Journey's blog

Writing Tips

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Writing tips from Author Alberta Sequeira.  Issues we need to think of to get us started.

https://youtu.be/A5qtUGNh-7A

New Laws by SAMHSA on Substance Abuse

Al & Alberta

My husband Al and I are trying to “Modify” the Patient Privacy Act. Above this article are the new laws they are trying to pass for the substance abusers. It is mainly for the insurances, Medicare and treatment centers. Nowhere in the long article does it state that family has the right to get involved with the patient’s recovery program, unless the patient agrees. Families are the ones who can present what is happening or had happened in their past to have turned their loved ones into alcohol and drug abuse. 

This new law is not getting down to the actual problem with the patient. The Patient Privacy Act can actually become an enabler as the family innocently does with this worldwide problem. 

We believe that the substance abuse patient should have the “right to privacy,” but as the law stands now, it can actually be detrimental to their health and well-being. Our intent is not so much to change the Patient Privacy Act, as to modify it, especially where it not only pertains to alcohol abuse patients, but also in the case of drug abusers and mental health patients.

Families of patients are prevented from obtaining access to information that may help them to aid in the recovery of the patient when a physician determines that the patient may be in a life-threatening situation because of their addiction with their liver and other organs shutting down.

They are also allowing patients who are not in a healthy mental state to make decisions on what is best for them. If the programs makes them uncomfortable, they walk away from the help that is offered to them. Most patients hold the truth back from the professionals or tell them what they want to hear to get out of their programs.

Al and I believe that when a doctor has confirmed that a patient’s organs are shutting down because they do not want treatment or can’t get the willpower to stay away from the alcohol or drug use, that family should be called into a conference with the doctor or counselors and work together. After all, this is a family disease. Family members can give insight to the professionals with the truth in the background and events that are happening to their loved ones. 

We have 47 people who signed the petition below for us to send to the Substance Abuse Panel in Washington, including President Trump. Please, go to the link and sign your name so we can buildup the list from families who want this clause added so families are not left out to this new law trying to be passed, which will exclude family members. 

Thank You!
Al/Alberta Sequeira
Dartmouth, MA 02747
http://www.albertasequira.wordpress.com
[email protected]

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/modify-the-patient-privacy?source=c.fwd&r_by=3371843

Did you find this helpful? Contact me: [email protected]

SAMHSA Issues Final Rule Updating Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations

 

January 3, 2018 
by Heather Landi 
 
 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has finalized proposed changes to the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulation, 42 CFR Part 2, aimed at supporting payment and healthcare operations activities while protecting the confidentiality of patients.

The finalized rule, posted to the Federal Register on Tuesday, where it is available for review, builds on changes to 42 CFR Part 2 made last year. In a final rule published last January, SAMHSA updated 42 CFR Part 2 rules by allowing patients to provide a general disclosure for substance abuse information, rather than limiting authorization to a specific provider.

The Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records, 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 2 (Part 2) protects the confidentiality of records relating to the identity, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of any patient records that are maintained in connection with the performance of any federally assisted program or activity relating to substance use disorder education, prevention, training, treatment, rehabilitation, or research. Under Part 2, a federally assisted substance use disorder program may only release patient identifying information with the individual’s written consent, pursuant to a court order, or under a few limited exceptions.

The 42 CFR Part 2 regulations restricting how data of patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) is shared were written in 1975 out of concern that the information could be used against individuals, causing them to avoid seeking needed treatment.  But the way the regulation was written, it required the patient to consent every time their data was shared or accessed, which health information exchanges (HIEs) and healthcare organizations have found very difficult to implement.

The final rule published Tuesday will permit healthcare providers, with patients’ consent, to more easily conduct such activities as quality improvement, claims management, patient safety, training, and program integrity efforts, according to Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., the nation’s first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. “This final rule underscores our commitment to ensuring persons with substance use disorders receive integrated and coordinated care,” she said in a statement.

