Author Archives: Jenny Stradling

About Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. My agency offers an array of website and marketing services to brands across the US. After years of doing addiction treatment marketing, I was asked to become a member of the ECHO Foundation Board in order to use my skills to help spread this very important mission and message. I have researched, studied and written content on mental health, substance use disorders, treatment and recovery tools since 2005. As an artist myself, I enjoy sharing ideas and information on how art can heal. I now advocate to help end the stigma around substance use disorder and look for more ways to share how art can help those who are in recovery, or simply looking for ways art can help with your mental health.

 Art Journaling Ideas and Themes for Beginners

Art Journaling Ideas and Themes for Beginners 

As a writer and an artist myself, I’ve always loved journaling. When I was a kid in the ’80s, I remember spending hours in my room drawing, cutting out pictures from magazines for creative projects, and writing in my journal. As an adult, I still love spending time creating things with my hands. Sometimes I paint or sketch a little. However, sometimes I find myself wanting to express myself creatively but feel stuck. It’s almost like having a specific project goal, like an assignment from a teacher in school, makes getting started easier. So, when I ran across the idea of art journaling, I got excited. Even though there aren’t any rules, there is a purpose, and you can create a personal goal for your work. I find that intriguing as an artist.

Although I am just now discovering this idea, I have curated some themes that might help you (and me!) get started on art journaling. Pick one, try it out and come share your thoughts with me in the comments section or on our social media.

What Is Art Journaling?

Art journaling is a term that encompasses the various artistic ways a person might journal, whether to paint, draw, write, document memories, or simply stay creative. The number one rule of art journaling is… there are no rules! That’s right, even though art journaling is a great way to structure and encourage yourself to engage in artistic time, the journaling itself is a free-flow experience. Art journals can contain as few or as many words as you feel led to include. Incorporate pictures and drawings with words, lyrics, or journal entries, or keep just to sketches and doodles. Between the bindings of your blank journal, the world is your artistic oyster!

Our Recommendations:

Great for wet and dry media, including watercolor and acrylic paints, pen, marker and other inks. At 9″x12″ this is a larger sized notebook, so, if you prefer a smaller version, they also sell a 5.4″x8″ version that has 28 sheets, which is 4 more than the 9″x12″ notebook.

At only $9.31 for the smaller version and $14.84 for the larger book, you can’t go wrong with either one as a starter journal!

Incorporating Mixed Media

Blank pages, pens, pencils, brushes, and markers — these are likely the materials that spring to mind when brainstorming for an art journal, but you’re not limited to these only. Consider including mixed media, such as pressed flowers, hodge-podge mementos (travel or concert tickets, petals from a romantic bouquet, a drawing or note from a child), four-leaf clovers from the yard, or cut-outs from books and magazines that catch your eye. This hearkens a bit to scrapbooking or storyboarding, but the mixed media approach can be as freeing as it is fun.

Theme Ideas

If you are looking for specific inspiration on how to fill empty journals, here are a few great ideas I’ve come across. Let’s get inspired together!


Botanicals Art Journaling Theme

Flowers, plants, and gardening are great sources for a themed art journal. Whether your journaling nook overlooks an actual garden or a concrete jungle, inspiration is all around for those with a green thumb. You could even doodle your beloved indoor plants within a room scene.

Botanical prints are increasingly popular as home décor. They look so classic and feminine and can adorn any bathroom or kitchen with a splash of brightness. Create your own botanical prints in an art journal by combining sketches or watercolors of flowers and plants with freehand calligraphy of the formal botanical names.

Even seed packets and gardening magazines are great fodder for floral inspiration!

Our Recommendation:

Dual Tip Brush Pens Art Markers


An easy way to begin journaling is with markers. This pack contains 30 vibrant colors with 1-2mm flexible fiber brush tips on one side and and 1mm fine tips on the other side of the marker, allowing you to create medium or bold strokes. Also, a great product for someone looking to try art journaling without a significant investment upfront as they are priced at $6.99 on Amazon.



Are you a bookworm? It may seem a little meta to fill a book with, well, books, but literature could make an amazing art journaling theme! Combine doodles of books and bookshelves or even the books you own. If you are more advanced at drawing, sketch out your favorite characters or illustrate brush-script quotes on the page. Vintage books are especially inspiring aesthetically. You could even use the mixed-media approach to incorporate quotes, fonts, or pictures.


Buildings are the new stairs when it comes to a satisfying doodle session. Play with depth and perspective drawing skyscrapers with hundreds of windows. Sketch antiquated row houses — think Charleston, Boston, New Orleans, or even the 18th-century homes of London’s Notting Hill. This style of drawing is great for beginners, as it relies on straight lines. It even looks great in ink pen or dark pencil. If you’re a lover of unique homes and buildings, this could be a great theme to start your art journaling journey.


Art Journaling Theme - Dreams

Do you dream often? Are you one of the lucky few adults who can frequently remember dreams upon waking? If so, you may have considered keeping a dream journal. Why not turn it into an art journal?

For example, you could jot down a note or two about what your dream entailed and then sketch out what’s in your mind’s eye or how it made you feel. This would be a great way to process your thoughts and discover new patterns in your dreams.

Loved Ones

A simple-but-beautiful idea is to dedicate an art journal to a loved one. This could take many shapes and forms. It might be sketches, more writing-heavy, or a combination of both, along with other elements. One might dedicate a journaling project to their child, writing down memories of those fleeting young years along with pictures and doodles. Conversely, a journal could center around a love interest, a parent or grandparent, or could even be a way to remember and cope with the loss of a loved one.


Calling all foodies! Food is a work of art, too, right? Though it may not be the most obvious inspiration for an art journal, cooking and recipes may be ideal for the right individual. For instance, you could craftily write out a recipe (particularly something sentimental) and sketch what the dish looks like. You could paste in recipe cards in a loved one’s writing and doodle memories of being in the kitchen! If food lights your fire, enjoy making it your own!

Positive Affirmations

Art Journaling Theme - Positive Affirmations

Most of us know that positive affirmations are a great way to start or end the day. Depending on one’s journey with self-esteem, this can be challenging or even feel a bit awkward. Using art to channel these emotions is a great and rewarding tool.

How this might look in a journal is a personal choice — whether it is more visual or include more writing. Take your journey with self-care and loving yourself through artistic expression!


