IRETA Blog turns three today. Most three-year-olds celebrating their own birthdays don’t see it as an opportunity for reflection, but for us, that’s exactly what it is. Our conclusion?

Thank you


You all are so busy. We just finished conducting our annual Social Media Survey and were reminded of how short on time everyone is. For many of you, learning about addiction is something extra–it’s something you do on top of your regular professional and personal responsibilities. We so admire and appreciate the effort that goes into staying abreast of these issues.

So thank you, all of you who read this blog. And further thanks to those of you who share posts on your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages. Sharing information with your own community takes time, we know. Keeping track of comment threads is no small task.

And shout out to the host of interesting folks who have submitted posts: medical students, semi-retired (but not really) psychiatrists, world-traveling writers, harm reductionists, counselors-in-training, behavioral economists, coalition leaders, and the lovely and overworked staff here at IRETA.

Finally, what an eclectic group of people have let us interview them for blog posts! Too many to mention here. A reporter who stumbled upon the subject of recovery homes and spent a year studying them. A passionate MD who’s doing SBIRT in a federally-funded midwest clinic, not because he got a grant but because he believes in making it happen. A powerful force in the collegiate recovery community. The president of the Pittsburgh City Council, sober for over twenty years. The director of a stirring documentary about teens with FASDs. A project officer at a foundation interested in adolescent health and substance use prevention. The enthusiastic owners of a bar without booze in Arizona.

One thing the Internet is good for is showing that people all over the world are doing awesome work. We hope our blog has offered you examples of that.

We also hope that our blog has reinforced the idea that this is a big tent. There are all sorts of different reasons to care about substance use. And all sorts of different ways to act on those reasons. Perhaps in following our blog, you’ve learned about new allies in whatever work you’re doing to help people respond effectively to substance use.

Last weekend, historian Bill White published a blog post about recovery as a social contagion. That is, if a friend stops smoking cigarettes, you are 36% more likely to quit smoking yourself. Recovery is like the flu (but good). We don’t doubt that an interest in accurate information about substance use, addiction treatment and recovery perpetuates itself, too. Thanks for being a carrier.


Top Five Posts of the Past 12 Months

Updates on a Prescription Monitoring Program in Pennsylvania

Babies Aren’t ‘Born Addicted’ and Other Misconceptions About Drug Use in Pregnancy

A Person Experiencing an Overdose Needs Oxygen and/or Naloxone to Survive

Update your Image of a Person with a Substance Use Disorder

Alcohol Exposure Affects Fetal Brain Development


As We Head Into Year Four

Please, always, send requests for information, training, and future blog posts. Do you want more practical tools for providing good treatment? More practical tools for finding good treatment?

Do you think FASD is under-discussed? (We do.) Do you think figuring out how to work with adolescents and young adults is exciting these days? (We do!) Are you looking for evidence-based approaches for communities to reduce overdose deaths?

Do you hear the phrase “addiction should be treated as a public health issue” and think, “Sure, definitely, but let’s talk about what that means”?

Do you want to learn how to address risky substance use in your mental health clinic? Problem-solving court? Hospital/school/STD clinic/retirement home/faith community/personal life?

Tell us about it.