September is National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.

Read more here.

August 29th, 2016|

Soberlink Receives FDA Clearance for Medical Use

Soberlink has received 510(k) premarket clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for medical use by healthcare providers to remotely measure alcohol in human breath, for the purpose of aiding in the detection and monitoring of alcohol consumption. Read more.

August 26th, 2016|

New Hazleden Study on Mental Health in the Legal Profession

Recently, Hazelden and the Betty Ford Foundation, and the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (ABA CoLAP) published a study in the January/February 2016 Journal of Addiction Medicine entitled: “The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys.”

It has been decades since any mental health study focused strictly on the legal profession. As such, much of the prior statistics cited by Lawyers Assistance Programs were based upon studies that had long become dated.

This new study updates the statistics and underscores the stunningly high prevalence of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, stress, and co-occurring substance use disorders in the legal profession.

The study also emphasizes that in order to begin to effectively address all of the mental health issues that are tormenting so many in the profession, it is paramount to undertake aggressive educational efforts to raise awareness, promote wellness and prevention, and most important of all reduce the pervasive stigma that surrounds substance use disorders and mental health issues. JLAP will continue to provide educational articles, CLE presentations, and website information to the profession in order to meet these challenges.

It was also noted in the study that concerns about confidentiality and privacy are often significant barriers that can block an attorney from reaching out for help. As such, the study also cited the critical importance of work that JLAP and all of its volunteers do to confidentially assist professionals who suffer from mental health and substance use disorders.

You can view the report in its entirety here: The Hazleden Study Published in 2016: “The Prevalence of Attorney Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues”

March 10th, 2016|

New Law Changes Name of the Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Inc., to the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc.

JUNE 5, 2015
La. R.S. 37:221 has been amended as follows, effective August 1, 2015:
ACT 59 (HB 197) 2015 Regular Session Shadoin

Mark Suprenant, Rob Shadoin, Judge ??, Buddy Stockwell, and Mark Cunningham at the State Capitol

(L-R) Mark Suprenant, Rob Shadoin, Hon. Benjamin Jones, 4th JDC (Retired), Buddy Stockwell, and Mark Cunningham. Appearance at 2015 Legislative Session in support of the amendment of La. R.S. 37:221.

Prior law provided for the Lawyer’s Assistance Program to encourage the successful treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction among the judiciary, members of the La. State Bar Association, law students, and prospective law students. New law changes the name of the Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Inc., to the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. and expands the directive of the program to include counseling and intervention services for judges, lawyers, law students, and other members of the legal profession who may suffer from mental health issues. Existing law provides that any information, report, or record that the Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse of the La State Bar Association, Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Inc., or any member, or employee, or agent of either generates or gathers is confidential and privileged, and that no member of the Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, or agent, or employee of Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Inc., may disclose that information, report or record without written approval of the subject judge, lawyer, law student, or prospective lawyer. Existing law provides immunity from liability for any licensed lawyer, and his supporting staff, resulting from any act made in good faith while engaged in efforts to assist judges, lawyers, law students, or prospective lawyers in connection with substance abuse counseling or intervention pursuant to the programs of the La. State Bar Association. New law extends the application of these privileges and immunities to the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. to also include mental health issues.

Effective August 1, 2015.

(Amends R.S. 37:221(A), (B)(1) and (2), and (C)(1) and (2))

August 9th, 2015|