In various Eastern cultures and religions, mandalas have deep meaning. They are also commonly used in a secular way as part of therapy programs, and they are commonly found in coloring books for adults. Why not create your own? The geometric shapes and patterns within mandalas are thought to be relaxing and centering and to represent organization, wholeness, and the infinite nature of the world around us. Even if life feels chaotic, drawing, painting, or coloring mandalas may help to focus your mind. It may even be a great piece of a morning yoga ritual — adding to your mandala journal. Another great thing about mandalas is that they can be perfectly symmetrical with the help of stencils or more fluid with a freehand approach. Do what feels right!

Our Recommendation:

If you’re looking for something a little nicer, I personally LOVE Prismacolor colored pencils. They are softer than regular colored pencils and offer a creamy texture, almost like marker combined with crayon. This beautiful set has 132 colors, but it will cost you around $75.00. They do have a 36, 48, 72 and even 150 count pack, but it looks like right now all but the 132-count and 48-count are sold out.
You can snag the 48-count for just under $40 on Amazon:

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils



A large portion of creative types love, or aspire to, travel. It may seem like an obvious choice, but traveling is a great source of artistic revelations. A travel-themed art journal could take a few different forms. It could be based around a single extended trip. Are you finally spending that month in Paris? Journal every day you’re there, jotting down anecdotes and sketch your surroundings. If actual travel is not on the agenda, you could document the various places you hope to visit or have visited through the years. This is another opportunity for creating a lovely keepsake with physical items, like tickets, hotel, and restaurant matchbooks, or foreign currency.

Furry Friends

You could create an entire journal of great memories with or sketches of the furry members of your family, both past and present. Not only are animals fun to illustrate, but it is an entertaining and creative endeavor to dream up artistic scenes involving your pets! Have fun with it.

Mental Health

Many artists find creating pieces about their mental health issues is a great way to express their feelings. An art journal focused on your mental health could be a great way to share your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find even find relief.

Art can help boost confidence, make us feel more engaged and resilient. In addition to these benefits, studies show engaging in an artistic activity also alleviates anxiety, depression and stress.

Our Recommendations:

Artistro Watercolor Paint Set


There are a LOT of paint set options on Amazon, but this set is one of our favorites. It comes with 48 colors including 4 fluorescent and 4 metallic colors in a portable teal box, which is great if you want to take your art on the road! The kit also includes 10 sheets of 300g watercolor paper, their exclusive water brush pen, sponge, drawing pencil, brush, eraser and swatch sheet. A great value for $26.99.




Apple Barrel Matte Finish Acrylic Craft Paint Set


Another great art supply product for the price, these Apple Barrel acrylic paints are great for getting started with painting. Acrylics are forgiving as they’re easy to water down and paint over if you make a mistake. This box comes with 18 assorted colors for less than $18.50 and the versatile colors are everything you need to create your new masterpiece!




Artist Paint Brush Set with Storage Case


This 40 piece easy grip paintbrush set might be overkill for some, but if you want to try different types of paint and styles of painting, this is a versatile choice. The set includes 17 Nylon Bristle, 12 Pony Bristle, and 11 Hog Bristle brushes for you to choose from. The brushes and carrying case will set you back about $20, but we think it’s worth it for the quality and amount of brushes.


So Many Great Ideas for Art Journaling!

Okay, now that you have a few ideas, let’s do this thing!

Grab yourself a sketchbook or journal, some paints, brushes, pretty paper, magazines, pictures, stickers, markers, scissors, glue, stamps and any other art supplies that inspire you to create.

Next, pick a theme and set an intention for your new art journal! And, be sure to tag ECHO Recovery on Instagram when you share photos of your creative pieces.

February Creative Challenge

Join ECHO’s February Creative Challenge

Challenges can be good. You get to learn something new, try out a new aspect of your hobby or craft, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after is second to none. When I develop marketing campaigns for ECHO (and my clients), I participate in a lot of challenges. It’s great for keeping my mind active, especially when it comes to creativity. Creativity is a gift, but like any tool, it needs exercise — a really good challenge can give you just that.

Whether you’re a creative type, a professional artist or wanna-be photographer, this daily photo challenge was made for you. Each daily challenge pushes you to try new ideas and techniques that you might not consider doing otherwise.

We’ve created this February Creative Challenge to help boost your creativity and skills. All of the prompts for this month are specific yet general, allowing you to add your own twist. We hope you enjoy this quest to stretch your skills – it’s yours to interpret in the way that most interests you.

If you want to take part, join us on the ECHO Recovery Instagram and use the tag #ECHOChallenge to be featured on our page. Now have fun!

ECHO’s February Creative Challenge

ECHO Creative Challenge

Day 1: Nature

The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.

Day 2: Hopeful

Feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event.

Day 3: Work

An activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something

Day 4: Bright

Giving out or reflecting a lot of light; shining.

Day 5: Color

The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.

Day 6: Magic

The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

Day 7: My Drink

A liquid safe for swallowing.

Day 8: Word

A single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed.

Day 9: Art

The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Day 10: Above Me

In or to a higher place than.

Day 11: Kindness

The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Day 12: Flashback Friday 

A social media phenomenon in which older pictures (such as childhood photos) are posted on Friday with the phrase (often abbreviated “FBF”) as an accompanying hashtag or caption.

Day 13: Small

Having comparatively little size or slight dimensions.

Day 14: Love

An intense feeling of deep affection.

Day 15: Books

A set of written sheets of skin or paper or tablets of wood or ivory.

Day 16: Light

Something that makes things visible or affords illumination.

Day 17: Silly

Having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish.

Day 18: Under

In or into a position below or beneath something

Day 19: Water

A colorless, transparent, odorless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

Day 20: Story 

An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

Day 21: Mood

A temporary state of mind or feeling.

Day 22: Together

With or in proximity to another person or people.

Day 23: Dreamy

Pleasantly abstracted from immediate reality.

Day 24: Food

Any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.

Day 25: Movement

An act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed.

Day 26: Fri-yay! 

A combination of Friday and YAY!, typically to indicate excitement about said Friday.

Day 27: Night 

The time of darkness between one day and the next.

