Recovery School

Salt Lake Valley Building Youth Recovery Support Initiative

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a co-founder of LifeSource, a non-profit organization established in 2006 to fund healthcare-related projects. Our first project, entitled "Zero Unintentional Deaths," aimed at eliminating unintentional overdose deaths from prescription medications. The project was a success, and was recently adapted into the PainSAFE initiative and pushed onto a national stage by the American Pain Foundation.

Recently, LifeSource has taken on a new project, which is to examine the possibility of building a recovery school (or similar recovery support system) in the Salt Lake Valley. The basic idea behind a recovery school is to combine an educational facility (ie, a school) with a clinical facility. Substance abuse is a social problem that effects adolescents, and in far too many cases prevents them from graduating high school. By developing a recovery school in our community, we can help these troubled adolescents overcome their addiction while staying on track to graduate.

It is commonly known amongst addiction specialists that there are two primary factors that lead to addiction: genetics and environment. The first, genetics, is something that we cannot fix. Environment, however, is something that can be improved. By immersing troubled youth in a recovery support program, we will help correct the environment for those who have run into trouble with substance abuse.

Recovery support programs have many benefits when compared to other programs. The leading benefit to me is that such a program puts the focus on individuals as human beings that have made choices due to a combination of environment and genetics, and does not label them as criminals. It is my belief that prevention, intervention and recovery should be integrated into healthcare, and that such treatment should not be stigmatized.


Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM

Dr. Lynn R. Webster is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine and is also certified in addiction medicine. In his private practice, he treats chronic pain patients, many of whom are high risk patients with substance abuse and chronic pain. He also detoxes opioid-addicted patients. This dual role lends Dr. Webster a valuable perspective. He is dedicated to treating patients in pain while simultaneously working to minimize the potential for abuse and addiction.

Dr. Webster earned his doctorate of medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed his residency in the University of Utah Medical Center's Department of Anesthesiology.

He lectures extensively on the subject of preventing opioid abuse and criminal diversion in chronic pain patients, and he has authored over 100 scientific abstracts, journal articles and published a book, Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain: A Guide for Practitioners. He is the Opioids, Substance Abuse & Addictions Section Co-Editor for Pain Medicine.

Dr. Webster is co-founder and medical director of Lifetree Clinical Research. His research interests are diverse. He has been keenly interested in developing safer and more effective therapies for chronic pain and addiction.

He is the co-founder of LifeSource, a non-profit foundation established in 2006 to educate physicians, patients, and communities on health issues (with an emphasis on pain-related, scientific and social issues), as well as fund and conduct research that will forward solutions to improve the quality of life.

Dr. Webster is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He was also instrumental in launching the Utah chapter of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. This organization seeks to achieve high medical standards, improve access to pain care and educate all interested parties about the many pain-related scientific and social issues.

Barbara Bruhns Frey, PhD, obtained her doctorate from Vanderbilt University in 2004 with a focus on cognitive psychology. Working out of the Tennessee's Governor's Office from 2005-2007, she led the Tennessee Adolescent Coordination of Treatment (T-ACT) Program, a SAMHSA grant for improving the coordination of adolescent substance abuse treatment across Tennessee. Barbara moved to Salt Lake City in 2007 and has been working as an advocate and an independent consultant focused on building school/community-based services for youth and young adults suffering from the consequences of substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.

Her advocacy for improved recovery supports for those suffering from the consequences of a substance use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder began in 2005 while working in the Governor's Office for the State of Tennessee as a co-PI for a SAMHSA grant targeting improving adolescent substance abuse treatment.

It quickly became apparent to her that the state of care focused on treatment while neglecting to teach and build the recovery supports needed for people to manage their disease. Tennessee, as well the rest of the country, has the problem of incomplete treatment. For those youth and young adults who needed it, there are only a few slots for state/federally funded residential treatment and these were usually limited to 30 days. After residential care, typically hours from their home, they returned to their communities with very few linkages and supports to maintain their treatment gains and to learn to manage their disease. Although outpatient services were more accessible than residential treatment, some youth would have to ride a bus for an hour or so each way after school to receive these services. In response, Barbara started building services where youth spend most of their time, in their communities and at school. She accomplished this by building readiness for recovery school programs, establishing a pilot program in middle Tennessee for school-based treatment, and training service providers in evidence-based practices.