Dr. McCance-Katz said that modernizing Part 2 is one way that SAMHSA strengthens the nation’s efforts to reduce opioid misuse and abuse and to support patients and their families confronting substance use disorders. The rule also reflects an effort to better align Part 2 requirements with those of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), HHS officials said.

Major provisions in this latest rule include:

  • The final rule permits additional disclosures of patient identifying information, with patient consent, to facilitate payment and healthcare operations such as claims management, quality assessment, and patient safety activities.
  • The final rule permits additional disclosures of patient identifying information to certain contractors, subcontractors, and legal representatives for the purpose of conducting a Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP audit or evaluation.
  • The final rule will assist users of electronic health records (EHRs) by permitting use of an abbreviated notice of prohibition on re-disclosure more easily accommodated in EHR text fields.

 

The rule SAMHSA issued a year ago updating 42 CFR Part 2 was the first major, substantive revisions to Part 2 in nearly 30 years, but many in the provider community criticized the approach taken and called for closer alignment with HIPAA.  In that rule, SAMHSA aimed to facilitate the sharing of information within the healthcare system to support new models of integrated healthcare. But some associations attested at the time that the rule makes sharing clinical information for treatment purposes more difficult.

As reported by Healthcare Informatics’ Contributing Editor David Raths last January, the Partnership to Amend 42 CFR Part 2, a coalition of nearly 30 healthcare organizations committed to aligning Part 2 with HIPAA, put out a statement saying that the final rule takes helpful steps to modernize Part 2, but it does not go far enough.

“The new final rule makes important updates, but more work needs to be done. We look forward to working with our partners and Congress this year to improve the confidentiality law so that it continues to offer important patient protections without impeding good care,” said Jeffrey Goldsmith, M.D., president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in a prepared statement.

Some health privacy lawyers and leaders in the behavioral healthcare communities have noted that the only way to align Part 2 rules with HIPAA is through legislation. And, there have been recent efforts in Congress to accomplish that. U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the Protecting Jessie Grubb’s Legacy Act (Legacy Act) this week, legislation that aims to bring the regulations governing substance use treatment disorder records in better alignment with the privacy rules and protections for other medical records.

Faith: Finding our Way Back

VIDEO:

https://youtu.be/Xh9BA8ljL-w

A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje

Review by Thomas Cirignano

For me, reading A Spiritual Renewal was truly uplifting and inspiring. To use those words to honestly characterize a literary work these days is quite rare. It was refreshing that there was no sensationalism to be found, just the author’s heartfelt description of events.

Coincidentally, my reading of Alberta Sequeira’s story was well timed. It was a point in my life when I needed to be reminded that faith is often renewed when we most need it. Does that happen because we, as human beings, search for answers during times of loss and chaos, or does a Higher Power search us out when we truly need it? I’m not overly religious. In fact, I’ve been called “Doubting Thomas” more times than I care to admit. But even I could relate to this story because special coincidences, which most people would consider miracles, have happened to me, just as they did in this author’s life. It was good to read that I am not unique in that respect.

One of the biggest questions we all ponder in life is whether loved ones who have passed on, or other heavenly entities, such as God, The Blessed Mother, or angels actually do watch over us during our lifetimes. All I can say is, read A Spiritual Renewal, look back at the events of your own life, and then decide for yourself.

Reading this book was time well spent.

Purchase A Spiritual Renewal at http://www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Need a Speaker?

 

Speaker

Substance Abuse Talks

Since 2007, a year after losing my daughter, Lori, I have been speaking at halfway homes, court-ordered programs, jails, substance abuse rehabs, to their families, schools, and to the public.

