Christa Shifflett,  Executive Director of Warren Coalition, as well as Deborah Baldwin, PFS-SPF Public Awareness Specialist attend the CADCA conference, thanks to the funding provided by DHBDS. Here are their summaries from that conference:

CHRISTA: CADCA National Leadership Summary

The opening plenary was a disappointment with the new head of ONDCP, Jim Carroll saying that they had redone their evaluation plan for prevention and that they were going to use the number of overdose deaths as a metric to decide how well prevention was working as it is measurable and really what matters.  This demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of what prevention is really all about and no understanding of root causes or the importance of never starting to use or delay until C

First session I attended was Cocaine and Meth: The Quiet Epidemic with Dr. Mark Gold .  The two biggest take aways from this session were that Dr. Gold discovered that cocaine was addictive about 15 years before the DSM recognized it as addictive and that cocaine is the second highest source of illicit fatal overdose.  Cocaine is being increasingly laced with fentanyl.

Second session was NIAAA: Giving You Information and Tools for Addressing Alcohol Problems in your Communities with Dr. George Koob.  This session was 30 minutes in length and was read straight from a PowerPoint.  It detailed the different studies that are being done at NIAAA which showed that overall drinking has decreased among youth, but that extreme binge drinking has increased, although this is less harmful to the body than drinking more than 14 drinks per week for women and 21 drinks per week for men.

Third session was Shhh…Let’s Not Talk About That Now:  Stigma-A Barrier to Health and Wellbeing with Dr. Kari Finley.  The overall take away from this is that things are stigmatized that people believe are negative or immoral and that people have control over.  The biggest need for education is changing the perception that addiction is a choice and that people who suffer just aren’t trying to be well or that they brought it on themselves by choosing to do things that they shouldn’t. (Not sure how this applies to people who have food or shopping addictions-) Education is needed so people understand that addiction is an illness.

On Wednesday we went to Capitol Hill and met with Congressman Ben Cline who did a great job of trying to pull the youth into the conversation and was knowledgeable about addiction and Juuls.

On Thursday, I attended the best session of the conference Advanced: Taking Down Barriers to Physician Engagement: Make It Easy to do the Right Thing with Dr. Kathryn Duevel, MD.  The group had collaborated with Carris Health on ways to get doctors to decrease the amount of painkillers that they were prescribing to patients, to help them pay attention to people with chronic pain and try to find ways to help wean the patients off the pain meds and to encourage them to use an intake form that would alert them to potential issues with substance abuse or the potential of abuse.  They had created a complete toolkit that would make the process easy and not create more work for the physicians.  As a physician, Dr. Duevel, understood what was important to get physicians to participate.  I asked to have the tool kit mailed to me.

DEBORAH (Taken directly from the Northwestern Prevention Collaboratives monthly newsletter): Earlier in the month, members of the Collaborative traveled to Washington, D.C. for the CADCA National Leadership Forum. We attended some informative sessions to learn more about preventing opioid misuse and overdose in our community, heard from U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and met with Representative Ben Cline of Virginia’s 6th district.