Barbara also recognized that the data and research around addiction services, particularly recovery supports, were limited. Consequently, she has advocated for increased evaluation, incorporation of evidence-based approaches and improved understanding of recovery supports. The needs of the addiction/mental health community are diverse. It is essential that the community develops and measures programs that are effective and accessible to people where they are in their disease and community.

Suzi Montgomery, Senior Producer/Educator, has been an educational leader in the Salt Lake community for the past 8 years. She spent six years as the Executive Director of Higher Ground Learning,an organization committed to providing innovative teaching and mentoring to students of all ages. At Higher Ground Learning she developed and taught curricula and programs like Learn Outdoors and an award-winning Youth Radio Documentary series. Ms. Montgomery also holds a Masters in French Literature and has done extensive work in teaching, oral history, documentary and writing. She currently, with her partner Sheri Quinn, produces a weekly science radio show that airs on KRCL and UPR weekly, called Science Questions Radio or SQ Radio. SQ Radio is the only science journalism radio program in Utah promoting public awareness and understanding of local science and technology. We tell the story of the scientists and how their efforts pervade every facet of our daily lives.

Her involvement and interest in recovery schools started through her relationship with Lynn Webster. They became friends while she was working with his son who was struggling with social issues & education. Her approach to education and commitment to forming personalized curricula, and perhaps more importantly, strong relationships and trust with students led her to a recovery school conference where she began to research the possibilities for establishing a recovery school in Salt Lake City. Though in its inception, she and a few others are interested in hearing from people in the community who are in need of or who would like to invest in a school committed to providing a safe and drug-free academic environment for our recovering youth.

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Media Coverage

November 16, 2012
Physicians take lead role in confronting opioid misuse, but still face hurdles: This is the second in a series exploring the intersections between effectively caring for people living with chronic pain and the rise in unintentional poisoning deaths due to prescription painkillers. (The first post is here.) The series will explore the science and policy of balancing the need for treatment as well as the need to prevent abuse and diversion. This week’s story looks at clinical efforts to reduce the risk of opioid abuse and overdose while still caring for patients; the next story will explore the role of public health officials in curbing opioid abuse. Read More

November 14, 2012
AMA webinar spells out 8 ways physicians can curb opioid misuse: The Association holds the first in a series of webinars to teach doctors more about appropriate pain management. Read More

September 17, 2012
FDA Warns of Serious Skin Burns from Topical Pain Relievers: FDA Warns of Serious Skin Burns from Topical Pain Relievers Read More

July 3, 2012
Methadone deaths may have peaked, feds say: CDC » Doctors are more cautious about prescribing methadone for pain because of federal, state warnings. Read More

April 9, 2012
Filling In the Gaps on Pain Prescriptions: Filling In The Gaps On Pain Prescriptions Read More

April 5, 2012
Opioid Rotation Practices Linked to Fatalities: Opioid Rotation Practices Linked to Fatalities Read More

April 3, 2012
Switching Opioids Increases Risk of Overdose Death, Study Says : Switching Opioids Increases Risk of Overdose Death, Study Says Read More

April 2, 2012
Changing Opioids Causing More Overdose Deaths : Changing Opioids Causing More Overdose Deaths Read More

April 1, 2012
Doctors kill thousands due to 'death tables,' Utah expert says in new study : Reference tool responsible in death toll from prescription painkillers Read More

April 1, 2012
Opiate conversion charts killing patients : Opiate conversion charts killing patients Read More

March 8, 2012
What Whitney Houston Teaches Us: Whitney Houston has died from an as-yet unknown cause, but prescription medications are rumored. Her struggles with substance abuse are well documented, because she honestly shared them with the public in hopes of finding her road back. Celebrity deaths bring to our attention the national public health crisis with prescription drugs, and the list is growing: Health Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, Corey Haim, Mike Starr. These people are not apart from or above us but hold a mirror up to our own lives. Most healthcare practitioners and counselors know a client, a friend or even a family member who has met the same tragic fate. Read More

