the rise, physicians must take action to mitigate risk of running a practice that is highlydependent on controlled substances.Therefore, it is crucial to monitor medication compliance within your practice population. Clinical Connect can be your key partner to monitor and ensure patient compliance. We offer an easy drug-monitoring program that is accurate and allows you to focus on quality care. Our low detection levels allow you to see what drugs your patients are taking. If physicians are unaware of patient’s drug abuse, medical care can be jeopardized. For example, abrupt placenta separation may occur with acute cocaine use resulting in the harm of the mother and child. Women are less likely to take action or seek help if they are not screened and referred to a treatment facility or specialist. You can make a positive difference in creating a safe environment for your expecting mothers and their unborn child by just adding a universal screening program to your practice.







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Family Recovery Program

Because FRP families utilized less foster care and were more likely to achieve reunification, FRP cases were less costly to the child welfare system. The total net cost savings per year of Baltimore City FRP operations was nearly $1,004,456 or approximately $5,022 per served family.

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Boom, Bust, and Drugs Study says economic downturn leads to increase in substance use disorders When the economy tanks, drug abuse goes up.That’s the finding of a new study which shows the state of the economy is closely linked with substance abuse disorder rates for a variety of substances. The study, conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University, the University of Colorado and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found the use of substances like ecstasy becomes more prevalent during economic downturns. Researchers also found that other drugs like LSD and PCP see increased use only when the economy is strong. But for overall substance use disorders, the findings were clear.

“Problematic use (i.e., substance use disorder) goes up significantly when the economy weakens,” says Christopher Carpenter, one of the lead researchers. “Our results are more limited in telling us why this happens.” Researchers say it’s possible that people turn to substance use as a means of coping with a job loss or other major life changes caused by economic pressures, but their particular study did not pinpoint an exact cause and effect. Not all drugs are equal The study showed that a downward shift in the economy has the biggest impact on painkillers and hallucinogens. Rates of substance abuse disorders were significantly higher for those two categories than any other class of drug.

Researchers also found the change in disorder rates was highest for white adult males, a group which was one of the hardest hit during the Great Recession.They say more research is needed to determine exactly how the economy and drug use are related, but they say the study highlighted some key groups for prevention and treatment workers to target during future economic downturns.

“Problematic use (i.e., substance use disorder) goes up significantly when the economy weakens.” - Christopher Carpenter, Vanderbilt University


Slippery slope Despite some lingering questions, researchers were able to show the significance of the economy’s role in problematic substance use.The study showed that even a small change in the unemployment rate can have a tremendous impact on the risks for substance abuse disorders. “For each percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate, these estimates represent about a 6 percent increase in the likelihood of having a disorder involving analgesics and an 11 percent increase in the likelihood of having a disorder involving hallucinogens,” the authors write. Previous studies have focused on the economy’s link to marijuana and alcohol, with many looking at young people in particular.This study is one of the first to highlight illicit drugs, which given the current opioid epidemic, holds important lessons for those working to curb problematic drug use.

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When it’s needed most The study bears significant weight for treatment facilities and public policy makers in particular. During economic downturns, government agencies typically look to cut spending on treatment programs as a way to save money, something researchers say may be more costly in the end. “Our results suggest that this is unwise,” Carpenter says. “Such spending would likely be particularly effective during downturns since rates of substance use disorders are increasing when unemployment rates rise, at least for disorders involving prescription painkillers and hallucinogens.”

“Spending would likely be particularly effective during downturns since rates of substance use disorders are increasing when unemployment rates rise.” - Christopher Carpenter, Vanderbilt University

Planting the Seeds of Recovery Gerald Hill works with clients to customize a process to a successful recovery

It’s been 19 years since Gerald Hill met Dr. Jocelyn Gainers.They worked together at Mountain Manor Treatment Center before coming together again. “She called me up to see if I wanted to join her at Family Recovery Program and I said yes,” Hill says. “It’s been amazing to be a part of this.”

