VOLUME III, ISSUE XIII July 2022 Newsletter

Loss of Two IDHS/SUPR Team Members:

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of two dedicated IDHS/SUPR colleagues, Carolyn Bowers and William "Gajef" McNeill.

Carolyn Bowers, CPA, joined IDHS/SUPR on October 16, 2016, as an Accountant Advanced and then accepted the role of Fund Disbursement Manager on May 1, 2017, which she conscientiously served in through the remainder of her professionally, dedicated career. Carolyn passed away on June 23, 2022.

William "Gajef" McNeill, MPA, CADC, joined IDHS/SUPR on September 17, 2001, as a Contract Manager, and he passionately served in this position until his retirement on November 30, 2021. In addition to contract management, Gajef also contributed significantly with the Gambling Initiative. Gajef McNeill passed away on June 14, 2022.

Both Carolyn and Gajef were a tremendous asset to our division and contributed significantly each day to make a difference. They established relationships with team members within our organization and beyond that can only be built with trust, consistency, and compassion. We will miss them both personally and professionally, and we will always admire their bravery and strength.

Faces & Voices of Recovery Training:

Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) is collaborating with IDHS/SUPR to build the capacity of Recovery Community Organizations through training and technical assistance. For more information, please visit FAVOR'S Illinois Recovery Project. The FAVOR trainings are available to ALL, so please share with your staff, board members, stakeholders, clients, and other community members!

In July, they are hosting a Science of Addiction & Recovery (SOAR) training. This is a curriculum developed in collaboration with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This training provides individuals with a better understanding of the science behind addiction and recovery. While experience changes beliefs, the facts about how substances dramatically affect the brain are a key component in helping the public understand the recovery process.

When: July 7-8th, 1-4:30pm (each day)

Register: July SOAR Training

IDPH Harm Reduction Summit:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Harm Reduction Summit will promote the delivery of harm reduction services in Illinois, which engage people who use drugs to support connection, safety, and an improved quality of life. The 2022 IL Harm Reduction Summit will take place virtually on August 23-24th, 2022. To learn more, visit IL Harm Reduction Summit.

2022 CRSS/CPRS Competency Trainings:

In March 2022, SUPR shared information regarding 2022 Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) and Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) Trainings hosted by IDHS/Division of Mental Health. Registration for Sessions 5 & 6 are now open!

To register, click on the training date and time you wish to attend. Please register for only one training in each section.

Session 5:

  • August 15th, 9am-12pm
  • August 17th, 1pm-4pm
  • August 19th, 9am-12pm

Session 6:

  • August 22nd, 9am-12pm
  • August 24th, 1-4pm
  • August 26th, 9am-12pm

 To view the March newsletter with additional information, visit SUPR March 2022 Newsletter.

New IDHS/SUPR Guideline- Methadone in Pregnancy for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD):

Overdose is now the leading cause of maternal death in Illinois. The purpose of this guideline is to share best practices for pregnant people with a substance use disorder (SUD) who use methadone in an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) to maintain their recovery. Visit Methadone and Pregnancy to learn more.

Public Awareness Campaigns:

The Bureau of Prevention Services supports the development of public awareness campaigns to inform the residents of Illinois of several issues. We work closely with Prevention First and their subcontractor on the development and dissemination of the following campaign to raise public awareness of these issues impacting IL residents.

[Un]Faded is a youth-oriented public awareness campaign to prevent substance use among high-risk teens influenced by peers with similar values and who have a high prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACES).

Messages focus on positive substance use prevention information that encourages youth to stay fixed on their goals and showing how substances can get in the way of achieving them. It also has messages from social media influences directed at youth to maintain their personal goals front and center. This campaign can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

SAMHSA's LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity Center of Excellence:

The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity (CoE LGBTQ+ BHE) provides behavioral health practitioners with vital information on supporting the population of people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, two-spirit, and other diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions (LGBTQ+). To learn more, visit CoE LGBTQ+ BHE.

SAMHSA Recognizes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can impact any person of any age after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Such traumatic events might include military combat, sexual or physical violence, natural disasters, or severe accidents.

Help spread the word to raise PTSD awareness. Individuals, families, behavioral health providers, and communities all play a vital role in addressing the needs of trauma survivors and individuals who are living with PTSD. To learn more, visit PTSD Resources.

Statewide Assessment of Problem Gambling:

IDHS released the first-of-its-kind statewide assessment of problem gambling in Illinois on Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Commissioned by IDHS and conducted by researchers at Health Resources in Action (HRIA), the assessment reports on the prevalence of different types of gambling in the state, the availability of treatment and other services, the prevalence of problem gambling among different groups, and overall attitudes about gambling. To view the full release, visit Statewide Assessment of Gambling.

If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with gambling, contact the State's Gambling Helpline, call 1-800-GAMBLER, text "ILGamb" to 53342, or chat here.

TIP 63: Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) for Healthcare and Addiction Professionals, Policymakers, Patients, and Families:

It's important to remember that the opioid overdose epidemic continues to be a public health crisis. In 2019, over 70,000 people died nationwide of an opioid overdose. Preliminary data shows that in 2021, there were 3,013 fatalities due to opioid overdose in Illinois. The data describes a 2.3% increase from 2020 and a 35.8% increase from 2019.

Medication-Assisted Recovery (MAR) or MOUD is an evidence-based approach for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 63 reviews the three Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications used to treat OUD-methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine-and the other strategies and services needed to support recovery for people with OUD.

We strongly recommend everyone working with people with OUD review and incorporate applicable policy recommendations from TIP 63. To learn more, visit TIP 63-MOUD.

Public Awareness Campaigns:

The Bureau of Prevention Services supports the development of public awareness campaigns to inform the residents of Illinois of several issues. We work closely with Prevention First and their subcontractor on the development and dissemination of the following campaign to raise public awareness of these issues impacting IL residents.

The A Dose of Truth IL campaign informs on the risks of using opioids, the dangers of fentanyl, the high risk for overdose due to fentanyl contamination of the illicit drug supply and counterfeit prescription pills, how to prevent an overdose, the safe use or prescription pain medications, and resources.

The website if chock full of valuable information. Message themes are researched, developed, and promoted every 3-6 months through social media and other platforms targeting specific groups by age, etc. to drive them to the website. This campaign can also be found onFacebook, Instagram, and YouTube!

COVID-19 Exceptions:

A gentle reminder that COVID-19 exceptions are still in effect and have no expiration date currently. Services delivered through Telehealth are still acceptable.

Please review the Provider Notice from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) dated March 20, 2020, "Telehealth Services Expansion Prompted by COVID-19"

IDHS/SUPR has also sent several communications regarding the COVID-19 Exception that you can review.

Recovery Residences Registry

The IDHS/SUPR Recovery Residence Registry has been moved to the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances to simplify public inquiries for Recovery Residence. Information in the registry helps IDHS/SUPR better understand recovery residences' capacity and support for Medication Assisted Recovery. If you partner with a residence that is not listed, please invite them to register and/or contact Kimberly.Sriner@illinois.gov to list the organization. Search the Recovery Residences Registry at any time

Overdose Response Funding Updates:

SUPR publishes a quarterly report summarizing funded projects in response to the overdose crisis. We invite you to review the Overdose Response Funding Report at your convenience.

Smart Alerts and Other Communications:

  • DHS Coronavirus
  • SAMHSA COVID-19: The health, safety, and well-being of all those we serve are amongst our highest priorities. Please visit the State of Illinois Coronavirus page.
  • Summary of SUPR Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Smart Alerts
  • SUPR COVID-19 Communications