Caption: La Hacienda College Station Program Director Mary Reyes (r), stands next to Nancy Winn, Program Coordinator for Strengthening Families of the Brazos Valley.
Members of La Hacienda College Station’s Intensive Outpatient Program staff were busy with Recovery Month activities during September.
On September 20, Program Director Mary Reyes and Business Development Representative David Hutts participated in the Freedom to Recovery Conference which focused on opiate addiction, the impact of trauma and recovery.
Ryan Leaf, a former professional football quarterback who is in recovery, was the keynote speaker for the conference at the Texas A&M Equestrian Center in College Station. “It was very inspirational,” said Mary.
Other speakers were Marcia Ory, Ph.D., leader of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Opioid Task Force; Casey Green, MD., with The Right Step’s DFW Central treatment center; and Israel Liberzon, MD, head of Texas A&M University’s Department of Psychiatry.
“Knowing that many struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues, we wanted to do something to recognize those individuals who have successfully moved their lives to a place of health and strength,” said Jackie St. Germain, CEO of Rock Prairie Behavioral Health which sponsored the conference.
Free Community Forum
La Hacienda College Station helped produce a free community forum on “How Drugs Affect the Teenage Brain” on September 17 in the Brazos Valley Council of Governments Office in Bryan.
About 60 Brazos Valley residents attended and asked a career-diverse panel about ways to support teenagers and other young people in their battles with substance use and abuse, according to The Eagle newspaper.
“The adolescent brain is a work in progress,” said Joy P. Alonzo, the event’s keynote speaker and an assistant professor at the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center’s Rangel College of Pharmacy.
Asked what substances teenagers use most, she said, “Alcohol is number one–always.” She cited opioids and marijuana as other substances much consumed by Texas teens, noting that the average age of first use is 12.
Recovery Oriented Systems of Care—Brazos Valley (ROSC-BV) sponsored the forum.
Recovery Month is sponsored each September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)– part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.