Day 28: Creative

Relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

A Month of Creativity 

February Creative Challenge Quote

This creative challenge is a great way to push yourself to think of the world just a little differently. Try to expand the boundaries of your comfort zone. The more time you invest in telling a story, the better it is. The best artists produce work that makes people stop and think.

When does the challenge start?

Feel free to start this challenge at any time. This is something you can start today and even repeat each month if you would like.

What happens if I can’t finish the full February photo challenge?

Nothing, don’t worry! Even if you only do only a few days you are still a few days closer to beautiful photos and creative inspiration than you were before you started.

What hashtag should I use for the 30 day photo challenge?

So glad you are excited to join us! If posting on Instagram we encourage you to follow our page @echorecovery and use the hashtag #ECHOChallenge to play along!

We can’t wait to see your photos!

Women Face Additional Challenges in Substance Abuse Treatment

Women Face Additional Challenges in Substance Abuse Treatment

Most Americans know that addiction is a personal struggle, but many believe men and women generally experience similar paths when they decide to pursue substance abuse treatment. While many men and women experience significant hardship through addiction and recovery, they tend to face vastly different scenarios due to the social stigma surrounding addiction and the fundamental biological differences between men and women. Unfortunately, women tend to face a more difficult road to recovery.

Women Face Significant Hurdles in Addiction Recovery

Women Face Significant Hurdles in Addiction Recovery

Addiction can have unpredictable effects on anyone’s life, and it almost always influences more than just one life with every case. Both men and women can develop addictions to many different substances. In the early days of professional substance abuse treatment, there were no research areas dedicated to studying the differences between men and women.

Modern science has evolved enough that now researchers know it is crucial to study the effects of addiction on every possible subset of people. Studying the differences of addiction, withdrawal, and recovery between the two sexes can illuminate much about addiction as a whole. In fact, substance abuse treatment has evolved tremendously thanks to this shift in focus. Close examination of the physical, emotional, psychological, and societal challenges facing women experiencing substance abuse has revealed that the road to recovery may be more difficult for many women due to several factors.

Recovery Challenges from Biology

When it comes to addiction, men and women not only tend to experience drug use and abuse differently but also display different habits when it comes to how they use drugs. For example, women tend to consume smaller doses but generally feel the effects of most illicit drugs more intensely. Substance abuse also tends to develop into addiction more rapidly in women than men due to physiological reasons.

Men and women process drugs differently on a physical level, and women tend to experience the long-term or permanent consequences of addiction more frequently and more rapidly than men. For example, alcoholism has a high chance of causing permanent damage to the liver. Between a man and a woman with similar alcohol abuse habits, the woman is far more likely to develop permanent liver damage.

Another reason that alcohol and other drugs affect men and women differently is the sex hormones present in the human body. Men and women have different hormonal levels, and the sex hormones of women may make them feel the effects of some drugs much more acutely than men. Due to the cardiovascular differences between men’s and women’s bodies, women are more likely to experience issues with their hearts and blood vessels due to drug abuse, and they are more likely to die from overdose symptoms when they require emergency room treatment due to substance abuse.

Difficulty Facing Cultural Perceptions of Addiction

Women and Addiction

Women who abuse illicit drugs or alcohol tend to endure a much higher degree of social scrutiny due to the gender roles typically assigned to women, specifically as caretakers, nurturers, wives, and mothers. Social attitudes surrounding these roles generally create different expectations for women and their behavior, resulting in very different needs when it comes to substance abuse treatment.

Any person who goes through the process of substance abuse evolving into addiction and ultimately leading to recovery will experience some degree of shame, but this stigma tends to be more acute and harsher for women. Overcoming this stigma or confronting it among friends and even family members can be incredibly distressful, and women face a much higher risk of strained personal relationships as a consequence of substance abuse.

Psychological Challenges Facing Women

Substance abuse researchers believe that the pressure of issues concerning child custody, parenting, divorce, the loss or death of a co-parent or parent, and other traumatic events are more likely to propel women toward substance abuse than men. Women who suffer as victims of domestic violence are also more likely to engage in substance abuse as a coping mechanism.

Over time, addiction changes the way the brain processes information and stimuli. These changes tend to occur more rapidly in women, making women more likely to not only experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic disorders, but also more likely to develop long-term psychiatric conditions as the result of substance abuse.

Substance Abuse and Pregnancy

When substance abuse escalates to dependency and addiction, those who experience this shift may engage in risky behavior more frequently, especially when it comes to securing more of their drug of choice. Women face exceptional risk when it comes to the world of illicit drugs as they are generally more vulnerable to sexual assault and carry a risk of unwanted pregnancy while under the influence.

Whether a pregnancy is wanted or unwanted, expected, or unexpected, a mother’s substance abuse puts her child at incredible risk. Women who abuse opioids and other illicit drugs while pregnant risk serious permanent damage to their babies, increase the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and are also more likely to give birth to children with significant birth defects and medical complications.

Childcare and Substance Abuse Treatment

Many people who have developed substance abuse disorders over the years would not fit into the typical “junkie” stereotype, and some of them are parents with careers and household responsibilities. Mothers who develop addictions may have scheduling problems when it comes to arranging childcare while they go into substance abuse treatment. They may not be able to afford the costs of childcare and allow themselves to experience worsened substance abuse and withdrawal to make ends meet.

It can also be very difficult for women to secure legal representation or substance abuse treatment during or following pregnancy because of the social stigmas surrounding addiction. Very few addiction treatments centers in the US offer the full range of addiction recovery services, legal services, childcare options, and parenting classes that many women with substance abuse disorders need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

The Benefits of Women’s-Only Substance Abuse Treatment

The Benefits of Women’s-Only Substance Abuse Treatment

Studies into sex-specific substance abuse treatment has revealed that women tend to display more positive recovery outcomes and higher long-term abstinence rates after completing substance abuse treatment designed specifically for women. There are many reasons for this, but the noticeable increase in quality outcomes tends to fall to specific attention to women’s physical needs and breaking down the guilt, shame, and pressure that social stigmas place on women in substance abuse recovery.

A women’s-only substance abuse treatment program generally allows women to receive more complete and more specific attention to their behaviors, medical needs, and psychosocial issues. Women’s-only treatment tends to be especially effective for women who have experienced domestic violence or sexual abuse during their addictions. Ultimately, it is vital for any woman experiencing substance abuse on any level to understand the unique risks, challenges, and obstacles she may face on her road to recovery.

