Tireless Advocacy Brings Reults in NH!

Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly – advocacy efforts pay off.

So impressed by Celeste Clark and her tireless work to improve society and the impact of lifestyle pressure on youths. Read this monumental success story (reposted from the Union Leader).

Stance on tobacco shows Hannaford cares

IT IS time to applaud Hannaford Supermarkets. They have taken a huge step forward stating they will be eliminating the sale of all tobacco products by this fall. This big step promotes public health and wellness and shows that as a community partner they care about keeping people safe.

We know in the world of substance misuse prevention that when you take away access to a product you reduce its use. It sounds so simple but it is quite a challenge. For as long as we can remember, for generations and decades back, people unknowingly used substances in some form not knowing that someday they would be considered harmful drugs.

As people became sick and developed health issues of many different varieties, doctors and scientists were able to link the issues back to the cause. The causes were often connected to products like tobacco (and alcohol) that soon became identified and classified as a drug, something that affects your body.

Do you know that at one time schools down in the south actually went on field trips to tobacco plants to learn how tobacco was grown and processed and students went home with a pack of cigarettes? It seems unimaginable but yet it happened. It is safe to say that parents and schools would never allow such a thing to happen today. Fast forward to 2020 and we now have evidence that tobacco is dangerous and harmful to your health, as well as being extremely addictive. Some people in recovery will tell you it is the hardest of all substances for them to quit.

So again, thank you to Hannaford! For some people being able to just grab a pack while shopping helped to keep that addiction going. I am sure they are the ones who will be thanking Hannaford for helping them in their desire to quit. Having to make that extra stop at another store might just be the incentive to realize they don’t really want them or need them.

Let’s hope and encourage those struggling to remain strong. There are free resources to help you quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) Please share this with anyone you know who needs it.

All of the reasons why we applaud Hannaford are similar to why it would be a great idea for Governor Chris Sununnu to sign the tobacco 21 legislation into law. It would help us reduce youth access to tobacco products and be one more step in reducing teen smoking and vaping. It would also ensure New Hampshire continues to get federal prevention dollars because we will be in line with the federal law that pushed the age to 21.

Hannaford’s big decision to stop selling tobacco shows it is not always about money. Some businesses honestly care about the health and well being of their customers and the community they are located in. They are raising the bar. We can hope others will follow.


Celeste Clark is executive director of Raymond Coalition For Youth. She lives in Raymond.

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The Impact of Language – Stigma, Policy & Practice

The Impact of Language on Behavioral Health

Stigma, Policy and Practice

By Robert Ashford

The language used to discuss and describe mental health and substance use has changed dramatically over the last 100 years. Modern and postmodern society has transcended labels such as teetotaler, derelict, crazy, and psycho, though iterations of these negatively associated phrases remain. Changing linguistic trends within the mental health and substance use disorder fields have been propelled forward by the inclusion of concepts such as person-first language; first by mental health advocates, and later co-opted by advocates within the substance use disorder space. Similarly, medical professionals are driving change towards the use of more clinically appropriate language (e.g. substance use disorders, rather than substance dependence and abuse), which is having both positive and negative impacts.

Download the full White Paper at Recovery Language

What does your recovery look like to you?

This is a question we need to be approaching all of our clients with first and foremost. Posing this question allows us to understand them better, identify where they’re at, and demonstrate genuine curiosity and commitment to the person as an individual. Isn’t that what we’re striving for as coaches?

When a person thinks of the word recovery, to each of us the word brings a different meaning; a different outlook. As a society, while treatment certainly has its place and helps initiate recovery, treatment alone does not sustain recovery. With the shortage of “beds” and insurance coverage, we in the recovery coaching community would best serve others by soliciting from our recoverees what recovery looks like from their lens. Maybe they’re horrified by the word; maybe they’re having a hard time with acceptance; maybe we need to remove that barrier before we can proceed with forward movement?

As Phil Valentine suggest in his blog post, by soliciting the information from the individual we’re meeting them where they are at and not imposing societal expectations, beliefs, or judgements on them; we’re creating a relationship of trust (a friend).


To read Phil Valentines’ blog post click here.

TV MEDIA Exploiting Addicts for Ratings-STAND UP and Advocae

Dear Friend,

Words have power: To marginalize. To discriminate. To dehumanize.

It took nearly fives years into my recovery to learn that language has the power to kill when it comes to addiction. And few words do more harm to those suffering from addiction and their families than the word: junkie.

