Quinn Aide Jumps to Top Substance Abuse Treatment, Mental Health Advocacy Group

(Springfield, IL) – A key aide to Governor Pat Quinn at the Illinois Department of Human Services has accepted a new post at a top substance abuse treatment, mental health advocacy group.

The current Director of Legislative Affairs for the Department of Human Services, Randy Wells, has been appointed to a newly created position of Vice President for Mental Health Policy at the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association the group announced on Wednesday.

“As the behavior health field has evolved in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, IADDA’s investment in its mental health policy agenda has evolved,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “That evolution includes expanding the reach of our mental health policy agenda, and Randy will be vital to that expansion.”

In addition to his role under DHS Secretary Michelle Saddler, Wells previously led the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for Illinois for eight-years, Howe noted.

“Randy brings to the Association membership a long history and leadership experience in mental health policy, particularly at NAMI-Illinois,” said Howe. “Randy will be charged with tracking mental health legislation, working with the legislature and the new Administration, and devising recommendations and policy positions.”

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Top U.S. Drug Official David Mineta Speaks at 40th Youth Anti-Drug Abuse Conference

Deputy Director for Demand Reduction David Mineta at the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy took a selfie before addressing the 550 Illinois at the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute on Sunday.

Deputy Director for Demand Reduction David Mineta at the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy took a selfie before addressing the 550 Illinois at the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute on Sunday.

(Springfield, IL) – A top U.S. drug prevention official this weekend appeared in Central Illinois to speak at an Illinois youth substance abuse prevention organization’s summer conference marking the group’s 40th anniversary.

Deputy Director for Demand Reduction David Mineta at the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy on Sunday attended and spoke at the opening ceremonies of the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute conference at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute, administered by the Springfield-based Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA) and which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, hosted nearly 550 Illinois youth at Eastern Illinois University who heard Mineta speak at the conference’s opening day regarding the role of young people in the battle against alcohol and drug abuse.

“The message that I have for the participants at the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute is that youth can be effective advocates for positive change in their schools and their communities to prevent drug and alcohol abuse,” said Mineta.

A former youth prevention program manager in San Francisco, Mineta, who oversees the agency’s newly created focus on programs for individuals in recovery from addiction, said, “Effective advocacy requires leadership skills and the ability to communicate the benefits of preventing drug and alcohol abuse.”
Mineta, who has held his post since June 2010, also brought greetings from President Barack Obama to the students attending the youth anti-drug forum.

“I also bring greetings to you from the President and note that the President firmly believes in youth and your ability and potential to make positive change in your communities,” Mineta said.

Mineta’s visit, which was the first time that a White House drug policy official has participated at the Teen Institute, launched the four-day conference that features other speakers, discussion groups, and workshops that aim to arm middle and high school students from across the state with the necessary leadership skills to persuade their friends, family, and neighbors that each has a role to play in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse, according to IADDA’s chief.

“The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute provides youth the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, but, most importantly, to become a force for positive change in their schools and communities,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

The conference, held on the Eastern Illinois University campus, runs from July 20 through July 24.

House GOP Heroin Legislation Welcomed, But Warned on “Half-Measures”

House Republican Lawmakers new legislation to combat heroin in DuPage County.

House Republican Lawmakers new legislation to combat heroin in DuPage County.

(Springfield, IL) – Action by House Republican lawmakers to fight Illinois’ growing heroin epidemic was welcomed by addiction advocates who urged the lawmakers to strengthen their proposals.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Reps. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst), Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), John Cabello (R-Machesney Park), and Sandy Pihos (R-Glen Ellyn) on Thursday announced a package of legislation designed to address heroin abuse.

“After seeing firsthand the toll heroin addiction takes on individuals and their families, it’s evident we need to take collaborative actions to stem the tide,” said Reboletti, a former narcotics prosecutor. “This year in Springfield, we are introducing a comprehensive package of legislation aimed at addressing the full range and scope of the heroin epidemic.”

The Republican plan includes substance abuse treatment facility for DuPage County, increased criminal penalties, enhanced data collection, among other measures.

