What do you think of when you hear or read about cannabis? Cannabis – also commonly known as marijuana – has been a focus of policy and public debate for decades. As far back as the 1980s and 1990s, it was heavily depicted in media as a dangerous substance associated with crime and perversion. Since the 2010s, however, the discussion surrounding cannabis has become more nuanced. After first legalizing medical cannabis, many states have gone on to legalize its recreational use as well. In a day and age when many parts of the United States have fully established adult-use recreational cannabis markets, Sojourner House’s experts and staff wish to remind our community that cannabis use is not a risk-free activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s … [Read more...] about When Cannabis Use Becomes Cannabis Use Disorder
June is Pride Month in the United States, and is a time to celebrate the history of the LGBTQIA+ community. During Pride, activists also share goals and visions for an even better future. Sojourner House is proud to help uplift the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community, and to advocate for the health of LGBTQIA+ individuals. Unfortunately, the LGBTQIA+ community is not immune to substance misuse and substance use disorder (SUD). In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) have higher rates of substance misuse and substance use disorders (SUDs) than people who identify as heterosexual. 2020 Data On Substance Use and Misuse Data from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggest … [Read more...] about Substance Use Disorder’s Impact on the LGBTQIA+ Community
As of May 2023, Sojourner House has had the pleasure of welcoming Laura McCurdy to the team as our new Director of Advancement. Laura comes to Sojourner House with over 25 years of experience working with non-profit and mission-based organizations. We recently sat down with Laura to hear about her role in her own words: How did you first learn about Sojourner House? I was aware of Sojourner House’s programs because I know someone that's gone through the program. What is your typical day like? Right now, I’m in the information-gathering phase, but in my role, a typical day consists of meeting with key constituents and attending networking opportunities to bring more exposure to the organization. The goal is to foster relationships that will drive funds and help to … [Read more...] about Meet Laura McCurdy!
The relationship between mental health and substance abuse is complicated and interrelated. We have previously written about destigmatizing substance use, and unfortunately, mental health issues are also often stigmatized. But by understanding these disorders and how they influence each other, we can create an environment that promotes healing and recovery. It must be noted: not everyone with substance use disorder also experiences mental health issues. Nor does someone having mental health disorders mean that they will engage in substance use. But there is a strong correlation between the two that needs to be understood to offer better support to people struggling with these health issues. Here are just a few of the ways that substance use disorder and mental health … [Read more...] about How Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Influence Each Other
Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has run a public health program in April known as Alcohol Awareness Month. The program has focused on different issues regarding alcohol consumption over the years, including its use among teenagers. Most recently, organizers have used the month to discuss the causes and effects of unhealthy alcohol use, as well as how to help families and communities deal with drinking problems. Sojourner House is very familiar with the impact of alcohol abuse on individuals and families. According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 28.6 million adults ages 18 and older had Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the past year. This Alcohol Awareness Month, we’re focused on two key things that all community members … [Read more...] about Talking About Alcohol Use Disorder for Alcohol Awareness Month
At Sojourner House, we help families that have been impacted by addiction – or, as it’s clinically referred to, substance use disorder. While “addiction” is still a very common term in general conversations, “substance abuse disorder” has been the preferred medical terminology since 2013, as detailed in the American Psychiatric Association’s guidelines. The terminology and language we use to discuss substance abuse are extremely powerful. The right language can help to lay the groundwork for understanding substance abuse as a complex, chronic, treatable disease from which patients can recover, the same as any other medical condition. The wrong language, however, can stigmatize the disease, as well as the person suffering from it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, … [Read more...] about Words Matter and Can Remove Stigma from Substance Abuse