Echo Recovery exists to help those seeking substance abuse treatment find the programs and treatment centers most suitable to their needs. If you need a women’s-only substance abuse treatment program or want to learn more about what these programs can offer, contact Echo Recovery today and we can connect you with the resources you need to start your path to recovery.

The Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction Recovery

The Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction Recovery

A client of a prominent east coast drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility bounced into group one morning eager to share the arts and crafts project she had been assigned to complete the week prior. Clients were given blank paper mâché masks and access to a supply cabinet stocked to the gills with basic craft supplies and asked to visually represent the face they show to the world on the outside of the mask, and what’s really happening within on the inside of the mask. With her mask tucked safely inside a paper bag, she allowed her fellow clients to show off their designs as they narrated the creative process behind their inception.

The Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction Recovery

One by one, clients trotted out their creations, some abstract or cartoonish in appearance, others painstakingly crafted in their owner’s likeness, but all with some version of darkness or chaos lining their interiors. One was a study in black and white, unadorned on the outside and caked in globs of black tempera on the inside. One client, instead of painting the mask at all, chose to cut it to pieces that she let flutter to the floor with a dramatic flick of the wrist.

When it was finally her turn, she giddily unveiled her masterpiece – the Mona Lisa of rehab mask projects – hand painted to match her exact skin tone and the muted greens of her irises, complete with adhesive drug store eyelashes and finished with long shanks of blonde hair cut from a $40 wig overnighted courtesy of Amazon Prime just for the occasion. This was the face she had become accustomed to showing the world — one of perfection in the details while she skillfully concealed the 24/7 pandemonium that took place behind the scenes. Thus, in contrast to the flawless exterior, the inside of the mask resembled an elaborate high school science project – the architecture of a brain bedazzled with chaotic bursts of color, sparkling gemstones, and Styrofoam eyeballs projected in 3D by curlicue pipe cleaners.

Art Therapy Reveals the True Self 

Welcome to the world of art therapy, my friends. That client was me, and I unwittingly gave my therapist a treasure trove of information to unpack and process over the following few weeks with one simple display of creativity. Where I may have been unable to express through my command of the English language the existence of my obvious perfectionism, much less its origin, my mask spoke volumes about my state of mind and gave my treatment team a roadmap to my psyche.

How Art Therapy Plays a Role in Addiction Recovery

According to the American Art Therapy Association (, 2017), art therapy can be used “to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change.”

When utilized in conjunction with a drug and alcohol treatment program, artistic exploration gives clients the opportunity to express themselves through visual and symbolic mediums and communicate in ways that enhance traditional talk therapy. In its traditional application, art therapy is conducted by a master’s level professional whose training has prepared them for the highest ethical standards and culturally proficient work with diverse populations.

How Art Therapy Plays a Role in Addiction Recovery

Creative expression has become a cornerstone of modern rehabilitation programs, giving clients a multi-dimensional platform for exploring the more obvious as well as previously uncharted facets of their emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Using both traditional and unconventional mediums, clients can communicate in a holistic way that enhances their wellbeing by reducing stress and depression, bolstering self-esteem, and providing a creative outlet.

As a bonus, creative expression is often the highlight in a day that is otherwise filled with introspection and the hard work of recovery.

What to Expect in an Art Therapy Session

Art therapy and creative expression take many forms, from conventional paint on canvas and pencil on paper, to song and dance, sculpture, vision boards, graphic journaling, roleplay, and mural design. For many, these sessions will be the first time one has explored the arts in sobriety which can feel both intimidating and empowering.

What to Expect in an Art Therapy Session

While working with clients at the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center of which I am the Creative Expressions Director, I am often met with resistance by those who have never explored the arts, don’t consider themselves creative, or whose only artistic frame of reference is inexorably linked to using.

I encourage them to discard their preconceived notions of artistic pursuits and lose themselves in the process. We begin with an open mind and ask that they allow the process to be directed by the same higher power that we ask to direct our recoveries. Often, those who think themselves the most artistically challenged produce the most introspective, insightful pieces.

The Benefits of Art Therapy

The benefits of art therapy and creative expression far outweigh the client’s initial discomfort at having to reach beyond his or her safety zone.  These sessions help to:

  • Improve self-management by learning to focus and work within a discipline.
  • Alleviate depression by lowering the heart rate and bolstering dopamine levels.
  • Improve communication skills.
  • Enhance problem-solving skills.
  • Build self-esteem.
  • Mitigate pain, stress, and irritability.
  • Provide a positive distraction.

I personally witnessed the transformation of a client who had, prior to entering treatment, never touched a guitar without first getting high. She was a songwriter who penned dark tales of woe while under the influence and was petrified to unlatch her guitar case in front of her fellow clients. With a great deal of positive encouragement, she plucked through her first song sober and immediately burst into hot, fat tears. She did it!

The Benefits of Art Therapy

She performed in front of a live audience without spontaneously combusting, and at that very moment she created a new, sober frame of reference in her chosen art form.

Music with Maddie* was born and became a regular addition to the weekly schedule. Maddie wrote several original pieces about the journey from addiction to recovery, and after she successfully completed treatment, she flew to California to audition for a nationally televised talent show.

I’ve seen clients pick away at the edges of repressed trauma through guided painting projects.  I’ve watched the most introverted clients blossom like May flowers during an improv session.  I’ve seen wishes manifest into reality after a client enthusiastically shared the vision board that she was loathe to complete with the group.  Clients have prepared entire meals for their housemates after serving as sous chef during one of my cooking demonstrations.  There are those who have changed the trajectory of their recovery, their education, and their career based on projects we embarked on during our Friday afternoons that are entirely devoted to creative expression.

Art Therapy has a Lasting Impact

And that brings us back to the aforementioned mask project. That client explored her perfectionism through group and individual therapy, worked the magic of the 12-steps on it, and is proud to say that she now finds both growth and comfort in imperfection. It’s also what makes her a true believer in the transformative properties of creative expression in all its manifestations.

