Addiction

Compassion Meditation

What is compassion meditation, and how can it be so impactful so quickly? In this form of meditation, one offers simple phrases of good will to oneself and to others. Even short periods of compassion meditation has been found to reduce stress and increase positive emotions.

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Creating a Community of Caring

Addiction and addiction recovery are realities in our community; they always have been and likely will be into the near future.  Until recently many people in the Jewish community denied that addiction was a Jewish issue.  Now there is a much greater recognition of how addiction challenges our own.  However, many Jewish families still express deep feelings of isolation when confronting addiction in themselves or their loved ones.

There are so many ways, large and small, that each of us can support Jewish families struggling with active addiction or in recovery, to bring them out of isolation and into the loving support our community offers.  Here are some ideas:

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What Community Development Can Teach Us About Self-Development

by Yakov Danishefsky, JCFS Chicago Community Services Intern

Leadership, at its best, is fueled by a fervent desire for change and the ardent commitment to a dream. But zealotry, whatever its worth, is not leadership. Leadership consultant, Marty Linsky, writes that “Leadership is disappointing your people at a rate they can absorb.” If the leader expresses too much passion, she loses her people. Too little passion, and she loses herself and her cause. Being passionate enough to dedicate your life to social-change advocacy, and yet patient and even-keeled enough to do so successfully, is not simple.

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Using Medications Safely: Empowering Older Adults

According to a 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2012 and 2050, the United States will experi­ence considerable growth in its older population (the report defined older population as age 65 and older). The baby boomers are largely responsible for this increase as they began turning 65 in 2011. By 2050, the surviving baby boomers will be over the age of 85.

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September is National Recovery Month

by Dr. Beth Fishman PhD
Manager, Addiction Services

September is National Recovery Month, therefore it seems a good time to ask “what is recovery?”  The addiction services at JCFS Chicago serves Chicago’s Jewish community by raising awareness about addiction issues, educating on addiction, prevention and treatment, referring community members to recovery resources, and supporting Jews in recovery.  So it is equally fitting that addiction services would bring this question to our community.

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JCARES Professional Training Institute

by Betsy Lazerow, JCARES & Community Services Professional Education Coordinator

JCFS Chicago's Community Services is committed to offering cross-discipline professionals – mental health, social service, health care and addiction treatment professionals; Rabbis and synagogue leadership; law enforcement and legal advocates; administrators and educators – with a diversity of opportunities for learning, networking and dialoguing.  

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Raising Mental Health Awareness

Fifteen year-old Anna lounged on the sofa in Robin Stein’s office, sinking into the cushions with her legs folded beneath her. Though her features remained stoic, the cell phone she cradled shook in the palms of her hand as she rapidly swiped at its surface with her thumbs. “Here,” Anna said, and held the phone out to Stein, a licensed clinical social worker at JCFS Chicago. The screen displayed a somewhat pixelated selfie of a very young girl with a gun pointed at her temple. “She talked about dying all the time.” Anna was in grief therapy with Stein; the girl holding the gun was Anna’s younger sister, Sarah, who had taken her life the year before, ultimately overdosing on a relative’s sleeping pills. Sarah was only 10.

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Our Stories Have Power

by Beth Fishman, PhD and Nina J. Henry, LCPC, CADC

Many individuals in addiction recovery struggle with an important question:  Should they tell people that they are in recovery?  The traditional response would be reflected in a quote from the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous:  “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program.” Guarding anonymity in a world full of stigma against people who struggle with alcohol, drugs and mental disorders was a realistic response.  Individuals in recovery had reason to worry about their vulnerability and often only shared their status as a person in recovery with people they trusted to not judge them.

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