Broderick Leaks, PhD, Vice Chair for Student Mental Health in the Dept. of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services in USC Student Health

Steven Siegel, MD, PhD, Chair, Dept. of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC; Chief Mental Health and Wellness Officer, Keck Medicine of USC

Sarah Van Orman, MD, MMM, FACHA, Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health, Division Chief for College Health, Keck School of Medicine of USC

As you may already be aware, September is National Recovery Month—a time to promote and support the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of community members and service providers across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible, and new evidence-based recovery practices.

National Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in addiction and mental health recovery, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. It culminates on Sept. 30, with the International Recovery Day virtual celebratory firework celebration and stories of recovery.

Locally, California and Los Angeles County are responding to the continuing dangers of fentanyl in drugs shared or sold outside of prescribed medications. Los Angeles County has made informing the public about resources to learn about fentanyl, overdose prevention, and treatment a high priority.

At USC, the Naloxone SC program can provide vital information and assistance to USC students in preventing overdoses or substances laced with fentanyl. Developed by the USC School of Pharmacy graduate students in AAPP, this website includes a video training on opioid reversal using naloxone—this training is available to all USC students, is free, and provides a free twin pack of Narcan-brand naloxone nasal spray and drug testing strips to all who complete the video training.

Narcan is a covered benefit of the USC Student Health Insurance Plan; all students on this plan can obtain Narcan with without a prescription (in CA); it is available at the USC Pharmacies and other retailers.

Please help share the word about these programs. Access to information, training, test strips and naloxone can potentially save a life.

For those interested in the research and academic programs on addiction, The USC Institute for Addiction Science websiteprovides valuable insight into the transdisciplinary scientific study of the nature, causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of addiction-related problems.

For members of our community who are in recovery or reflecting on the impact of alcohol and other drugs on their lives, please know that treatment is effective and available for addiction and substance use disorders. Your mental health care provider or medical provider can help with a treatment plan. Student Health (counseling and medical services) are available to all students; make an appointment to talk to a counselor through MySHR, or call us at 213-740-9355 (WELL). For faculty and staff, the USC Workwell Center can provide guidance and assistance. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provides a home for 12-step recovery programs for all members of our community.

We celebrate the work of those in recovery, and offer hope, help, and support to all USC communities affected by alcohol and other drugs.

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