*name changed to protect anonymity

Hannah Coates Art

Art in Recovery: Hannah Coates Encourage Others to Work Past Insecurities

Hannah Coates

Artist: Hannah Coates

Art Medium / Style: Primarily acrylic paint, also ink/pen mixed media

Find Hannah Instagram: @hannahcoatesart

Meet Featured Artist in Recovery: Hannah Coates

We sat down with artist, Hannah Coates to find out more about her story and why she is so passionate about art.

Hannah is a 23 year old artist from Baltimore, Maryland. She found recovery when she was 19 and is now in school for Graphic Design with a minor in Fine Arts. She wants to now use her love for art to help others find their sobriety too.

Outside of art, she loves listening to music and looks forward to going to live concerts. She likes a wide variety of genres but says her favorite is hip-hop. She also noted that, “Concerts are a lot more fun since I have been sober.”

Hannah says her Love of Art was Inspired by her Mother

“My mom was my main artistic influence, she is an art major and graphic designer. She had an art studio at the house growing up and educated me on many art forms as well as who the artists are. We often went to art museums, like Baltimore Museum of Art and The Walters Art Museum.”

Hannah and her mom

“It is time for parents to teach young people that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou

Hannah Coates Art on Table

How Art Helps with Addiction Recovery

“Art has helped my 100% in my recovery”, says Hannah when we asked her if she feels art has helped her overcome addiction. She went on to say, “Life gets harder when you are just getting sober and art helped to settle my mind, make a distraction for my feelings especially when I struggled getting my feelings out, it was also a buffer for my loved ones because I was able to use my art to work through my feelings and not always bombard them”.

“I want to convey confidence and encourage others to work past the insecurities and concerns about judgement of their art work.”

Hannah Coates Art

Art Helps Individuals with Self Expression

Hannah was able to find her own artistic perspective by allowing herself to be open minded in her process of creation and finding her own voice as an artist. We asked her if he work has a specific focus or intention. She said that a lot of her work is focused on helping individuals overcome any lack of confidence they have in their own abilities.

“I feel like my focus tends to be towards feminism, I want to support women in art and help women embrace their bodies and sexuality without it having to be sexual. I want to convey confidence and encourage others to work past the insecurities and concerns about judgement of their art work.”

Hannah Coates Art

What would you say to someone who is curious about creating but hasn’t expressed themselves using art yet?

“Try not to be as concerned about others judging your artwork even if you feel you are not going to be good at it. If you have an interest in art you should try it. Be patient, willing to try and fail and keep growing over time. Remember, it’s about the journey, not just the destination.”

A Reminder for Those in Recovery

As a person in recovery herself, Hannah knows that we tend to be very hard on ourselves. We even avoid trying things because we think we won’t be good at them. This is sad though, as it means that we are missing out on things we could be really good at or enjoy doing, simply because we’re so critical of ourselves.

Hannah reminds us that it’s not just art we miss out on though, it’s life.

“Being critical of yourself translates to many things in life, not just art. If you love it, keep doing it. Keep trying and remember progress not perfection.”

Hannah Coates

How the ECHO Foundation Helps Artists in Recovery

The ECHO Foundation helps individuals who are struggling with addiction while in treatment and beyond.

Often times, a person new to recovery does not have the means to support themselves while in the initial stages of treatment. The ECHO Housing Initiative is designed to help these individuals take the first step back towards becoming productive members of society by providing scholarships towards safe and supportive housing and personal needs while in recovery.

In addition to the housing scholarships, ECHO aims to provide individuals in recovery and their families a voice in community organizations, networks and government initiatives that matter to them most.

We have seen the power of art in recovery.

Art offers a path to healing unlike other forms of self-expression allow. We want to share the stories, such as Hannah’s, of those who have used art to help overcome addition. Sharing real experiences helps bring people together. is a platform for artists in recovery to share their work, tell their story and bring hope to others who are looking for something to move them.

Why We Support Art in Addiction Recovery

Art inspires when words fail. 

Do you have an Art in Recovery story to share? Submit your request to us and let’s talk about a collaboration. Contact us here. 


Painting on Easel

Art in Recovery: Laura Mechling Revisits Roots, Gets Personal

Artist: Laura Mechling and her Mom

Artist: Laura Mechling

Instagram: @lalala____scribbles

Medium/Style: Pen & Ink, Simple Lines, Black on White, mixed media and collage work

Not everyone is an artist, or so it is that many people believe. True art, not only lies in the beholder, but is also a direct manifestation of each person’s authentic self. What we, as humans, can keep emotionally hidden will often cry out through detailed etchings and the brush strokes of time. Our painful truth and resolve come to life through art in recovery.

Why Laura Mechling

This is a featured interview on artist Laura Mechling. Although she is not in recovery her works are inspired by those close to her, friends and family who fight the disease of addiction every day. Mechling is a voice for many aspiring artists yet to be discovered, until they find themselves doing art in rehab. One of the many benefits of artistic expression during addiction treatment is the reconnection with the subconscious self.

Laura - Art in Recovery

Pushing Beyond Fear during Art Therapy

I would tell someone not to be intimidated to try something new,” Mechling mused during our interview. “I think people are scared of the unknown because we never know the outcome of taking risks. Testing out a new form of expression might allow room for growth and a sense of awareness of themselves and others,” she continued.

She also draws a correlation between creating art in rehab and the recovery process as a whole. Mechling explained, “Many people would rather stay in their comfort zone of living in old habits, however, allowing themselves the time to work through the process, there comes the opportunity for awareness on the other side.”

Greater awareness is one of the many aspects that can be both alarming and restorative to a person in recovery. In fact, it’s one of the essential life skills that support healthier decision-making during sober living.

Laura - Art Therapy

Inspiring Imagery Creates Healing in Others

Using visualization is a key component of the practice of mindfulness, a valued resource for those seeking ongoing and consistent refuge from the negativity that permeates the world. Mechling delivers visualization of thought in the places she’s been, the people she’s spoken with, and the moments that defy logic. To her, there’s beauty in them all.

Her mind’s eye is shared through articulate expressions through pen and ink, simple lines, black on white, mixed media and collage work.

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” Henri Matisse

Although art is meant to be seen and savored, for the artist it is merely an outpouring of either emotional release or thoughts channeled from a source unknown. Artists, like other creatives such as writers and musicians, can attest to their work as coming from divine intervention or another world.

