President Trump announced early in 2018 that he was making the opioid crisis a major focus of his administration. That has resulted in several meetings of representatives from a wide arrange of recovery organizations. Following is a brief overview of a few of the events:
March 1 – An Opioid Summit was held at the White House in Washington, D.C. Joe and Irene Batluck, along with a few other TC leaders, were invited and found valuable information that was presented by six of the cabinet secretaries and other specialists. The session opened with an address by the First Lady and closed with an unplanned visit by the President.
July 25 – The Chair of Adult & Teen Challenge USA and I had an appointment to discuss the opioid crisis with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams. He was very interactive and receptive to the mission and vision of Adult & Teen Challenge USA. His staff presented a variety of issues they were working on to address the problem as well as some solutions.
November 7-8 – The Department of Health and Human Services Center for Partners in Hope hosted a 2-day workshop entitled, Strengthening the Role of Faith-based Providers in the Continuum of Care for Addiction Recovery. Fifty-five groups were represented with a majority providing a faith-based approach to addiction recovery. The key idea shared was regarding the “Continuum of Care” which highlighted the role that each organization fills in caring for helping individuals recover from addiction and reenter productive society.
Both Adult & Teen Challenge USA and Global Teen Challenge were well represented both in number and by varying program modalities.
(1) Update regarding the Administration’s opioid initiatives;
(2) Briefings from specialists from HHS, SAMHSA, the field, (see attached schedule);
(3) Facilitate communication, cooperation and collaboration among the various groups represented;
(4) Emphasize the comprehensive integration of the Continuum of Care (CoC) methodology (CoC includes: coherent and linked treatment and recovery support from initial identification through reestablishment and reintegration into the community, family and workforce),
(5) Note the importance of “wrap around” services which emphasize comprehensive care from initial steps to full reintegration in daily life.
The Trump administration continues to commit resources, both personnel and financial, to fulfill the promise of addressing the opioid crisis and to embrace the vital role that the faith-based providers fill.