May 16, 2016

White House: A Conversation About Addiction

"When we talk about opioid abuse as the public health problem it is, more people will seek the help they need. More people will find the strength to recover, just like Macklemore and millions of Americans have. We’ll see fewer preventable deaths and fewer broken families."  
President Barack Obama

In his most recent weekly address, "A Conversation About Addiction," President Barack Obama partnered with hip hop artist Macklemore to bring attention to opioid addiction and the need to expand treatment services for those who need it.

Drug overdoses now take more lives every year than traffic accidents

Remarks of President Barack Obama and Macklemore as Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
The White House
May 14, 2016
THE PRESIDENT:  Hi, everybody.  I’ve got a special guest with me this week – Macklemore.  For those of you who don’t share the same love[i] for hip-hop, he’s a Grammy-winning artist – but he’s also an advocate who’s giving voice to a disease we too often just whisper about: the disease of addiction.
MACKLEMORE:  Hey, everybody.  I’m here with President Obama because I take this personally.  I abused prescription drugs and battled addiction.  If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today.  And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did.
THE PRESIDENT:  Drug overdoses now take more lives every year than traffic accidents.  Deaths from opioid overdoses have tripled since 2000.  A lot of the time, they’re from legal drugs prescribed by a doctor.  So addiction doesn’t always start in some dark alley – it often starts in a medicine cabinet.  In fact, a new study released this month found that 44 percent of Americans know someone who has been addicted to prescription pain killers. 

MACKLEMORE:  I didn’t just know someone – I lost someone.  My friend Kevin overdosed on painkillers when he was just 21 years old.  Addiction is like any other disease – it doesn’t discriminate.  It doesn’t care what color you are, whether you’re a guy or a girl, rich or poor, whether you live in the inner-city, a suburb, or rural America.  This doesn’t just happen to other people’s kids or in some other neighborhood.  It can happen to any of us.
THE PRESIDENT:  That’s why just talking about this crisis isn’t enough – we need to get treatment to more people who need it.  My administration is working with communities to reduce overdose deaths, including with medication.  We’re working with law enforcement to help people get into treatment instead of jail.  And under Obamacare, health plans in the Marketplace have to include coverage for treatment.
MACKLEMORE:  I know recovery isn’t easy or quick, but along with the 12-step program, treatment has saved my life.  Recovery works – and we need our leaders in Washington fund it and people know how to find it.
THE PRESIDENT: We all need to do more to make that happen.  I’ve asked Congress to expand access to recovery services, and to give first responders the tools they need to treat overdoses before it’s too late.  This week, the House passed several bills about opioids – but unless they also make actual investments in more treatment, it won’t get Americans the help they need.
On top of funding, doctors also need more training about the power of the pain medication they prescribe, and the risks they carry.  Another way our country can help those suffering in private is to make this conversation public.
MACKLEMORE:  When you’re going through it, it’s hard to imagine there could be anything worse than addiction.  But shame and the stigma associated with the disease keeps too many people from seeking the help they need.  Addiction isn’t a personal choice or a personal failing.  And sometimes it takes more than a strong will to get better – it takes a strong community and accessible resources. 
THE PRESIDENT:  The good news is, there’s hope.  When we talk about opioid abuse as the public health problem it is, more people will seek the help they need.  More people will find the strength to recover, just like Macklemore and millions of Americans have.  We’ll see fewer preventable deaths and fewer broken families.
MACKLEMORE:  We have to tell people who need help that it’s OK to ask for it.  We’ve got to make sure they know where to get it.
THE PRESIDENT:  We all have a role to play.  Even if we haven’t fought this battle in our own lives, there’s a good chance we know someone who has, or who is.
MACKLEMORE:  President Obama and I just had a powerful conversation here at the White House about opioid abuse, and what we can do about it.  You can catch it this summer on MTV.  And to find treatment in your area, call 1-800-662-HELP.
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks, and have a great weekend.

May 13, 2016

New name for the San Francisco Family Treatment Court

On Friday, May 13, the Honorable Kathleen Kelly announced that the San Francisco Dependency Drug Court has a new name:  San Francisco Family Treatment Court 

In a message to judges, court staff, and collaborative partners, Judge Kelly stated:

"The new name reflects not only best practices in this field, but the true work of the dedicated team which provides coordinated, family focused, trauma informed care to all members of the families we serve – parents and children alike.

"We appreciate the leadership and support of [Presiding] Judge [John] Stewart and [Supervising] Judge Anne-Christine Massullo and the extraordinary dedication of the members of the San Francisco Family Treatment Court Team."

The San Francisco Family Treatment Court will be honored at the Homeless Prenatal Program's annual celebration on Saturday, May 14.
Our Light, Our House

Dec 28, 2015

Micro-documentary profiles DDC graduate and Family Case Manager, brings attention to homelessness in SF

“I love how, in San Francisco, creativity meets caring, and you cannot walk down the streets in the city anymore without confronting homelessness, so I just thought, ‘How can I inspire people to help?’ That’s how I came up with these films.” - Filmmaker Natasha Giraudie 

San Francisco Dependency Drug Court graduate and Homeless Prenatal Program Family Case Manager Eli Parson is profiled in this beautiful film, Strengthening Families, which highlights his work with homeless families in San Francisco. The micro-documentary is part of Let’s Get Street Smart, a documentary short-film series by Natasha Giraudie that brings attention to San Francisco's homelessness crisis.

Click here for more information on Let's Get Street Smart.

Other films:
Radical Hospitality (Lava Mae)
Unconditional Support (At the Crossroads)

Dec 24, 2015

City Youth Now brings joy to court-involved families

City Youth Now made the holidays extra special this year for families participating in the San Francisco Dependency Drug Court by providing toys, games, and gift cards for 75 children served by the collaborative court.

"This time of year is especially stressful for families in the juvenile court system," says Judge Kathleen Kelly. "The overwhelming generosity of City Youth Now will bring joy to the children who need it most, and relief and comfort to the parents who so very much want their children to have a special gift for the holidays."

Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kelly organizes helps organize gifts to distribute to DDC families.
Nick from City Youth Now delivers bagfuls of toys and games to the San Francisco Superior Court.

City Youth Now works to ensure that youth in the juvenile court system have the same positive youth development opportunities as other children to grow into mature and successful adults. They have provided thousands of holiday gifts to abused, neglected, and troubled children in the San Francisco juvenile court system for 60 years. Click here to learn more.

Thank you and happy holidays, City Youth Now!