Author: Nelson Jose Tiburcio PhD

Dr. Nelson Jose Tiburcio, is not only the Chief Executive Officer at The SASSI Institute, he is also a Latino drug and alcohol researcher, originally from New York City. His academic degree is in Criminal Justice from the Graduate Center of New York and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His training and expertise have been in the areas of substance use and abuse, sustained opioid recovery, public health, HIV/HCV prevention and treatment, community reentry, recidivism, cultural competence and health literacy in major urban areas. During a period of over twenty years, he has led, directed and/or collaborated on studies investigating the various initiates and public health consequences of illicit drug use, mostly heroin and prescription opioids but including cocaine, crack and other drugs among them.

An Update from the CEO

                We at The SASSI Institute wanted to update you on the COVID-19 crisis and how we see it affecting the substance use disorder field, not only here in southern Indiana, but also as reported from our many contacts throughout the country. The unfortunate reality is that many private practitioners, and even some long-standing programs, have had to furlough operations or sadly, cease operating altogether. We have lost many colleagues and personal friends to this devastating disease from the substance abuse, treatment, and correctional field/s, and our hearts and prayers go out to their families. Another grim reality is that those in greatest need of our help, our patients, are most at risk during these precarious times of calamity. Sadly, many of our gathering spots, conventions, and venues have been cancelled or postponed, in some cases, for several months. These venues allow us to dialogue, and although we may not always agree, the sharing of information and ideas is what ultimately makes us stronger.

            Internally, within the coming weeks, we will increase our shipping capacity for paper products to three days a week, depending on demand. And as I said in an earlier post, we are all looking forward to getting back to full operational capacity soon, but first and foremost, our greatest concern is the safety and well-being of our staff and customer base. During normal work hours, we remain available to answer questions, assist with order placement, and provide clinical support. Our SASSI-Online platform is fully operational, and staff remain available to offer assistance, technical support, and guidance as needed.

            I would be remiss if I didn’t call attention to the racial, political, and criminal justice divisions that are currently affecting our country in so many devastating ways. Black lives DO matter, as do the lives of us all. These and so many other serious issues are affecting our country presently. It is no longer acceptable for us to simply state words; indeed it is now a time more than ever for us to unite and not divide. Regardless of race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, or political persuasion, we must focus our energies on that which will make us all collectively stronger. We must infuse a greater awareness of injustice in its many forms and manifestations, address these whenever possible, and enhance the dialogue leading to collective, constructive action. For us to become a greater part of the solution in creating a more just society, we must first understand that all of us can and must play a role.

            The SASSI Institute remains committed to helping you stay connected and feel supported during the COVID-19 crisis and these other periods of strife. We will be informing you of developments as they occur on our end. But for now, please accept heartfelt wishes from all of us, that you and your families remain safe. #alonetogether

We will get through this together!

Warm Regards,

Dr. Nelson Jose Tiburcio, CEO

We Mourn the Loss of a Close Friend, a Pioneer in the Recovery Movement for Indiana

It is with a heavy heart that The SASSI Institute reports the passing of a dear friend and colleague, Mr. Stan DeKemper. Stan was not only a friend to the Recovery Field but also a personal and close friend of mine. Stan was the Executive Director of Indiana Credentialing Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ICAADA). Our prayers and condolences go out to his family.

Rest in Peace, old friend!

Nelson

Read the full press release from Mental Health America of Indiana that includes quotes from the man himself.

If you would like to contribute to the Stanley DeKemper scholarship fund, please do so by going to:  https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx…

An Update from the CEO

The SASSI Institute is committed to helping you stay connected and feel supported during the COVID-19 crisis. The sudden changes and disruptions to our daily lives coupled with the unknowns about the immediate future can be scary and stressful. For those in the substance use disorder field, these disruptions can be particularly stressful as we are already addressing the critical needs of our clients.

As you can see by visiting our site, blogs or other social media outlets, although presently all our staff members are telecommuting because of state mandated “stay at home” policies, we remain available during normal work hours to answer questions, assist with order placement, clinical support and technical guidance as needed. Our SASSI-Online platform is fully operational, and our teams remain available to offer assistance and support. On April 6th, our Governor modified the stay at home ordinance such that we are now capable of shipping paper products one or two days a week. At some point soon, we are hoping to get back to full operational capacity.

We will be informing you of developments as they occur. But for now, please accept our heartfelt wishes that you and your families remain safe.

#alonetogether

We will get through this together!

Warm Regards,

Dr. Nelson Jose Tiburcio, CEO

A Tribute to a Dear Friend and Colleague

Dr. Linda Lazowski

We wish to pay tribute to Dr. Linda E. Lazowski, former Research Director of The SASSI Institute, who passed away on February 13, 2020. Linda first joined The SASSI Institute as a Research Psychologist in 1995 and retired in 2018.

Linda was a Brooklyn, NY native and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Baruch College in New York City. She then relocated to California to get her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. During her career at The SASSI Institute, she was an integral part of the development of various revisions of the adult and adolescent SASSI screening tools. She was also instrumental in the development of the Spanish, Vocational Rehabilitation, and American Sign Language versions of the SASSI as well as collaborating on the research findings for the BADDS instrument. She authored and co-authored research and journal articles alongside our founder, Dr. Glenn A. Miller, up until his passing in 2013.

She was a valued colleague and friend to many staff, past and present. We keep her family in our thoughts as we express our deepest condolences.

Welcome to our blog!

We are excited to bring you a new stream of information through our website.  Previously we sent colleagues in the field our Newsletter through email or hard copy.  With this new format, you can expect greater variety and a more frequent stream of information.  We will still include sample interpretations, instrument updates, and ongoing research projects, but also look for engaging video content and periodic guest columns covering a range of topics.

Thanks for visiting our blog, keep coming back!