Mechling reflected back on her earliest memories as an aspiring artist, and cites a special person near and dear to her as being a source of inspiration and support. “My mother was an art teacher and she would have mixed media available and allow me and my siblings to experiment at the kitchen table. But art really hit me in high school. I used all my free time to be in the art rooms.”

Our lady of Guadalupe (acrylic on velvet)

Drawing from Personal Experiences Is Artful

In order to get real with your art, you have to get to a place where “freedom of expression” comes from the soul, not your intellect. Mechling provides some of her favorite aspects of being in that sacred space of creating.

Art has always been an escape for me. I love the idea of creating something out of nothing.

When asked about a particular time in her life, when intention and focal points of her work had shifted, Mechling’s excitement was hard to contain. “I would say that my passion for art became strongest within the past seven years or so. I started looking at the world in a new light.”

This new light that Mechling mentioned is something that artists in recovery describe often as the metamorphosis of their healing.

Benefits of Artistic Expression during Addiction Treatment

Although Mechling is not a person in recovery, her message to those who are is resounding and parallels many of the reasons why more and more addiction treatment programs offer art therapy as a method for greater healing.

Once a person begins the recovery process, it can be likened to starting life over. It takes time, patience, and perseverance to remove old, self-destructive habits and replace them with newer, healthier ones.

Discovering how life feels again can be frightening and invigorating all at the same time. As emotions sway from one end of the spectrum to another, having the ability to find balance and inner peace is important. Art in recovery helps people find that balance while cultivating personal tranquility.

Laura - Art Therapy for Addiction

The Eight Ways to Reclaim Your Life through Art Therapy

In addition to the personal enjoyment that one gets by using charcoal, ink, watercolors or oil paint, clay, metal or other materials for the creation of art, the breadth of wellness it brings is astounding.

Art in Recovery provides:

  • Self-reflection
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-discovery
  • Emotional healing
  • Personal breakthroughs
  • Visual communication
  • Positive outlet
  • Relapse prevention

Using art to understand human emotion has been in practice for decades. Many years ago, psychologists and psychiatrists used art therapy in patients who were too young to verbally express their feelings. Known as incident drawing, children could draw pictures that would tell their story of trauma inflicted on them or someone close to them.

For the treatment of substance addiction, art therapy has a similar process from program to program and from person to person. It is in the details of the individual experience that decrees the differences.

Mechling Talks about Her Recent Change in Process

How inspiration comes is often hard to explain in words, though Mechling had no trouble revealing how it comes to be for her.

“I would have experiences and get a desire to recreate a moment on paper or draw a character from an interaction I had earlier that day. I can look at nature and take the pictures in my mind home with me and draw the memories in my own style.” She added, “I am fascinated with the ways children interact with the world around them. I am always thinking of ways I can draw the cycles of life and nature.”

Her strong connection with the human experience blossomed, redirecting her talent to Mother Earth. “This summer I have actually had a shift in my message that I want to convey as an artist,” she recalled attending two retreats, one in the mountains of Colorado and the other in Louisiana. “I now have a desire to create more authentic work that shows the beauty in nature as well as religious-inspired artwork. I feel that I am somewhat going back to the innocence of my childhood roots.”

Bird in Starry Night (acrylic on tree bark)

Get Up Close to Mechling Works of Art at the ECHO Recovery Art Show

Valentine (Acrylic on canvas)

To further showcase the importance of art therapy, ECHO Recovery is proud to continue this Art in Recovery blog series, featuring aspiring artists who found inspiration and recovery through art or who are inspired by those in recovery.

You too can support our featured artists and others by joining us for the first annual ECHO Recovery Art Show and Open Mic Night this November at the Bel Air Armory. There you’ll find a wide array of artwork to admire and purchase.

If you’re musically inclined, here’s your chance to participate in the Open Mic and share your singing, instrumentals, or poetry in motion. Just an art and music admirer? Attend and help make a difference to the addiction recovery community.

Why We Support Art in Addiction Recovery

Art Show

Event Date and Time: Sat, November 23, 2019 at 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Location: Bel Air Armory 37 North Main Street Bel Air, MD 21014

Artists Sign Up: Register to display and sell your work. 30 spaces available $35 Fee for about 10×10 space* *tables for displays available upon request

Musicians Open Mic Sign Up: Day of Event Short run time performances only

Tickets: $5 Donation**, children under 10 years old are FREE **Proceeds will be going to ECHO Recovery for 1st week sober living scholarships.
There will also be snacks, drinks available for sale. Your ticket helps Bel Air’s local Artists and the Recovery Community

Purchase Tickets to The ECHO Recovery Art Show and Open Mic Night

Come support Bel Air’s local Artists and the Recovery Community. Together we can make a difference.

University Of Maryland Wins Grant for New Drug that Curb Opioid Cravings

University Of Maryland Wins Grant for New Drug that Curb Opioid Cravings

The federal government supports the development of new medications and medical treatments through grants. They are awarded to research centers, universities, and companies willing to undertake comprehensive research and development projects for the benefit of the American public. Recently, the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland won a $12 million grant to develop a new drug that curbs opioid cravings and the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Elements of the University of Maryland Grant

The new drug, ANS-6637, is the focal point of the Institute of Human Virology’s new grant project, but the overall project concerns more than just pharmaceutical testing. The Institute of Human Virology intends to put this new grant money toward researching effective opioid use disorder treatment techniques, study the spread of hepatitis C, HIV, and other infectious diseases from intravenous drug use, and test the efficacy of ANS-6637 in patients who experience opioid cravings.

The Dangers of Opioid Abuse

The United States is currently in the midst of an ongoing drug epidemic that has resulted in accidental drug overdoses becoming the leading cause of accidental deaths in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that opioid overdoses caused nearly 48,000 deaths in the United States in 2017. Their report also showed that opioid overdose deaths increased sevenfold from 1999 to 2017.

Maryland has experienced some of the worst effects of the ongoing opioid crisis, placing the state among the top five states with the highest levels of opioid abuse and opioid overdose-related deaths. From 1999 to 2016, the death rate from opioid use disorder in Maryland more than doubled the national average. In 2016, there were about 30 deaths per 100,000 residents in Maryland, while the national average hovered around 13 deaths per 100,000 residents. The Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland reported a sharp increase from 17.7 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2015 to 30 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2016.