My heartwarming talks are reaching out to the alcohol and drug addicts. I want to help them believe in themselves, hold their heads up high, develop the desire to recover, to realize that no one is going to get them to sobriety but themselves. They need to hear someone say they can, so, here I go. “You can do it!”Believe it in your heart and think it in your mind. I teach them how and why to forgive. The importance of having God in their lives. They will never be alone. And most importantly, to never forget the one word: CHOICES! It’s a very powerful word. These are some of the topics that I cover. No blaming, no accusing, just giving them back their souls and remembering who they used to be.
References from the Bristol Correction Office at Faunce Corner Road in North Dartmouth, MA:
1. Rui M. Lima, MA, MSW, LICSW, Director of Substance Abuse & Social Servies Programs & Treatment: Telephone: 508-995-6400 ext. 2821
2. Matthew Robitaille, Director of Classification and Progams; Telephone: 5080995-6400 ext. 2504

Email me for a quote: [email protected]

My books on alcohol abuse can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
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Spiritual Talks

I also talk to people on the spiritual side of life after stepping away from my faith after living fourteen years with an alcoholic husband and bringing my two daughters into a life of confusion, fear, and no security. Things I’m not proud of doing. 

We think God leaves us when in reality it is us who closes the door on Him. We have to open our hearts for Him to enter.

My talk focuses on watching my father, retired Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, die of cancer. I realize I let a tremendous amount of history go with him after he had been one of the commanding officers in the 26th Yankee Division during WWII fighting in Metz, Lorraine, and the famous Battle of the Bulge..

Three miracles get me to take a ten-day pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia where Our Lady has been appearing to six visionaries since 1981. She is giving them 10 secrets to be revealed to the world when they receive them. Two visionaries have one more secret to receive. The trip changed my life. I came to realize that I not only needed God in my life, but I wanted Him there. 

The story is in my memoir A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje.

I speak at Churches of any religion, libraries, schools, private functions or any organization. 

Email me for a quote: [email protected]

My books on alcohol abuse can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

 
 

Is Our Faith Getting Weak?

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With this modern world full of disasters, many have pushed faith and God out of their lives. They wonder why there are so many problems, especially the ones with no faith at all. 

We think we can live without God until something tragic happens to us or with a family member. That’s when we get on our knees and pray for a miracle. If our prayers are not answered the way we want or when then we give up on Him. God answers us in His way and time. Maybe He has other plans for us. 

Losing a loved one is the most painful thing to experience. When they are taken home to God, we don’t want to hear why. We just want them back. God gives us loved ones and then takes them home. We never know when He will knock on our door. 

Hard and painful times is when our faith comes into play. We have to be silent and listen to​ prayer. Praying is just talking to God; nothing more. You don’t need a rosary or novena’s, although, they bring us so close to God.

In A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje, I wrote this story from my personal experiences with miracles that happened to me before and when I traveled to Medjugorje. It’s for the reader who has lost their faith. 

Since 1981, Our Blessed Mother has been appearing to six visionaries in Medjugorje in Bosnia, giving​ them ten secrets to be revealed to the world when they receive all of them.​ There are two visionaries left to receive one more secret.

How can we not believe when Our Lady is coming down from Heaven speaking directly to the visionaries to repeat to us how to return to her Son, Jesus ​before it’s too late?

This book is for anyone from any religion. Mary is calling all of us. Read about my ten-day pilgrimage to this little, remote town in Bosnia. Read the miracles that I experienced over there and how I returned back to Church after fifteen years being away.

Alberta​ Sequeira
Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

 

CHOICES with ADDICTION

Wrong Way Sign

Choices. It’s still a powerful word for every person around the world. Those choices make us into what we become in adulthood. 

I believe there are three reasons someone gets caught up in alcohol or drug abuse.

1. It is highly hereditary. In my past family, I had married into, YES! My husband’s mother, sister, brother (his three children) and my daughter, Lori. It trickled down to past generations.

2. An excuse to follow the crowd, after all, everyone is doing it. What’s the harm? I can quit anytime. If my family got off my back, it wouldn’t be a problem. Who am I hurting? It helps me function. EXCUSES!

3. This one I think should be number one. Something happened to you at a young age that you can’t talk about or handle yourself. Sexual abuse I would say is the number sadness that is bestowed on a child of innocence. 

Here is my advice to all of you suffering from mental or physical abuse from the past…..hold your heads up high. You have nothing to be ashamed of and it wasn’t your fault. The person who did this to you is sicker than you. 