This term is an insulting slur. It stigmatizes, dehumanizes, and disenfranchises millions of people struggling with a legitimate medical issue. As a documentary filmmaker myself, I was appalled when I read VICELAND’s announcement about their new documentary series set to premiere during National Recovery Month.

They’re calling it American Junkie.

What’s even more head-scratching is how the show’s creator and TV Executive describe what they are attempting to do:

“This show takes the current drug crisis beyond headlines and statistics and makes it human.” – VP of Current Programming and Executive Producer Patrick Moses

“Addiction is a faceless disease that does not discriminate.” – Filmmaker Pat McGee

So they want the show to “humanize” and “not discriminate”? But in a sleazy attempt for a ratings bump, they opted to use this degrading term for the most critical element of the show, the title? This will produce the exact opposite effect of their stated intentions.

We need to act fast and demand the producers of this program change the title before it hits the airwaves next month. To do that, we’re asking you to take a few simple steps today:

1. Please email a note to Patrick Moses, Vice’s Executive Producer, telling him how using this term in the show title will further marginalize an already discriminated group of people, ultimately leading to more incarceration and death for those with a preventable and treatable health problem.

2. Please tweet to Viceland at their handle @viceland urging them to change the title of this show. You can tweet something like I did:

No @viceland @mrpatrickmoses, don’t call me a junkie, I am a PERSON who once struggled with addiction. You will have blood on your hands from the millions #FacingAddiction if you don’t change the title of “American Junkie” immediately! #WordsHavePower

We have seen before when corporate profit interests create immoral actions that directly impact those struggling with addiction. We cannot remain silent, and allow a mainstream media series to use this inflammatory word in their show title. If we want to open up desperately needed healthcare resources, change the public response to this crisis, and save more lives, the most significant fight we have every day is negative public perception.

I hope you will speak out with me today.

With warm regards,

Greg Williams

Executive Vice President, Facing Addiction with NCADD


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Facing Addiction with NCADD is a national non-profit organization dedicated to unifying the voice of the more than 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction.

FacingAddiction.org | info@facingaddiction.org
100 Mill Plain Road, 3rd Floor Danbury, CT 06811

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New Hampshire Launches Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative

Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative
On March 1, 2018, Governor Sununu launched the Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative to encourage workplaces to foster a safe and recovery friendly environment, engage employees in addiction and behavioral health prevention, retain healthy and productive employees, and promote recovery in their communities. For more information about this initiative, read the press release, watch the NBC news segment, and visit the initiative’s website.

New Hampshire Launches Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative

Concord, NH –Today, following up on his announcement in the 2018 State of the State Address, Governor Chris Sununu has officially launched New Hampshire’s “Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.” Lead by Governor Chris Sununu, the “Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative” promotes individual wellness for Granite Staters by empowering workplaces to provide support for people recovering from substance use disorder.

“This initiative will help businesses attain greater safety, productivity, and profitability by addressing addiction ‘head on’ in the workplace,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Recovery Friendly Workplaces are an opportunity for New Hampshire to help change the culture around addiction by engaging employers in being a proactive part of the conversation by providing tools, resources, and opening up access to treatment. Government cannot guarantee much, but it can and should guarantee freedom of opportunity. The opportunities to live, work, and raise a family. The opportunity to find meaningful employment on the pathway to recovery.”

The Recovery Friendly Workplace website will serve as the landing page for all interested businesses to learn more and apply. Starting today, interested organizations will be able take their first step in the process to become designated Recovery Friendly Workplace by submitting a letter of intent. After consultation with a representative from Recovery Friendly Workplace, applications can be submitted then will be reviewed by the Governor’s Recovery Friendly Workplace Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of state officials and private-sector stakeholders:

Commissioner Taylor Caswell, Department of Business & Economic Affairs
Andy Crews, AutoFair
Amanda Osmer, Grappone Automotive
Kerri Lowe, SMPC Lakes Region
Chris Placy, Principal for Substance Free Workplace
Dr. Cheryl Wilkie, The Farnum Center
Sara Willingham, State of NH Department of Administration

Early adopters of the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative have been selected as part of a pilot program to kick-start the initiative by adopting the Recovery Friendly Workplace framework for a trial-period. Among them:

  • The State of New Hampshire
  • Walmart
  • AutoFair
  • Turbocam
  • Granite United Way
  • Grappone Automotive Group
  • Hypertherm
  • The Lawson Group
  • New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association
  • W.S. Badger Company, Inc.
  • The Chameleon Group
  • Substance Free Workplace
  • Bonfire Recovery Services

With the right training and resources, workplaces can prevent substance misuse and support their employees’ recovery. Trained Recovery Friendly Workplaces will:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to creating a recovery friendly environment.
  • Promote a culture that reduces the stereotypes associated with substance use disorder.
  • Enhance workplace safety while improving productivity and profitability by addressing behavioral health issues “head-on.”

