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In this Issue
Other Social Work News
DSM-5 Imperfect:
A Guide, Not a Bible

The New York Times features an essay admitting a flawed DSM but recognizing that millions of Americans with mental illness need treatment and don’t have the luxury of waiting for definitive scientific knowledge.

Peace Corps to Accept
Same-Sex Couples' Applications

According to Reuters, the Peace Corps will be accepting applications from same-sex domestic partners who want to serve together as volunteers overseas.

New CDC Report Shows Increase in Children's Mental Health Conditions
According to The Huffington Post, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new report citing data from 1994 to 2011 shows a 20% increase in children's mental health diagnoses, attributable to various factors.

Childhood ADHD May Contribute
to Adult Obesity

NPR reports that men who were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood are more likely become obese in adulthood.
Editor's E-Note
Children are victimized in many ways by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; school shootings; bombings; natural disasters; and any number of life’s tragedies. Situations such as these frequently are more overt or easily observable than others in which children can be impacted by something that is often less apparent: addiction.

Children are easily affected by complex situations in which parents, caregivers, or other family members are substance abusers. Because denial, secrecy, and shame often are characteristic of households where there is addiction, finding and assisting those children who are hidden behind the household’s mask of “normalcy” often is difficult—but not impossible.

This month’s E-News Exclusive, written by a social worker and addiction professional, explains how the use of an evidence-based protocol can help social workers reach children who are negatively impacted by the disease of addiction. It also offers steps to intervene and refer to treatment, helping put family members on the path to healing and reducing the risk that these children will develop substance use disorders or mental health conditions later in life.

Substance abuse is a daunting but treatable disease in individuals of all ages. But this protocol may offer some hope for preventing children from falling victim to the dangerous nature/nurture mix that can predispose them to addictions.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, join our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
E-News Exclusive
Finding and Assisting Children of Families With Addictions
By Kristine Hitchens, PhD, LCSW-C, LCADC, CCDC

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based protocol used by professionals in various settings to identify people who are experiencing problems related to addiction. During SBIRT, social workers can be mindful that children are affected by parents’ addictions and that parents often are in denial about this impact.

Children often need help processing what they have experienced as witnesses to addiction, but they frequently don’t receive that help. Social workers can help bridge that gap by integrating information regarding children’s needs and available resources into conversations with their adult clients.

While SBIRT is intended to be a relatively focused activity, it is possible to examine and discuss the impact of parental addiction on children as the consequences of use are explored. When key facts are shared with parents, it may help plant a seed, making it easier for parents to accept treatment resources available to children and other family members.

Full Story »
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Tech & Tools
Text Messages Keep
Asthma Attacks Away

Simply sending children with asthma a text message each day asking about their symptoms and providing knowledge about their condition can lead to improved health outcomes, according a study by the Georgia Institute of Technology. Learn more »
Digital Edition
May/June 2013

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Reducing Homelessness in Veterans With Mental Illness
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