March 2, 2012
LifeSource Co-Founder Lynn R. Webster, M.D. Receives Inaugural AAPM Presidential Excellence Award for Education: The American Academy of Pain Medicine initiates award to honor Dr. Webster’s work on the AAPM Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative. Read More

January 12, 2012
The Chronic Pain Problem : Millions of Americans are affected by debilitating chronic pain, and diagnosis and treatment remain a challenge. Read More

November 2, 2011
Study shows Utah a leading state in painkiller deaths : A new study shows that painkiller abuse has not only reached epidemic levels in the United States, but overdose deaths continue a disturbing rise. Read More

November 1, 2011
Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the US: Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed during the past decade. Read More

September 14, 2011
Family: Player died from methadone overdose: Family members say a North Carolina high school quarterback died after a big victory last month after accidentally overdosing on some of his grandmother’s pain medication. Read More

August 26, 2011
Dr. Webster Pain Med Safety Interview: Host: Dr. Brian Grieves Radio station # (715) 524-2194 About: Dr. Brian Grieves is a radio show host at WTCH-AM, an affiliation WOTE-AM, both radio stations at Wisconsin. Every Saturday he gives his professional advice on "Health Talk" to his avid listeners in Shawano. Prior to working as a chiropractor, Grieves earned his Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin, a doctorate degree from Northwestern College, and his Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts. Read More

June 30, 2011
Dramatic increase of prescription-drug abusers seeking treatment: Dr. Webster joins KCPP to discuss trends in prescription drug abuse. Read More

June 23, 2011
'Rapid detox' a quick fix for opiate addiction?: USA Today Read More

June 15, 2011
LIFESOURCE ANNOUNCES NEW STUDY FINDINGS AVAILABLE ON DEATHS RELATED TO PRESCRIPTION OPIOD THERAPY: Nonprofit organization strives to address one of the nation’s biggest healthcare problems Read More

April 27, 2011
American Pain Foundation Announces New NSAID and Acetaminophen Pain Medication Safety Module and Public Service Announcement for PainSAFE Read More

April 20, 2011
U.S. Aims to Reduce Overdose Deaths, But Will the New Plan Work?: U.S. Aims to Reduce Overdose Deaths, But Will the New Plan Work? By MAIA SZALAVITZ Wednesday, April 20, 2011     The Obama administration announced on Tuesday a new initiative to reduce prescription painkiller Read More

April 19, 2011
Striving Toward Quality Pain Management: The epidemic of untreated chronic or recurrent pain has lasted for decades, yet millions of people are still not adequately treated. One significant barrier to effective pain management is that clinicians and patients are often reluctant to talk about pain... Read More

April 11, 2011
National Prescription Drug Abuse Expert From Utah To Present At Public Town Hall Meeting In Reading: Medical experts and law enforcement provide insights on adolescent prescription drug addiction Read More

March 22, 2011
National Prescription Drug Abuse Experts To Meet With White House Policy Makers: Experts will address prescription pain medication misuse and accidental overdose deaths with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Read More

March 10, 2011
National Prescription Drug Abuse and Overdose Deaths Expert Addresses Healthcare Professionals In Houston: Lynn R Webster, M.D. Read More

February 12, 2011
For Some Troops, Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results: February 12, 2011 This article was reported by James Dao, Benedict Carey and Dan Frosch and written by Mr. Dao.   In his last months alive, Senior Airman Anthony Mena rarely left home without a backpac Read More

February 5, 2011
There are ways to help, prevent prescription drug abuse:   CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Recently The Charleston Gazette ran a series on the emerging epidemic of prescription drug abuse. In a state with the highest rate of drug-related deaths, highlighting prescription drug abuse is an important public Read More

January 24, 2011
Morphine/Oxycodone Combination Superior to Separate Components: Montreal Read More

January 20, 2011
I Am An Addict:   Millions of older Americans are making this confession. Families are being torn apart. The good news: There's help Clean and sober for more than five years, Ron Dash has rebuilt his marriage and his life. “When I saw what Read More