Securing Funding for the New Grant

The opioid crisis started escalating in the mid-2000s and has now reached epidemic levels in the United States. These numbers spurred many legislators and even private companies to develop new methods for fighting the growing number of opioid addiction cases in the country.

Amygdala Neurosciences, Inc., a California-based pharmaceutical development company, is the primary financial backer for the recent $12 million grant to the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology. Together, they are working in coordination with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to ensure the Institute of Human Virology can conduct thorough testing of new ways to treat opioid use disorder. The NIH developed their Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative in April of 2018. This grant is just one step in the plan to curb opioid use disorder in the United States.

U.S. lawmakers throughout the country have also proposed new legislative measures to help increase funding to the NIH and other organizations capable of researching and developing new addiction treatment methods. U.S. Congressional Representatives Elijah Cummings and Elizabeth Warren recently co-sponsored the proposition of new legislation to increase NIH funding, with a specific focus on curbing the ongoing opioid epidemic.

ANS-6637 Testing Results

University Of Maryland Wins Grant to Test Drug That Curbs Opioid CravingsThe Institute of Human Virology reports that ANS-6637, the new opioid use disorder drug in development, is a selective ALDH2 inhibitor. This means the substance can effectively block the dopamine surge commonly associated with satisfying an opioid craving. Craving is an integral part of any addiction cycle, and the dopamine rush of securing and using a dose of one’s drug of choice is a key biochemical reason behind prolonged addictions.

ANS-6637 is promising due to the unique ability of the substance to prevent dopamine surges from drug use without interfering with baseline dopamine levels in the brain. ANS-6637 has already shown positive results in laboratory tests on animals, with researchers reporting that the surge of dopamine felt after using certain drugs creates the euphoria or “high” associated with illicit drug use, particularly opioids.

The new grant effectively enables human trials, and there is a pool of potential test subjects available to help the Institute of Human Virology to test and confirm the efficacy of ANS-6637. The study hopes to test the effects of this groundbreaking drug on actual current opioid users.

Research Team Leaders and Location

The National Institute of Health opted for the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland to spearhead the new research into ANS-6637 due to the devastating effects opioid abuse has had on the local communities in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. region. The lead researchers for this new project are Dr. Robert Gallo, Dr. Shyam Kottili, and Dr. Sarah Kattakuzhy. Dr. Gallo uncovered the link between HIV and AIDS in 1984, and he draws heavily on his experience with infectious diseases in the team’s research into the efficacy of ANS-6637.

This new project has a six-year timeline, beginning with preliminary trials and pre-clinical studies of pharmacokinetics at the National Institute of Health facilities in Washington, D.C. The Institute of Human Virology will handle the second phase of the project in both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. This phase will focus on investigations of the efficacy of ANS-6637 as a treatment for opioid use disorder and safety for human consumption. The study will also explore the risk of death from infectious diseases associated with intravenous opioid use.

Stay Informed About the Effects of Drug Addiction in Maryland Here

Charitable Donations Needed East Coast Sober Living Facilities - ECHO Recovery

East Coast Housing Opportunities: Charitable Donations Needed for East Coast Sober Living Facilities

Sober Living and Recovery Housing

Finding a circle of support, living with others who understand where you’ve been, and connecting with those who have the same goals are a few reasons why sober living is successful.

Most sober living residents have met their addiction head-on in rehab, and have gone through a high level of treatment. But, transitioning back into a life without drugs can be challenging. Old habits, attachments to old acquaintances, and familiar places die hard.

Recovery housing offers a safe, stable alternative. With more freedom than a residential facility, yet the same accountability for a drug-free lifestyle, monitored recovery home programs provide a bridge between newfound sobriety and lifelong sobriety.

Sober Living Makes a Difference

Being accountable in recovery from addiction sets a precedent for maintaining a long-lasting recovery. This type of living environment positively impacts those working toward a better way of life.

Sober living residents are required to:

  • Follow rules.
  • Contribute to household chores.
  • Submit to drug and alcohol testing.

In the everyday world, successful people live according to a schedule. Similarly, sober living residents learn to create routine and live according to a daily schedule. They begin to go to work (or back to work, in some cases) and find success day by day in creating life out of the ashes of their destructive addiction.

Donating to sober living facilities makes you a partner in the fight against substance abuse.

ECHO Recovery is affiliated with ongoing support programs for people struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. Recovery housing comes with access to support group meetings and clinical, and even medical, services in the local community.

Opportunities for You to Help

The number of individuals and families who have gone through addiction troubles are staggering. Most people have been touched by addiction in one way or another.

We know many people want to give back to fight the disease of addiction. Even if you haven’t experienced it in a profoundly personal way, you probably have some idea of the destruction addiction can have.

Helping people heal has a tremendous impact on our world.

Where Donations Go

The donations we receive at ECHO Recovery go toward helpful causes like providing common household items to recovery housing residents. To begin to replace what they’ve lost, because the addiction has taken everything, we need your help.

Not just in monetary gifts, but the items you donate make a tremendous difference to those staying in recovery homes. Starting a life without substances includes being responsible for normal, everyday tasks such as washing and folding laundry, cooking, doing dishes, and making a bed. Believe it or not, many individuals coming out of addiction have forgotten or never learned the basic requirements of daily life.

We are grateful to receive items that are either monetary or non-monetary. Some of the non-monetary gifts we receive are:

  • Bedding for twin-size beds
  • Paper products: towels, toilet, cups
  • Soaps: hand, dish, laundry
  • Gift cards to stores: grocery, home improvement, gas stations

Items we graciously accept that can be gently used include:

  • Lawn equipment
  • Household cleaning utensils

Monetary Gifts

Do you want to help provide a scholarship an individual who’s embarking on sober living? That is an option available to you. Would you like to make a monetary gift to cover some expenses for a group of residents? That is also a possibility.

In simply giving what you can, rest assured that your dollars will be well appropriated where most needed.

East Coast Sober Living Donations

The national opioid crisis has put a premium on space at addiction rehab centers and, in turn, sober living homes. America can’t seem to meet the needs fast enough for those suffering from addiction to opioids.

