Director's Letter
2021 Mental Health Awareness Month: You are Not Alone
Dear Friends,

2021 Mental Health Awareness Month has officially begun, and there is little doubt that the global pandemic has caused most of us, including our families and loves ones, to experience some level of anxiety, depression and/or grief. I would like to echo NAMI's message that You are Not Alone. Let’s join together and prioritize our mental health and well-being. It is foundational.
For those who’ve experienced stressors beyond their emotional capacity, suicide is one of the most devastating outcomes. Individuals who struggle with substance use problems are especially vulnerable. Research has shown that individuals with alcohol use disorders have a 10-fold increased risk for suicide, and the 24-hour period after alcohol intoxication increases the risk of suicide 7-fold. Addiction Center faculty continue to conduct groundbreaking suicide research focused on the role of substance use problems and mental health concerns. New innovative prevention strategies are being tested for this vulnerable population.
For those who are struggling – I would like to offer you hope. This month is dedicated to you persevering. Now is the time to (or continue to) seek help, answers, and resources. We’ve compiled a number of resources to help you on your journey. For those in crisis, help is available 24/7 by calling (1-800-273-8255) or chatting with the trained counselors at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Treat yourself kindly and know that everyone deserves to be mentally healthy, there are no exceptions.

Professor & Director, U-M Addiction Center
News Highlights
The Impact of Telehealth and the Patient Experience
Dr. Allison Lin and colleagues discussed telehealth for addiction treatment, lessons learned, and how these changes will shape the future of addiction treatment. Watch here
Using CBD Oil for Pain Management? Watch Out for Withdrawal
Some people report experiencing significant benefits from medical cannabis, but the findings from a study conducted by Dr. Lara Coughlin and colleagues call for an increase in awareness about the signs of cannabis withdrawal symptoms. Read more
Podcast: Being an Addiction Specialist
U-M Addiction Treatment Services social worker Sarah Rollin, LMSW participated in Being UnNormal Podcast. In this edition, Sarah discusses addiction red flags, relapse, how addiction affects the brain, myths and misconceptions about addiction, length of recovery, and treatment options. Listen here
2020 Department of Psychiatry Annual Newsletter
The 2020 U-M Department of Psychiatry Annual Newsletter featured the U-M Addiction Center, including our latest research findings, a spotlight on Dr. Allison Lin's clinical and research work, and our NIAAA T-32 Multidisciplinary Postdoctoral Research Training Fellowship Program. Read more
Research Highlights
Encouraging Veterans Experiencing a Suicidal Crisis to Call the Veterans Crisis Line
Dr. Mark Ilgen and colleagues developed an brief intervention designed to increase the use of the 24-hour Veterans Crisis Line during periods of suicidal crisis. Preliminary results showed significant increase in comfort with and confidence using the crisis line. Learn more
Telehealth Recommendations for Substance-Using Populations in the Age COVID
Drs. Allison Lin, Anne Fernandez, and Erin Bonar published a viewpoint article in JAMA Psychiatry on role of telemedicine and mobile health in substance use disorder care and the need to understand how to implement these services in order to continue them long term. Learn more
An App to Address Risky Substance Use Among Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Dr. Maureen Walton and colleagues published their findings on the initial feasibility and acceptability testing of a promising mHealth smartphone app, called MiSARA, designed to reduce escalation in substance use. Learn more
Postoperative Complications: Gaps in Preoperative Alcohol Screening and Knowledge
Risky alcohol use is one of the most common risk factors leading to postoperative complications. Dr. Anne Fernandez led a study that highlights potential gaps in alcohol-related knowledge and care, and found providers place a low priority on alcohol interventions in the perioperative context. Learn more
Grant Award Highlight
Leveraging Computational Models of Neurocognition to Improve Predictions About Individual Youths' Risk for Substance Use Disorders
Dr. Alexander Weigard is the Principal Investigator of a newly funded K23 Career Development Award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The goal of this grant is to predict risk for substance use disorders in youth by combining computational models of brain function with innovative machine learning approaches. Learn more
Virtual Resources
U-M Addiction Center Resource Page
We've compiled a list of links to online support groups (AA, NA, etc.), virtual meetings, 24-hour helplines, text lines, and other important recovery and mental health resources. Learn more