Recovery Friendly Workplaces support the recovery community by recognizing recovery from substance use disorder is a strength and by being willing to hire and work intentionally with people in recovery. Recovery Friendly Workplaces encourage an environment where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by addiction.

The Recovery Friendly Workplace symbol logo was designed and donated by Montagne Communications of Manchester. The logo is colored purple because amethyst has long been associated with addiction recovery. This design combines the desire of survivors to move forward and the idea that ‘together’ we have a greater chance of recovering from addiction. The symbol also alludes to the ribbon of a worthy cause, the shape of a shelter, and the approachable rounded corners of a caring heart. Once certified, participating workplaces can display this symbol proudly.

Taken from: https://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/press-2018/20180301-workplace-initiative.htm

Action Alert – Help Needed – Urgent

Hello all,

Our friends from SOS have done an amazing thing by opening a shelter during this cold weather. They did it on the fly and are in desperate need of your help. Please read their ask here:

Self Care is Non-negotiable


We need volunteer help immediately and food, refreshments, and coffee for an emergency 24 hour warming shelter in Rochester at the Recreation Center at 150 Wakefield St. (back entrance to Great Room)!
SOS is working with the City of Rochester, the Strafford County Public Health Network, Emergency Management, Rochester Fire, Tri-City Coop and the Rochester Rec Center to provide a warming center 23 hours a day  through at least Monday due to the bitter cold.  Dinner will be being served this evening by Straight Street Outreach at the center.  We have cots and blankets set up and had approximately 20 people last night spend the night.  We told them if they provide the space we will get the volunteers to staff it, so please help if you can.

We desperately need volunteer staffing.
Sign up here:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0e4caeaa2aa2fb6-rochesterAll you need to do to staff is come down and keep an eye on things help people coming in, greet them, show them where the showers are and provide any support needed.  We also need some donations of food, snacks, coffee, beverages and whatever you might offer to keep peoples stomachs filled while they get out from this bitter cold!

We have created an online sign up that you can sign up for shifts.  We have a dire need to get slots filled for today as early as 8am this morning!  We opened the center last night by 6pm on about 2 hours notice.  Anything you can do to sign up and help or drop food or beverages off would be greatly appreciated.  Center entrance is in the middle rear of the Rec Dept at 150 Wakefield St. in Rochester!  This is the only warming shelter that will operate 23 hours in the area.  Please be sure to get word out to anyone who needs it.

On behalf of everyone at SOS Recovery Community Organization thank you in advance for all you do to make this such a fantastic community with so much love and support.

SOS Recovery Community Center Rochester, NH Phone 603.841.2350.

Thank you and God Bless.

Xmas Tree in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Recognizing People in Recovery

Time Sensitive: Stories due Dec 8th details below!

Dear Friends:

This year, the Office of National Drug Control Policy will be decorating a Christmas Tree in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building that recognizes the millions of Americans who are impacted by substance use, celebrating recovery and commemorating those we have lost to substance use. All members of the White House staff will have the opportunity to learn some of your stories.

Please allow us to share your story or the story of your family in one of two ways:

– Celebrating Recovery: Send us a photo (shoulders up preferred) of yourself or of an important person in your life who is celebrating recovery. This Please also reply with information regarding:
—- Their First Name
—- Home State
—- Current Age
—- Years of Recovery
—- What the individual is proud of/ celebrating this year
Please note, by sharing stories, names, and photos, you are representing that you have obtained the consent from that person to have these details shared publicly.

– Remembering Those We Have Lost: Send us a photo (shoulders up preferred) of a loved one who isn’t with you because of addiction and substance use. Please also reply with:
—- Their First Name
—- Home State
—- Birth and Passing Years
—- A sentence about how you most want them to be remembered
—- Any other information you wish to share

We encourage you to share this with your networks, and appreciate your time in recognizing the people who matter most.

Please share your submissions to OIPL@ondcp.eop.gov no later than Friday, December 10.

Peter Gaumond
Senior Policy Analyst
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Executive Office of the President