Ask God to help you forgive this person. Yes, forgive. It’s not easy. Why do I say this? Because if you can’t forgive, you stay stuck. If you stay stuck, you can’t recover. This anger and hatred eat at the heart of your soul. You don’t have to stay in this person’s life.

Think of it…the person may not even know you are mad at them or knows and doesn’t care. Don’t let this person take your future of health and happiness away from you. 

Cling to your counselor, a sponsor, or a friend who wants sobriety as much as you do. Want recovery more than life itself.

If you need someone to tell you that you can do this, well, here I am. YOU CAN!

Choices when the invitation goes out to parties, or especially Christmas time and New Years, to join them. When you walk into the person selling the drugs, you have to STOP….think for a second, and remember CHOICES. They are yours. You own them. 

Family can only love and support you. This is your battle to come out of addiction.

Last advice? Pray to God for help, even if you don’t believe. He already knows that. Ask Him to show you the way into opening your heart for Him to enter it. Prayer is talking to God. Reach out to Him. The answer may not come when you want it or how, but it will be in His time and way.

Believe in yourself and have faith in God.

Alberta Sequeira

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Buy Alberta’s books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
Email: [email protected]

 

A Christmas Side Gift

Yes, Christmas is around the corner.  It's a time to reach out to even your loved ones who are hooked on alcohol and drug abuse.  Why not purchase What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words?  It's a book for counselors, family members, society, and substance abusers.  You don't have to talk to your sibling, son, daughter, husband, wife, or any other person.  The thirty-one contributors tell you what they think works and don't in their recovery.  What open us to what they need from family members; one, stop the enabling.  They want us to "LISTEN" to them; not yell, scream or lecture!

This is an honest book with emotions from the substance abusers. Out of thirty-four stories, one has to hit home. This is their lives, not mine. Losing Richard and Lori, I wanted to know what I missed to help them. This is a book you can give without explaining a thing to them.  

Go to my site to order and look at the other two memoirs on addiction: Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. Go behind closed door to a family with two daughters who live in fear, confusion, and abuse.  Learn how enabling only brings the alcoholic deeper into their addiction.

The sequel: Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism. Follow Lori as she goes down the same path as her father with addiction. The wrong crowd.  Hiding events that happened to her in the past bringing her into depression.  Developing being bulimic.  How a family struggles after losing two loved ones. This book also contains my speeches behind closed doors to the addicted.

Visit: www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira for her memoirs and Narrative Non-Fiction.  

 
 

I am a Veteran

 
NOVEMBER 10, 2017
 
 

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My father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm

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<a href="http://">[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MfoQ0CLq9A&w=560&h=315]
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What would I change differently?

 

 

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What would I change after losing my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori, from their alcohol and drug abuse? I’ve been asked that question numerous times.

There will never be any doubt in my mind that Alcoholism is a family disease. We are all affected. I don’t believe in the programs for AA members to go in one room, Al-Anon family mates in another, and the teenagers with Alateen behind the third, closed door. 

Then I was told to let the alcoholic go their own way until they reach rock bottom, or come to their senses that they have a problem. Lori and Richie, along with any substance abuser, should never be left to reach rock bottom. My families rock bottom was their death.

We need to stop and listen to what each of us needs to recover. We can’t learn anything if we do all the talking. Is this easy? No, but it’s a start. Enabling, yelling, accusing, and doing nothing is unhealthy and our loved ones go deeper into their addiction.

It’s not a time to blame. I also feel if the substance abuser does not want help or make any changes, we have to try to mentally and physically take care of ourselves. Sounds easy. Yeah, try it. 

I believe in the power of prayer. Yes, no one could have said as many rosaries and novenas like I did for them, but God had other plans for them. I hate to admit the fact, the alcoholic has to do the work to recover. We can only love and support them. 

So, my advice is to try listening and talking. Don’t break communication or the demon will win.

My book What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is an educational book for family members of the substance abuser, doctors, counselors, and the public to learn what they feel they need from us to desire taking the steps to recover. The books can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

 

Alberta Sequeira

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