Specifically, the GOP lawmakers have introduced five concrete, but limited proposals:

  • Create a pilot program in DuPage County to establish a secure substance abuse treatment facility that will be a joint partnership between the state and county to serve as a “last chance” option for those convicted of drug crimes.
  • Extend Illinois’ RICO statutes sunset date to 2022, which is currently scheduled to expire in 2017 and allow prosecutors to use a portion of the proceeds from seized assets accumulated by gangs to fund substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Require each county’s Department of Public Health to track and periodically report the number of drug overdose deaths to the State.
  • Enhance penalties for ‘Doctor Shopping’ to strengthen current law to prohibit patients from withholding the fact that they have received the same or similar controlled substance from health care practitioners within a specified time frame.
  • Creates an educational initiative to promote the “Good Samaritan” law by distributing pamphlets to educate holders of opiate prescriptions about the dangers of children and teens gaining access to medications.
  • Crack down on ‘krokodil,’ an often cheaper heroin alternative by enhancing penalties for the drug to be on par with those for heroin.

The leader of Illinois’ top addiction healthcare advocacy group welcomed the House GOP package, but wants more substantive steps.

“We’re grateful that House Republican lawmakers are proposing measures to address the deepening heroin crisis in DuPage,” said Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association CEO Sara Moscato Howe.  “IADDA is committed to working with those legislators to rally our members to help advance their proposals, in particular those of which that will best help individuals working to overcome addiction.”

Howe proposed increasing the current state prevention funding from its historic low of $1 million to $2.5 million.

“Substantive funding for prevention can help begin to put a substantive dent in the crisis,” said Howe. “We’re beyond half measures being effective.”

Since 2009, the legislature has cut drug prevention funding by 88% and drug treatment by 41%, Howe noted.

“The painful reality is that the heroin crisis playing out in Illinois today is, in large part, a result of the legislature’s drastic reduction of drug prevention and treatment funding in the last five years,” said Howe. “If lawmakers want to be serious about fighting the heroin epidemic, they need to invest the money necessary to get the job done.”

And the challenge in DuPage, and elsewhere in Illinois, to blunt the heroin crisis is staggering, DuPage officials say.

“Heroin use in DuPage County and across the state has hit epidemic proportions resulting in nearly one death per week last year,” said Robert Berlin, DuPage County State’s Attorney.

“Last year, DuPage County suffered a record number of fatal heroin overdoses – 46. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 64,” said Grant Eckhoff, DuPage County Judicial and Public Safety Committee chairman. “These victims are not just statistics. Instead they are our neighbors and often our family members.”

“Meeting the threat posed by the growing suburban heroin epidemic requires the best efforts of parents, educators, law enforcement, public health officials and state policymakers,” said Bellock.

Howe agreed.

“One of the best efforts that lawmakers can make is to comprehensively fund drug prevention and treatment,” said Howe. “Otherwise, we are just fooling ourselves that half-measures will solve the problem.”

showe@iadda.org

Illinois Youth Drug Prevention Activism Soars

Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute

Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute

(Springfield, IL) – One year after the relaunch of an Illinois youth drug prevention group, its summer conference attendance by Illinois high school teens is expected to jump 40 percent.

The Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute, administered by the Springfield-based Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IADDA) and boosted by a $1.1 million grant from the Skokie-based Cebrin Goodman Center, will host nearly 450 Illinois youth – up from 285 in 2012 – at Eastern Illinois University on July 21–25.

“The $1.1 million Goodman grant included additional funding for an outreach coordinator whose job is to reach out to communities across Illinois who have never participated or have higher rates of alcohol or drug use,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “The grant also included additional dollars to provide 150 scholarships for youth to attend the summer conference.”

Larry Goodman, along with his late wife, Lillian Goodman, founded the Skokie based foundation in honor of their granddaughter, Cebrin, who died of a drug overdose. The Foundation has committed the three-year grant to the Springfield-based youth drug prevention program, previously known as the Illinois Teen Institute, as part of his crusade against youth drug abuse.

“We have been able to dramatically expand our outreach to high school students throughout Illinois and provide drug prevention programming to thousands of youth who would otherwise now be overlooked because of the Illinois budget cuts in the last few years,” said Director of Program Development Ron Jakubisin.

Here are the communities that are new to Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute for 2013 that were not in attendance in 2012:

Arlington Heights, Athens, Belvidere, Bunker Hill, Carbondale, Carpentersville, Carterville, Centralia, Champaign, Cicero, Cordova, DeKalb, Divernon, East Alton, Flossmoor, Franklin, Franklin Park, Godfrey, Granville, Green Bay, Greenview, Herrin, Leland, Lostant, Lovington, Malta, Mark, Milwaukee, Naperville, Princeton, Round Lake, Roxana, Sandwich, Schiller Park, Sullivan, Swansea, Vernon Hills, Walnut, Walnut Hill, Waukegan, Williamsville, Wood River, Worden, and Wyanet.