Drug and alcohol addiction rips away relationships, jobs, family, finances and freedom. The emotional, spiritual, physical and financial bankruptcy caused by addiction devastates a person and destroys several lives. Many people have lost everything to this illness we know as addiction.

Some of those in rehab have absolutely nothing. And when you’re starting from ground zero, it’s not hard to be grateful for any little thing you’re given.

However, the one thing those recovering from drug and alcohol abuse do have is themselves. They survived. They are still here and they are fighting to keep their life and their recovery going. And, they need all the help they can get. We are here to provide that help, with your support, if possible.

East Coast housing can be expensive. And starting over from rock bottom is tough. We all need a little help once in a while, and this is your once-in-a-while opportunity to help.

You can help America fight this hideous epidemic right here on the East Coast.

No matter how or in what way you feel moved to align with the purpose of fighting back against the human condition of addiction, we love that you are considering helping finance our nonprofit work of assisting people in recovery.

Donate Now or See More Item Donation Ideas:

Recovery Home Donations

National Addiction Treatment Industry Events 2018 2019 - ECHO Recovery

Addiction Treatment Industry Events for 2018 and 2019

Professionals in the substance abuse treatment field touch on various aspects of medicine, mental health treatment and numerous other disciplines in their work. Continuing education is absolutely crucial for substance abuse treatment professionals.

New treatment methods, medications, counseling techniques and other advances happen seemingly every day, so there is always something new to learn that could benefit clients in recovery. Rehab professionals should take advantage of addiction treatment workshops and other industry events to stay up to date on the latest trends and methods in the addiction treatment industry.

Late 2018 Addiction Industry Events

The year is drawing to a close, but there are still several important drug rehab conferences and other industry events in the last few months of 2018. If you work in the substance abuse treatment industry in any way, these events can be a great way to continue your professional education and stay current on the latest trends.

National Conference on Corrective Healthcare

From October 20 to 24, the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas will host the National Conference on Corrective Healthcare. The National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC) sponsors five days of clinical education seminars, networking opportunities among industry professionals, and addresses from some of the greatest minds in the addiction treatment world.

California Addiction Conference (CAC)

The fifth annual CAC takes place from October 25 through 28 at the Hyatt Regency in San Diego, California. In addition to groundbreaking presentations for new concepts, products and treatment methods in the substance abuse recovery industry, the CAC will also feature several fun Halloween-themed events, such as a costume contest and raffles. Take advantage of this fun event to network with other industry professionals and for cutting-edge presentations and breakout sessions.

Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) Annual National Conference

From November 8 through 10, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco will host the 42nd Annual AMERSA National Conference, one of the largest gatherings of mental health and addiction recovery professionals in the world. This event will be a fantastic opportunity to discover new treatments and industry innovations and to meet other rehab professionals and key figures in the addiction treatment world.

American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting

The 2018 APHA Annual Meeting & Expo takes place November 10 to 14 in San Diego, California. More than 12,000 substance abuse recovery professionals, public health advocates and mental health specialists will attend this event, so early registration is a good idea.

Registering for the APHA Annual Meeting will also include admission to various poster sessions throughout the event, as well as the Public Health Expo. Attendees also have the option to register for the pre-conference Learning Institutes.

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium

From December 6 through 9, you can attend the AAAP Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Bonita Springs, Florida. This event will be a fantastic opportunity for networking, sponsorships and exhibitions. You can also attend specialized conferences and special interest group workshops.

This event will also be a great chance for health care professionals and addiction treatment specialists to expand their clinical skills through educational workshops and advanced courses in pharmacology and office-based opioid treatment. The AAAP Annual Meeting is a wonderful chance to explore multidisciplinary addiction treatment studies and specialized courses that bolster your clinical education.

2019 Addiction Rehab Industry Events

If you are unable to attend any of the events taking place over the last few months of 2018, then you should start looking into some of the upcoming 2019 events and preregister if possible.

Rehab owners can learn more effective addiction treatment protocols and stay abreast of the latest industry advancements, but these events are valuable to substance abuse treatment professionals of all disciplines.

The Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference

You can attend the Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference from January 24 through 27 at the Sheraton hotel in Los Angeles, California. This event focuses on cutting-edge addiction treatments and new therapeutic inventions, catering to professionals in the substance abuse treatment industry.

The Evolution Conference will feature several keynote speakers, workshop presentations and more than 70 exhibits from presenters of various disciplines. This conference will be a fantastic chance to meet with physicians, nurses, innovators, psychologists, and countless other professionals with diverse backgrounds in medicine, addiction treatment, and counseling.

Addiction Rehab Industry Conferences Events - ECHO Recovery

National Association for Court Management (NACM) 2019 Conferences

The NACM has a pivotal position in the administration of justice in the United States, providing educational materials, networking opportunities and strategic development to court systems all over the U.S. It is the largest court management professional organization in the world, and these events are fantastic opportunities to learn more about the role the criminal justice system can play in addiction recovery.

There are two NACM conferences happening in 2019:

  • The “midyear” conference takes place February 10 to 12 at the Marriot in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • The 2019 annual conference takes place July 14 to 18 in Las Vegas.

International Drug Policy Reform Conference

The International Drug Policy Reform Conference takes place in St. Louis, Missouri from November 6 through 9 in 2019. This biennial event features attendees from all over the country committed to developing alternatives to the ongoing and ineffective war on drugs.

Speakers will discuss revenue reallocation, government interference in private citizens’ lives, harm reduction and school-level advocacy. The keynotes, workshops, and exhibits during the Reform Conference will revolve around advocacy, compassionate addiction recovery strategies, and clinical education.

Seek Addiction Treatment Industry Events Near You

While these large events are sure to draw crowds from all over the country, you may not be able to attend all or any of them. You should also investigate smaller events at the local level. There are countless grassroots campaigns, advocacy programs and substance abuse-related workshops all across the country.

National-level events are fantastic networking opportunities and can help you stay updated on the latest trends in the addiction treatment industry. However, smaller local events can help you stay informed about the effects of addiction in your own community.

ECHO Recovery is a network of advocates, professionals, survivors and people still struggling with addiction who offer their advice, knowledge and experiences to others. Our network is committed to community education on addiction and recovery with the aim of reducing the social stigma surrounding substance abuse.

Read About Our Community Education Efforts