The Consortium's Educatonal Talent Search (ETS) program provided college and career readiness services/workshops to approximately 700 students in grades 9-12 at Burncoat, Doherty, South and Worcester Technical high schools, and Claremont Academy, and in 7-8 grades at Sullivan Middle School.
Addressing Substance Abuse on Campus
It’s not just alcohol anymore! A one-day conference.
When: Friday, April 20, 2012 - 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Where: The Beechwood Hotel, 363 Plantation St., Worcester MA
What: This full-day conference addressed alarming trends in college students’ substance abuse on campus, including the use/misuse of legally prescribed drugs, over-the-counter medications, and illegal substances. Discussions focussed on emerging drugs found on today’s campuses and frame a holistic approach to addressing student substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
The day includeed a continental breakfast (8-9 a.m.), keynote address (9 a.m.), morning panel discussion among area professionals (10:15 a.m.), luncheon speaker (11:45 a.m.), and afternoon breakout sessions (1:30-3:45 p.m.) on best practices on campus, pharmacology of drug abuse, pharmacotherapy, identification and intervention practices, and holistic and spiritual approaches to treatment.
Keynote Address: "Drugs of Abuse and the Brain" - Jose R. Lemos, PhD is professor of microbiology and psysiological systems at UMass Medical School where his research focuses on pleasure centers in the brain and the relationship to substance abuse/addiction.
Dr. Lemos provided this description of his address: "The 'reward pathway' is activated when a person receives positive reinforcement (e.g. 'reward') for certain behaviors. This also happens when a person takes an addictive drug. For example, the activation of opiate (e.g. heroin) receptors in the Central Nervous System leads to a variety of effects including the modulation of pain, and the regulation of the reward and neuroendocrine systems. The last process is directly controlled by the hypothalamic-neurohypophysial system (HNS), making it a relevant target for opiates. Furthermore, the HNS develops tolerance and dependence to morphine and alcohol suggesting that this CNS system is an excellent model for studying the physiological mechanisms underlying the addictive effects of drugs of abuse."
Presenters for “Perspectives from the Field: Substance Abuse on College Campuses,” the morning panel, included:
- Panel Moderator: Peter Rockholz, MSSW, LCSW is COO, Spectrum Health Systems and has over 35 years of experience in the behavioral health field, specializing in adolescents and emerging adults. A nationally-recognized expert in the areas of adolescent substance abuse treatment, therapeutic communities, and institutional culture assessment and change, Peter served as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, 2004-2009, under appointment by Governor M. Jodi Rell. Prior to Spectrum, as president/CEO of the New York Center for Living, Peter established an innovative intensive outpatient recovery community program serving students in independent schools and colleges in Manhattan. He has worked as a clinician, administrator and researcher within three nonprofit agencies in CT – primarily providing residential treatment services for adolescents and young adults – and has also worked as a national consultant providing technical assistance and training in 23 states for criminal and juvenile justice agencies, nonprofit substance abuse agencies, correctional institutions and the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, and Justice. Peter received his Master of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University in 1978. He is a licensed clinical social worker and a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine. He has authored numerous articles, papers and chapters, and serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Addictions and the Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, and is on the editorial board of the Offender Programs Report.
- Romas Buivydas, PhD, is director of clinical development at Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. in Worcester, with a background in human service strategic planning, project management and program implementation. He is a licensed mental health counselor and a certified addictions counselor.
- Lt. James Johnson is the lieutenant in charge of the Worcester Police Department Alcohol Enforcement Unit and Anti-Crime Unit. A police officer for 26 years, Lt. Johnson has also worked in the sexual assault unit, training academy, internal affairs unit, SWAT/Negotiation unit and patrol divisions. He also serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Coast Guard Reserve and currently holds the position of deputy commander of intelligence for the First Coast Guard District, Boston, MA.
- Lisa Remick retired in June 2011 after a 27-year career with the Drug Enforcement Administration as a special agent. During her career she was stationed in the Boston and Los Angeles Field Divisions and finished her career at the Manchester, NH Resident Office. From 2002 until her retirement she was the DEA's demand reduction coordinator for ME, NH and VT. She was honored as the New Hampshire Federal Special Agent of the Year for 2006. In retirement, Lisa teaches criminal justice at New Hampshire Technical Institute, talks at schools and with concerned citizens throughout New England about substance abuse, and teaches DARE in several communities. She is married and has two teenage sons.
Luncheon Address: "Their Brains Never Had a Chance" - Janina J. Kean, MS, APRN is president & CEO of Highwatch Recovery Center in Kent, CT and a clinical instructor at Yale School of Nursing.
About her address, Ms. Kean said, "Healthy brain development, from infancy through adolescence, is essential to life, with key implications for the addicted brain."
Topics for afternoon breakout sessions included:
Pharmacotherapy for Substance Use Disorders –
This workshop will review the medications that have shown to be promising in helping patients with substance dependence to nicotine, alcohol, opioids, cocaine and cannabis, and will present the evidence supporting the use of these medications in the context of comprehensive substance abuse treatment.
Gerardo Gonzalez, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Division of Addiction Psychiatry, UMass Medical School
Issues in Dual-Diagnosis in the College-Age Population –
Dual-diagnosis is a complicated topic for patients in the college age range. Not only are patients in this age range susceptible to the onset of numerous substance use disorders, this is also an age when many psychiatric illnesses present for the first time. In this break-out session, we will review the epidemiology of psychiatric illness in this patient population, and discuss the ways in which substance use can cause, exacerbate or be the result of these various psychiatric illnesses. Patient cases will be used to illustrate specific points about diagnosis and treatment. Finally, we will look at different treatment options that are available for patients who are dually diagnosed with both psychiatric and substance use disorders.
Amy Harrington, MD, Psychiatrist, Community HealthLink, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UMass Medical School
Pharmacology of Drug Abuse –
Studies indicate that nearly 25% of fulltime college students nationwide meet criteria for substance abuse or dependence. While alcohol has long been identified as a widespread problem on college campuses, abuse of illegal, over-the-counter, and prescription drugs continues to grow. At the completion of this presentation, the participant will be able to: 1) Identify commonly abused illicit, over-the-counter, and prescription drugs; 2) Understand how and where these drugs work in the body; and 3) Recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse of specific drugs.
Anna K. Morin, PharmD, Associate Dean, School of Pharmacy - Worcester/Manchester, MCPHS
Evan R, Horton, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy - Worcester/Manchester, MCPHS
Substance Use Identification and Treatment –
This presentation will provide an overview of the physiological and psychological effects of the major classes of drugs that are abused, as well as newly trending drugs of abuse; and it will examine tolerance, cross tolerance, and treatment for each drug classification.
Romas Buivydas, PhD, Vice President, Clinical Development, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc.
Legal Highs: Epidemiology, Abuse, Mechanisms of Action and Effects for Herbal Marijuana Alternatives, Bath Salts, Kratom, Salvia, Piperazines, Methoxetamine, Ecstacy –
This session will address the epidemiology, abuse, mechanisms of action and clinical effects of 'legal highs’ such as Herbal Marijuana Alternatives (Spice, K2), Bath Salts (synthetic cathinones), Kratom, Salvia, Piperazines, Methoxetamine, and/or Ecstasy.
Chris Rosenbaum MD, Attending Emergency Physician, University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Who attended: Student affairs professionals, directors of wellness and counseling centers, health services professionals, physicians, faculty, administrators, campus public safety, RAs, student leaders, parents, community leaders and agencies, law enforcement professionals
With thanks to our sponsors: