Providing Support for Families Managing Individuals With Substance Use Disorders

This week, August 28 – September 3, is Overdose Awareness Week. In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, The UHNW Institute has compiled a few resources to inform our community about how to prevent overdose and provide support to firms for families managing individuals with substance use disorders.


1.     Article – NPR – As more teens overdose on fentanyl, schools face a drug crisis unlike any other


A piece on the “grim crises happening across the country” of fentanyl entering schools and killing teens. 


2.     Website –


A resource focused on building a future where our healthcare system, and our society, treats addiction with science and compassion – the way we do with any other chronic illness – so those touched by this disease don’t experience shame or stigma.


3.     Podcasts – Beyond the Balance Sheet –


One Family’s Journey of Love and Loss With Peter O’Connor & Arden O’Connor Sr.

Peter and Arden O’Connor Sr., parents of Arden O’Connor, Founder, and CEO of O’Connor Professional Group, share their experiences navigating the behavioral health care system with their youngest son, Chris. Arden Sr. and Peter were surprised by the early onset and intensity of Chris’ substance use. They join Diana to talk about the professionals they hired and how having financial resources was not the only solution to finding appropriate care for Chris. Arden Sr. reveals the helpful advice she received on their journey and which characteristics of the O’Connor family helped them survive and grow.


Transforming Tragedy Into Advocacy With Gary Mendell

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit focused on reversing the addiction crisis in America. Gary’s son, Brian, tried drugs and alcohol which ultimately led to addiction. Unfortunately, Brian died of this addiction disease that affects more than 22 million Americans every day. Gary discusses the warning signs that families should look out for, when worried if their child may be using substances. Tune in to this episode of Beyond the Balance Sheet as Gary talks all about Shatterproof and how they are changing the country’s consciousness around addiction.


4.     Podcast – Just Science – Addressing the Stigma of Substance Abuse Disorder


In episode nine of the 2021 Illicit Substance Use Response season, Just Science interviews Clarence Jordan, the Vice President of Wellness and Recovery at Beacon Health Options, to discuss stigma and its impact to programs designed to support those with substance use disorder and on individual level outcomes. 


5.     Websites – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Overdose Prevention & Drug Overdose Deaths

Information on Drug overdose deaths and prevention. These deaths can be prevented. See how CDC is working to prevent overdoses and substance use-related harms with the following strategies.


6.     Article – Politico – Fentanyl is killing kids. State lawmakers are searching for answers.


Families grieving lost children want policymakers to take emergency action.