Substance Use In-service Materials


Series of 3 webinars on Substance Use Disorder from National CASA/GAL Association

Part 1, February 19, 2020 - Substance Abuse: An Introduction to Substance Abuse as a Disorder
-Audio Recording (registration required - fill in your contact info and choose "I am a CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocate")
-Frequently Asked Questions


Part 2, April 22, 2020 - Substance Abuse: A Family-Centered Approach to Understanding Impact
-Audio Recording (registration required - fill in your contact info and choose "I am a CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocate")
-Frequently Asked Questions


Part 3, June 24, 2020: Substance User Disorders and Child Welfare
-Audio Recording (registration required - fill in your contact info and choose "I am a CASA/GAL Volunteer Advocate")
-Frequently Asked Questions


Research on evidence-based ways to talk to kids about substance use

Document listing resources that can help adults talk with children about substance use, from Shawn Lang of AIDS-CT, as a follow up to the in-service she presented for CAC on 5/22/20 (Utilizing Harm Reduction: Understanding Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose Prevention)


Pain in the Nation Update: Alcohol, Drug and Suicide Death in 2018 and Projected Deaths of Despair from COVID-19

A recent report from the Trust for America’s Health and The Well Being Trust, Pain in the Nation Update: Alcohol, Drug and Suicide Death in 2018, revealed that while there was a slight decline in drug-induced deaths, alcohol-induced and suicide deaths continued to rise. The study offers useful data about specific mortality rates in states, as well as demographic data indicating increased death rates due to alcohol, drugs and suicide in African American, Latinx and American Indian communities.

A second document, Projected Deaths of Despair from COVID-19, notes that “deaths of despair,” due to alcohol, drugs and suicide, have been on the rise in the past decade and now constitute an epidemic within a pandemic. According to co-author, Benjamin Miller, Psy.D., “The isolation, economic uncertainty, grief and stress brought on by the [COVID-19] pandemic will likely aggravate the inequalities that drive drug overdose, alcohol-related and suicide deaths.”


The Opioid Files: ‘They looked at us like an easy target’

“Nearly 6,900 children are in state care, double the number from a decade ago. Officials estimate that more than 80 percent have been impacted by the drug epidemic.” This Washington Post story is a case study in how legal battles against drug companies don’t always balance the scales.

For more than a decade, foster homes and emergency shelters have been short of beds. Caseworkers with sleeping bags and baby formula have shuttled children to overnight stays in motels or state offices. Billboards have gone up along the highways, calling on commuters to open their homes.


Materials from CAC's in-service on 3/18/19 with CT Renaissance

Talk WithYour Teen About E-cigarettes-A Tip Sheet For Parents

Vape and ECig info for Parent and Educator

Vape and ECig E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults

Vape and ECig Electronic Cigarettes Infographic

Vape and ECig What You Need to Know

Norwalk SMART Recovery Teen Group flyer


She Was Addicted and Lost Her Son. She Wants Him Back

NY Times Opinion

Lindsey Jarratt’s son, Brayden, was a year old when the Child Protective Services of Dinwiddie, Va., took him to live with strangers. There are things about the months surrounding that moment that Ms. Jarratt can’t remember — heroin has a way of erasing time. But this much is still etched in her mind: how he screamed and sobbed, the way his baby fists clutched at the nape of her shirt, the feel of his tiny body pressed so desperately against hers that the two had to be pried apart.

Periodically, a social worker reminded her of the ticking clock: If she didn’t get it together soon, her parental rights would be terminated and her son placed for adoption. The practice of adopting children quickly has come under fire in recent years, as the understanding of addiction evolves. But for now, for mothers like Ms. Jarratt, recovery is often a race against time.


Can we do better? The state’s ongoing search for ways to treat drug addiction

CT Mirror article by Julia Werth

Article regarding the judicial branch’s new Treatment Pathways Program (TPP). The goal of the program is to place individuals suffering from substance use disorder who are motivated to recover into treatment as quickly as possible in the hope that they will avoid incarceration and future arrests. 


Press Release: Gov. Malloy Announces Launch of Innovative Opioid Treatment Program for Youths in Connecticut

Youth Opioid Treatment Model is the Only One of its Kind in the Country


Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Joette Katz today announced the launch of a new, innovative treatment program for young people who misuse opioids that is now available to help families in towns throughout Connecticut.


NPR On Point Podcast: Surge In Foster Children Amid Opioid Crisis

With guest host Jane Clayson. What happens when opioids ravage the lives of mothers and fathers? More foster children who need homes and families. Opioids and the crisis in foster care.

Sherry Lachman, founder and executive director of Foster America.
Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services for Montgomery County, Ohio.
Brittney Barros, a young leader from FosterClub, the national network for young people in foster care.
Glenn Koster, a 62-year old retired IT worker who was adopted and fostered as a child.


WNPR podcast: When Parents Struggle with Addiction, What Happens to Their Kids?

It’s been declared a national public health emergency. In the United States, the annual number of deaths from opioid overdose has surpassed the number of deaths during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the ‘90s.
But opioid users aren’t the only victims of this crisis.

More and more children are entering the foster care system every year at an unprecedented rate. How is the opioid crisis affecting them around the country and here in Connecticut?


 The Opioid Plague’s Youngest Victims: Children in Foster Care

NY Times Op Ed by Sherry Lachman

Our stunning failure to care for our most vulnerable children is a cause and devastating consequence of the opioid crisis that is ravaging towns around the country. We can’t end the crisis — or a host of other problems — until we fix our beleaguered child welfare system.


PBS NewsHour article: Opioid crisis strains foster care system; programs aim to keep kids with mom

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that from October 2012 to September 2015, as addiction surged, the number of kids entering the foster system rose 8 percent. In recent years, experts suggest, the number has continued to climb, though data aren't yet available to track that increase.

Even before this epidemic, social systems struggled to meet demand. Now, the swell of kids needing care is putting new pressure on a network already stretched to capacity — both financially and in its ability to find homes and families that can take in displaced children.