“It took being set still to see what was really going on with myself.” - Gerald Hill case manager Family Recovery Program


A hard look Hill serves as case manager at the Family Recovery Program. He assesses clients and refers them to the best suited program based on their unique needs, reviewing the client’s substance abuse history, mental health, housing, education and physical health needs. A recovery plan is created next, highlighting one or two areas of focus so clients are not overwhelmed at first. Hill understands the challenges of entering treatment. At age 16, he began using due to peer pressure. What started as adolescent fun began to control his life. His addiction led him to multiple incarcerations.The confinement of jail forced him to reevaluate his life. “You realize one day that your whole life has passed in prison. When I first got in there, I was calling others mister. By the end, the young guys were calling me mister,” Hill says. “But, for me, it took being set still to see what was really going on with myself. I had to take a hard look at my life, being 46 and sitting in jail without an identity. I was just a number.” Hill admits he had to be selfish at the time, putting himself before anyone else and exploring his spirituality. It was terrifying to evaluate parts of himself he had been ignoring for so long, but that was the process that lead him to recovery. When he decided to enter treatment, Hill didn’t have any money or transportation.There were no housing programs. Clients were told when and where to show up, otherwise they were on their own. He hopes clients understand what a blessing it is to have the resources that are now available at centers such as Family Recovery Program.

Giving what you get “I am so proud of her. She’s been a wonder to her field,” Hill says about Executive Director Dr. Jocelyn Gainers. “She works so hard to keep the center running but is always approachable too. She’ll come in, greet everyone and take a walk with a client. I think that’s important for them to see.” The clients at Family Recovery Program do see it.The warmth and efforts of the entire staff are undeniable.They work with each individual to plan a successful recovery and equip clients with the tools they’ll need to carry on after graduating from the program.Their alumni groups meet once a month to support recovered clients and allow them to share their experience and guide others through the treatment process. “After you get help, it’s important to give it back,” says Hill. “That’s what I had to do and it’s very rewarding. We plant seeds for the clients and after a year or so we begin to see the fruit. It’s amazing to watch.”

“We plant seeds for the clients and after a year or so we begin to see the fruit.” -Gerald Hill


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September 6, 2012 — National Peer Learning Court Award


When Addiction Chooses You Rita Randle helps recovering parents find a better life after overcoming her own addiction process to a successful recovery

Rita Randle’s house caught fire in 1984. Someone had thrown a cocktail bomb that burned the place down and killed Randle’s younger sister. Randle, a 14-year- old at the time, was hospitalized with second and third degree burns. She had 32 surgeries and had to learn to walk again. She was given morphine in the hospital to help with the pain. It began the addiction that she would battle for the next three decades.

“I ran into Dr. Gainers and she pushed me to attend the alumni meetings. Those changed everything.” - Rita Randle case management assistant Family Recovery Program


A solitary past Randle grew up without many friends or family members with whom she felt close. Her relationship with her mother was always strained and her father had passed away years before. Due to her mother’s neglect, she and her sister were forced to stay with family members who would abuse the young girls. Her childhood became filled with physical, mental and sexual traumas. After losing her sister, Randle became even more isolated. Her addiction to opioids took her deeper into her seclusion and she used it as a way to cope with the pain of her loss. “It was hard on me to not have any support, not even from my mom,” Randle says. “You need your parent at that age and don’t understand yet that not everybody knows how to be a mother.” The drugs took over most of Randle’s adult life. She continued to use even as she raised her six children until they were eventually taken away from her. Losing her children was what motivated her to enter Family Recovery Program in 2011. She graduated from the program in 2012 but had to find housing before getting her children back. Randle struggled to afford the new living arrangements and support her family, eventually leading to a relapse. “That was a hard time for me,” she says. “I was in and out of treatment again. During my fifth time in 2014, I ran into Dr. Gainers and she pushed me to attend the alumni meetings.Those changed everything.”