For any questions about the registration/application process, please contact the IADDA office at 217.528.7335 ext. 12.

About the Cebrin Goodman Center

Established in 2005, the Cebrin Goodman Center is committed to the goal of helping young people fulfill their potential as happy, healthy contributing members of society. The often tragic consequences of drug use, abuse, and addiction are a powerful threat to the realization of that goal.

Lillian and Larry Goodman created The Cebrin Goodman Center in memory of their granddaughter Cebrin who lost her battle with drug addiction. The Goodman family wants to spare other families the pain of losing a loved one by educating teens, parents, and communities about substance abuse and other challenges facing teens today.

Cebrin Goodman Center Grants 30 Conference Scholarships to Illinois Drug Prevention, Treatment Professionals

Mr. Larry Goodman (center) with students from Glenbard West High School’s Students for Students program.

(Springfield, IL) – August 31, 2011. The Cebrin Goodman Center, an affiliate of the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations, granted 30 conference scholarships to prevention and treatment professionals throughout Illinois for the 2011 Illinois Alcoholism Drug Dependence Association (IADDA) conference.

Scholarships were awarded to addiction prevention and treatment professionals with preference given to prevention providers, geographic diversity, and financial need.

“We are grateful to the Cebrin Goodman Center for their generous support of the 2011 IADDA Annual Conference,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe. “Information gained from the conference workshops will directly benefit those who provide prevention and treatment services to Illinois’ most vulnerable populations, particularly youth.”

Scholarships cover full conference registration and hotel accommodations at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville.

Established in 2007, the Cebrin Goodman Center, located in Skokie, Illinois, is committed to helping young people fulfill their potential as happy, healthy contributing members of society. The often tragic consequences of drug use, abuse, and addiction are a powerful threat to the realization of that goal, according to the Center.

Effective prevention efforts are crucial if we hope to shield future generations from the false promises of the drug experience and the unfortunate paths far too many have chosen. The Cebrin Goodman Center supports ongoing partnerships with organizations whose expertise, vision, and passion uniquely position them to help young people develop the strengths to resist the formidable lure of drugs.

The IADDA conference, Designing the Future is scheduled for September 7–9 at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville.

The conference scholarship winners are:

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Obama Deputy Drug Control Czar David Mineta to Address IADDA Annual Conference

President Barack Obama meets with Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske in the Oval Office, May 10, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(Chicago, IL) – August 19, 2010. The Obama Administration’s newly-appointed Office of National Drug Control Policy Deputy Director of Drug Demand Reduction, David Mineta, will present a plenary session at the Illinois Alcoholism Drug Dependence Association Annual Conference in the Chicago-area on September 17, 2010.

Mineta will discuss the White House’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy and how this affects prevention and treatment providers around the country, as well as many other issues including healthcare reform and the importance of prevention programs.

Released on May 11, 2010, the Administration’s strategy establishes five-year goals for reducing drug use.

“This Strategy calls for a balanced approach to confronting the complex challenge of drug use and its consequences,” said President Barack Obama on the day of its release.

“By boosting community-based prevention, expanding treatment, strengthening law enforcement, and working collaboratively with our global partners, we will reduce drug use and the great damage it causes in our communities.”

The 2010 Strategy highlights a collaborative and balanced approach that emphasizes community-based prevention, integration of evidence-based treatment into the mainstream health care system, innovations in the criminal justice system to break the cycle of drug use and crime, and international partnerships to disrupt transnational drug trafficking organizations.

“This strategy incorporates drug control policies mayors have been advocating for many years,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors Executive Director Tom Cochran.

Mineta was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on June 22, 2010. In his new position, Mineta focuses on promoting drug prevention and drug treatment programs, as well as the agency’s newly created focus on programs for individuals in recovery from addiction.

Mineta has long experience working with community-based organizations.

Since 1996, he Mineta has worked with Asian American Recovery Services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Mineta started as a manager of a youth prevention program, but rose quickly to associate director and, since 2007, deputy director.

“We are excited to have Mr. Mineta at the 2010 conference,” said IADDA CEO Sara Moscato Howe.

The IADDA conference will be held the Hilton Hotel in Lisle, Illinois. Mineta’s plenary session is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.