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Session Details and Conference Speakers

— Morning Plenary —


Defining the Disease of Addiction: Disease vs. Choice

Presented By: Jeff Georgi, M.Div., MAH, LCAS, LPC, CGP

For many years the scientific community has been clear that a diagnosis of drug and or alcohol dependency meets the same criteria as asthma, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s in terms of its definition as a disease. All the above are chronic and incurable yet to treatable. All have biological, psychological, social and spiritual variables that conspire to express the disease within the lives of the afflicted. Unfortunately the medical community, the general public and the treatment community has continued to confuse what we loosely term as addiction with poorly placed choices or failures of character. Such a position is not only ill founded but dangerous. Only 50 years ago it was generally believed that asthma was caused in large measure by over protective mothers. As absurd as this position seems today it made the appropriate treatment of asthma difficult and led the to unnecessary guilt and shame. To misunderstand the complexity of substance use dependency as any saying other than the disease leads to an appropriate treatment, misplaced interventions, public stereotyping and unnecessary mortality.


— Administrative Track —


Ethics for OTP Professionals

Presented By: Kenny House

This presentation will cover five (5) primary principles of Ethics, to ensure that the OTP professional knows how to practice both with co-workers and with patients in a variety of situations. Interactive dialogue will ensure the engagement of the participants in this session.

Understanding Addiction for OTP Support & New Professionals

Presented By: Kenny House

This presentation will cover the basics of addiction, to ensure that the OTP support and new professional better understand how addiction works, and what other mental health components influence the addiction process. Interactive dialogue will help with real-life strategies of successful engagement of our patients.


Confidentiality Principles for OTP Professionals

Presented By: Kenny House

This presentation will cover all of the basics of confidentiality, both by principles and relevant guidelines, to ensure that the OTP professionals knows what is expected of them in a variety of situations. A quiz and interactive dialogue will ensure the engagement of the participants in this session.



— Clinical Track —


Advocacy and MAT: Where to Start and What to Do?

Presented By: Katie Clark

Stigma associated with substance use disorder can have a negative affect on people with the disorder, their friends and family, and providers who work with this population. Lack of information and misinformation can contribute to stigma. An effective way to decrease stigma, engage in professional development, and improve your organization’s image in the community is to engage in advocacy activities. This session will explore identifying readiness to engage in advocacy activities, potential areas to begin, benefits of advocacy, and making a plan to start/improve your advocacy activities.

Post-Partum Counseling for Women in MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment)

Presented By: Katie Clark

There is a lot to learn about treating pregnant women in MAT for opioid dependence. Over the past few years there has been an increase of materials available on this topic. However, treatment goes on after the pregnancy. This session will explore working with post-partum women and clinical issues that may arise during this time including: fostering treatment retention, breastfeeding, relapse prevention, and mental health.


Reducing Drug Overdoses in North Carolina with the “911 Good Samaritan/Alcohol Amnesty/Access to Narcan” Bill

Presented By: Leilani Attilio, RN, BSN, MPH & Robert Childs, MPH

Unintentional drug overdoses in North Carolina have reached a tipping point. By 2017, if left unabated, they will become the leading cause of accidentals deaths in the state. Most unintentional drug overdoses are caused by prescription medications in particular opiates. In response to this public health epidemic, on April 9th, 2013 Gov. McCrory signed Senate Bill 20 (SB20)—“911 Good Samaritan/Alcohol Amnesty/Access to Narcan” bill. SB20 is one of the most comprensive overdose bills in the country, which includes limited criminal immunity to the person who calls 911 and the overdose victim and provides immunity from civil liability to the prescriber of Narcan and the administrator and is currently law. In the class we will discuss the epidemiology of unintentional drug overdoses in NC, review SB20 components, legal implications of SB20 and how to set up a Narcan distribution program.



— Nursing Track —


Methadone and Buprenorphine During Pregnancy: Maternal, Fetal, and Neonatal Considerations

Presented By: Hendree Jones, PhD

This presentation will review the historical and current context of opioid use and opioid agonist treatment during pregnancy. Next, it will provide a comparison of methadone v. buprenorphine: maternal and neonatal outcomes including the risks and benefits of medication exposure during pregnancy and postpartum issues including pain management and breastfeeding. Finally, neonatal opioid withdrawal ( i.e., Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome): factors and treatments will be reviewed.

Nursing Ethics at the OTP

Presented By: Jana Kaye Burson M.D

This presentation will explain accepted ethical standards for addiction professionals and illustrate with case studies.



Medications Used in the Opiod Treatment Program: Methadone, Buprenorphine and Naltrexone

Presented By: Jana Kaye Burson M.D

This session will cover the pharmacology of methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Join us for an in-depth discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of each.



— Leadership/New Manager Track —


What to Expect During a DEA Audit

Presented By: Brian H. Reise

The presenter will discuss the major elements of an onsite Scheduled Investigation of a facility registered with DEA as a Narcotic Treatment Program. Some of the major topics to be discussed are recordkeeping, security and controlled substance accountability.

Feeling Stressed or Having Desserts: Which Do You Prefer?

Presented By: Nanci Appleman-Vassil, MA, NCC, BCC

Come explore in this highly interactive 90 minute session, you will learn the signs and symptoms of stress and explore and discover some tools and techniques for managing your emotions and actions to diffuse that stress to enjoy Desserts!


Leadership Essentials: 18 Keys to Engaging Employees

Presented By: Nanci Appleman-Vassil, MA, NCC, BCC

Engaging employees in the workplace today is extremely challenging with four different generations working together. In this highly interactive 90 minute session, you will learn 18 keys to successfully engaging employees to maximize the talents and skills they bring to the organization.