Thoughts from Don Troutman, Founder, Clean & Sober Transitional Living

“Not in my back yard” has been a long-standing issue with sober living homes and their residents throughout the country. Sometimes the NIMBYism is overt; sometimes it is more cloistered.  I’ve heard, as an example, of a businessman who hesitated to rent one of his business properties to an AA group for their weekly meetings. Tell me - what is the risk in renting to a group of people who continue to bolster their sobriety?  Wouldn’t it be riskier to rent to a group of people who were drinking and taking drugs?

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If you went to the California Capital Airshow (at Sacramento’s Mather Field on September 9 and 10), you might have discovered Safe Launch's Flights Above Addiction, a flying science lesson that educates kids and parents about living free of drugs and alcohol. Here's how that unlikely pairing works: Watch this video paint a vivid picture of primary prevention as kids learn the ways that alcohol and other drugs can impact brain development and derail young dreams. Then, watch as young artists depict their own dreams for a healthy future on the fuselage of the Cessna. Yet, there’s a somber side to this event: Underneath the high wings of the Cessna, the plane memorializes young people lost to drugs or alcohol with their names and ages, listed in black.

In 2015, only 11 percent of people who needed addiction treatment received it. With 2.6 million Americans already addicted to prescription medication and the 329,000 Americans currently using heroin, who is shaping the addiction policy that drives resources for prevention, treatment and recovery? Read Associate Professor of Pharmacy Erin Winstanley’s compelling case for collaborating with addiction scientists – and not just politicians – as we strive to answer key questions and align policy with science.

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