January 10, 2011
Patients suffer when doctors are too scared to prescribe pain pills : Patients suffer when doctors are too scared to prescribe pain pills Monday, January 10, 2011; 8:36 PM    Every American should be concerned about the kind of message sent by the Jan. 2 front-page article "Doctors who pre Read More

December 15, 2010
Chronic pain patients, providers get new website:       Kathy Hahn Read More

December 9, 2010
Should an Overdose Antidote Be Made More Accessible?:   I've been writing about naloxone — the antidote to overdose of heroin, oxycodone or similar drugs — for more than 10 years, most recently for TIME here. The dru Read More

November 9, 2010
Addiction to painkillers hobbles more patients : ST. LOUIS — Nichole Marie Case unwittingly became dependent on opioid painkiller drugs. She's not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated in 2008 that 1.85 million people in the United Stat Read More

October 25, 2010
Opioid safety is focus of $1 million-a-year educational initiative :   Opioid safety is focus of $1 million-a-year educational initiative Industry-supported PainSAFE targets how physicians and patients can avoid abuses and misuses of pain treatments. A group that represents patients living with pai Read More

February 11, 2010
The Effect of Academic Detailing on Curbing Opioid-Related Deaths in Utah

February 11, 2010
Root Cause Analysis for Unintentional Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids in Chronic Pain Patients Reveals Disproportionate Methadone Involvement

February 11, 2010
Costs of Oral Pain Medications Pre-IT Pump Implantation Compared to Post-IT Pump Implantation: A Retrospective Analysis

February 11, 2010
Select Medical-Legal Reviews of Unintentional Overdose Deaths

February 11, 2010
Comparison Of The Theoretical Cost Of Morphine And Prialt

November 18, 2009
To Help Healing, Doctors Pay More Attention to Pain. Morning Edition. National Public Radio.: The old notion that pain is somehow "good" for you should be put to rest for good, say health officials. They are increasingly recognizing that control of pain leads to more rapid recovery for hospitalized patients, and can even cut costs. Read More

November 28, 2006
National Expert from Utah Spearheads Educational Campaign: FDA Issues Methadone Warning: Providing Safe Access to Pain Medications. SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – November 28, 2006 – The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning yesterday to healthcare profe Read More

October 24, 2006
Prescription Medication Deaths Are On The Rise: Six Steps You Should Know: National Expert Calls for "Zero Unintentional Deaths" with Brigham City Physicians  SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – National pain medicine expert Dr. Lynn R. Webster will present his education campaign entitled Read More

October 18, 2006
Local Pain Medicine Specialist Calls for Zero Unintentional Deaths: National Education Campaign Comes to Brigham City Community Physicians. SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – October 18, 2006 – Dr. Lynn R. Webster, President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and Medical Directo Read More

October 18, 2006
National Expert Calls for Zero Unintentional Deaths: National Expert Calls for "Zero Unintentional Deaths" with Hawaiian Physicians SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – National pain medicine expert Dr. Lynn R. Webster will present his education campaign entitled “Zero Unintentional Overdose D Read More

September 27, 2006
Methadone Related Deaths On The Rise : Six Steps You Should Know SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dr. Lynn R. Webster, President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and Medical Director of Lifetree Clinical Research® & Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City, announces six steps to avoid acci Read More

September 20, 2006
Local Pain Medicine Specialist Calls for Zero Unintentional Deaths: Statewide Education Campaign Goes National SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dr. Lynn R. Webster, President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and Medical Director of Lifetree Clinical Research® & Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City, announced that h Read More

September 18, 2006
Local Pain Medicine Specialist Calls For Zero Unitentional Deaths: National Education Campaign Comes to St. George Community SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dr. Lynn R. Webster, President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and Medical Director of Lifetree Clinical Research® & Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City, a Read More

June 8, 2006
Dr. Lynn R Webster Kicks Off Statewide Education Campaign: LOCAL PAIN MEDICINE SPECIALIST CALLS FOR ZERO UNINTENTIONAL DEATHS SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dr. Lynn R. Webster, President of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and Medical Director of Lifetree Clinical Research® &a Read More

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