Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Catching up...and succession planning

Hi everyone, it's been entirely too long.

I've spent the time in the last few months that I haven't been blogging doing lots of interesting things. I've attended a bunch of conferences (NAATP, West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders, and the Moment of Change Conference, to name three), visited a number of treatment centers, and met a lot of new professionals in the field. I've gotten to see a new addiction news and culture website launch (www.thefix.com) and another of my favorites (www.allaboutaddiction.com, run by Dr. Adi Jaffe) gain some steam as a solid research-based blog.

Mostly, I've spent my time thinking about the future of the field of addictive services. At all of these conferences, the number of clinicians and administrators in the addiction field under 35 is frighteningly low. Personally, I'm concerned about this, and at the West Coast Symposium (mentioned above) there was a concerted effort to bring together the wisdom of the current leaders to the newer members of the field. A mentoring lunch was held, with tables featuring such leaders as Rob Waggener, CEO of Foundations Recovery Network and Dr. Andrea Barthwell, former Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy and currently the owner and director of Two Dreams Outer Banks, as well as other researchers and clinicians.

In my experience, this has been the first true effort by the addiction treatment community to spread their thought leadership to the next generation of treatment providers. A good idea all around, as the field needs that wisdom to continue moving the work forward. As a young leader in the field, I almost feel partially responsible for helping this message get to my generation of addiction professionals. Thanks to C4 Recovery Services for taking the bull by the horns and helping to get the process started. If anyone has any ideas on how to continue our work, suggestions are welcome.

For something funny, check this out:

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