Growing bonds The alumni meetings provided Randle with the support she had been looking for. She’s now been clean for two years and serves as the lead parent mentor for the center, doing client assessments and referrals. Working with other parents who have substance abuse problems has helped her understand her own situation better, especially as a mother. “My kids might have felt like they were on their own at times, but I always tried to be a good mother. Children who are dealing with their parents’ addiction usually grow up faster.They feel like they have to take care of themselves because that’s what they have been doing,” Randle says. Randle uses her personal experiences to help parents understand the shifting dynamic between child and parent when the adult is using. Because parents feel guilty about their situation, children can gain too much control in the relationship. It’s important for parents to maintain authority even as they go through the recovery process. She wants every parent to know it is possible to create a better life and stronger bond with their children. “That’s our goal. Everybody here is willing to go above and beyond for every client to reach a better life. I know I am,” she says. “After everything I’ve been through, I’ve realized I’m still alive and maybe I’m supposed to help someone else now.”

“Children who are dealing with their parents’ addiction usually grow up faster.” -Rita Randle


Family Recovery Program



Because we’re not alone


Family Recovery Program


A New Start for Baltimore Dana Young commits his life to improving the community and serving others “We need to get over this delusion that everybody eats.” - Dana Young facilities manager and resource coordinator Family Recovery Program An elderly woman entered human services in Baltimore one day,

The woman explained that she was in poverty and unable to afford a meal. For a while now, she was forced to eat the cat food she purchased for her pets. “I had to step away from my desk for a moment,” says Young, currently the facilities manager and resource coordinator at Family Recovery Program. “That one really floored me.”

wheeling inside a grocery cart full of cat food. She asked if they had any extra groceries that she could take home. Dana Young told her that unfortunately they didn’t have a food pantry.

Off the map The encounter opened his eyes to larger problems in the community. “We need to get over this delusion that everybody eats, everybody has a place to live, and nobody does drugs,” Young says. After meeting the woman, he decided to work with his organization to open a food pantry in the area.

Yet the problem isn’t always a lack of government resources. Young believes that access isn’t as much of an issue as personal initiative. His clients are often more aware of the resources they have available than even he is. Individuals using drugs, however, are living a lifestyle that keeps them off the map.

It’s in Young’s nature to help others. He’s spent a majority of his life working in various public service roles, from food support to community outreach.The experiences have taught him to manage his emotions, having faced some tough interactions. Overall, he’s realized the importance of public programs that help citizens meet basic human needs.

The domino effect Family Recovery Program and other similar agencies are working to improve the reputation of Baltimore and bring the focus to its vibrant culture and historical landmarks. When there’s a decrease in the number of drug users, Young says there’s also a decrease in crime, jail sentences and child neglect. Parents have more time, energy and focus to raise their children.The program has even taught parents how to manage their child’s nutrition. “We help dads and moms understand what food their kids need,” he says. “Instead of buying hotdogs or McDonalds, we teach them to cook fresh vegetables and proteins.”

While there are many public support channels they could be utilizing, Young finds many are unwilling to take the first step. A lack of identification, birth certificates, employment and housing could be why some individuals believe they can’t seek help through public programs. At Family Recovery Program, they work with clients to help find a way. “I don’t think we have ever had a client denied for any resources that they’ve reached out for,” Young says. “They just need to do it.”

This small act has been shown to boost confidence in many parents. Feeling capable in parenting skills builds their self worth and allows them to take more chances, like walking into any place that has a hiring sign and believing they can get the job. Some parents have even felt secure enough to go back to school, knowing they are as able as anyone to become productive members in their community. This domino effect is why funding is essential for public service institutions like Family Recovery Program. “It’s satisfying to watch real change happen,” Young says. “That’s why we need support from our community and our state.There’s so many people who need help and we want to provide for every person who comes through our doors.”

“It’s satisfying to watch real change happen.” - Dana Young


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