Xylazine is a significant drug used by veterinarians specializing in the care of large animals such as horses, cattle, and deer as it provides needed pain relief. Despite this usefulness, as often happens with legal drug supplies, illicit uses become commonplace and result in unintended consequences—in this case, devastating ones. In our new peer reviewed article we examine the current state of the science as pertains to xylazine and the various uses of the illicit supply line, as well as exploring possible answers to directions the substance use disorder field may have at their disposal to address this ever-mounting set of calamitous circumstances. In addition, we provide possible directions on what next steps may be appropriate to address these multiple dangers.
We invite you to read and share the paper with your colleagues.
Dr. Hupp has been a long-time reader and contributor to the magazine and his most recent contribution is a FREE presentation “Investigating Pop Psychology: Pseudoscience, Fringe Science, and Controversies.” Science-based advances in the field of psychology continue to grow at an impressive rate; however, even more claims in psychology have little-to-no research support. What does it mean for a mental health treatment to be considered “evidence-based” and “science-based”—and how can you tell the difference? In the presentation, Dr. Hupp offers recommendations for how to resist false claims and avoid the pseudoscience of pop psychology, and he speaks to a wide range of topics such as phrenology, extrasensory perception, dream interpretation, learning styles, brain training, energy psychology, and the role of alternative medicine in the field of mental health. The presentation also includes contributions from several fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and several other prominent skeptical scholars.
If you would like to learn more about the magazine, we encourage you to watch an interview conducted with Dr. Hupp by Rob Palmer, an online columnist with the Skeptical Inquirer: “Introducing Skeptical Inquirer’s New Editor: A Conversation with Stephen Hupp.” You will get Dr. Hupp’s insights about being the new editor of the magazine, his thoughts on how the Skeptical Inquirer differs from other skeptical publications, and the story of how he got the job. The interview also includes his opinions about the accuracy of Wikipedia, the trend of print magazines slowly becoming obsolete, and the controversy surrounding the continued use of the term “skeptic.” You can subscribe to the print and digital magazine for less than $20 a year!
Every quarter the Indiana Criminal Justice Association (ICJA) sends out its magazine publication “The Comment.” I am pleased to be a member of this association and our CEO, Dr. Nelson J. Tiburcio, is the southern region director for them.
While reading the March 2023 edition I came across an article that I was granted permission to share with SASSI blog subscribers. The article is titled: “Hygiene Indifference: The Symptom We Don’t Talk About” written by Ivory Smith, B.A., B.S. It discusses the connection between hygiene and mental health and contains tips for practicing hygiene during a mental health episode.
I hope you will find the content as valuable as I did and will share it with your colleagues and anyone who may find the tips helpful. You can download a copy of the article by clicking here.
As we approach the end of PRIDE month, we are pleased to share a short article we recently published that discusses substance misuse and explores the genesis and exacerbation of drug use among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) teens. In the article, we look at the possible connection between bullying and other oppressive behavior (such as shaming) and acknowledged substance use and suicide. We hope you will take the time to read and share it. “Bullying and Oppressive Behaviors Towards LGBTQ Adolescents: Substance Use Disorders in the Making?”
If you enjoy sharing knowledge and have an enthusiasm for the SASSI, we invite you to consider becoming a certified SASSI trainer. We are looking for individuals to offer live in-person trainings to the public (open trainers) in their state/province of residence and possibly surrounding states/provinces, as well as individuals to provide training for their organization’s staff and their satellite offices (closed trainers).
Open trainers charge a fee to participants and advertise their training to the public (placement on SASSI website is provided). Closed trainers do not advertise to the public and do not collect a registration fee for providing the training. Both types of trainers can issue certificates of attendance with continuing education credits and all materials needed to provide training are sent at no cost.
Qualifications for trainers are as follows:
At least five years of experience in addictions or mental health counseling
Experience in assessment, group work, teaching, or workshop presentation
Experience using the SASSI, having screened at least 20 clients with it
Good verbal communication skills
Education: College degree or advanced degree or certification as a substance abuse professional
Experience in psychometrics helpful, but not required
Procedures for obtaining open trainer certification can be found here and closed trainer certification here. Please reply to email@example.com with any questions or to apply.
Overall, the SASSI can be a valuable tool for helping members of the LGBTQIA+ community by identifying and addressing substance use disorders. It can provide a standardized and sensitive way to screen for these issues and can help to ensure that individuals receive appropriate care and support based on their unique needs and experiences.
We are pleased that people have been joining us for our free one-hour online Clinical Q&A sessions hosted by our Clinical Director, Kristin Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC.
We enjoy hearing how you are using the SASSI in your clinical practice and agencies as well as answering your questions and speaking to you all. We have scheduled additional sessions that we hope you can join in on. You can reserve your spot and view available dates and times by clicking here. If you have profiles you would like to share with the group for discussion, please send them (de-identified) via email any time prior to the session to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contributions would be of great value. Also, a reminder that we have a live webinar on Administration & Scoring of the paper & pencil version of the SASSI on April 18th and Clinical Interpretation on April 25th. You can register by clicking here.
Note that the Q&A sessions do not provide CEUs and are not a substitute for SASSI Training. SASSI training provides 3.5 NAADAC CEs per session.
Learn to strengthen social support for clients and families in order to learn skills that can be used with the entire family. Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) skills are simple, behavioral, and easy for families to repeat during family sessions and outside of treatment. The positive, supportive approach of A-CRA allows participants to focus on the positive aspects of the family and build upon family strengths to improve relationships.
On Thursday March 16th, The SASSI Institute will be sponsoring a workshop on the A-CRA approach with families. The workshop will be hosted by Courtney Hupp, MSW, LCSW, CADC, who is an EBT Clinical Coordinator at Chestnut Health Systems in Illinois. She had an active role in the Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) study, funded by NIAAA, in which she administered the ACC and Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) protocols to residential clients’ post-discharge, as well as supervised other therapists on the study. Courtney has clinical experience with a variety of populations and settings including domestic violence intervention, crisis intervention, corrections, substance use disordered adults and adolescents, adults with developmental disabilities, persons with HIV and AIDS, and adults with severe and persistent mental illness. For the past 18 years, Courtney has trained and certified therapists across the U.S. and Canada in CRA and A-CRA. She has conducted over 80 trainings and has helped to certify over 1,000 therapists and supervisors in the CRA and A-CRA models.
The A-CRA intervention has been implemented in outpatient, intensive outpatient, schools, prevention services, and residential treatment settings. This research-tested intervention has been used in over 500 organizations across the United States and Canada. Courtney will introduce the A-CRA model, a summary of the research base, and details about how to use A-CRA during family sessions.
Please join us for our free Clinical Q&A sessions online. The sessions are hosted by our Clinical Director, Kristin Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC, and last approximately one-hour. We invite you to ask questions or share experiences regarding unusual or difficult profiles you may have come across. However, all questions are welcome. We would be delighted if you have profiles you would like to share with the group for discussion. Please send them (de-identified) via email any time prior to the session to email@example.com. Your contributions would be of great value.
The next upcoming dates are Tuesday, February 21st and Tuesday, March 21st from 1-2 pm ET. Click here to register today.
Note that these Q&A sessions do not provide CEUs and are not a substitute for SASSI Training.
You’re invited to join us for our free Clinical Q&A sessions online. The Q&A sessions are hosted by our Clinical Director, Kristin Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC, and lasts approximately one-hour every month. You’re welcome to ask questions or share experiences regarding unusual or difficult profiles you may have come across. But any and all questions are welcome. If you have profiles you would like to share with the group for discussion, please send those (de-identified) via email any time before the session to firstname.lastname@example.org.