Auburn pharmacy’s COACH and ADPH collaborating to host Substance Misuse Summit
The Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy’s Center for Opioid Research, Education and Outreach and the Alabama Department of Public Health, or ADPH, are partnering to host the 2023 Substance Misuse Summit on Feb. 3 in Montgomery, Alabama.
The day-long event will take place at Frazer Church at 6000 Atlanta Highway. Check-in begins at 8 a.m., with the program beginning at 8:45 a.m. The summit is open to a broad audience, including health care professionals, social workers, community leaders, law enforcement and first responders.
Up to eight continuing education hours are available for certain disciplines. The cost of the summit is $25. More information can be found at aub.ie/coachsummit.
“Our 2023 summit’s theme centers around both current and emerging issues related to substance misuse in Alabama,” said Brent Fox, one of the summit organizers. “We will emphasize that no one individual or profession can tackle the substance misuse problem in our state. It is a multidimensional problem requiring an interdisciplinary solution, and Alabamians should collaborate with one another, based on their individual experiences, content knowledge and available resources to tackle this crisis.”
Featured speakers at the summit include a variety of health care and legal experts, with Attorney General Steve Marshall, Mental Health Commissioner Kimberly Boswell and Public Health Officer Scott Harris opening the event.
Participants from all walks of life are invited to join the summit to learn how they can make an impact in the community and fight substance misuse. Bringing a diverse group together reinforces the message that communication and collaboration are key to combatting the crisis.
“We learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that there is value in being in the same room when addressing complex issues,” said Fox. “The summit will provide a forum for a diverse group of stakeholders to engage in an open dialogue regarding current issues and potential solutions.”
The summit features a broad program, including timely information on the recently enacted medical marijuana law in Alabama. Other topics include a State of the State update, an overview of resources in Alabama, information on the prescription drug monitoring program, fentanyl and fentanyl test strip distribution programs.
“The entire day will address timely topics relevant for attendees, including the recently passed legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana in certain circumstances, a topic we felt it pertinent to include during this year’s summit,” said Fox. “Other topics include updates from state leaders regarding state challenges and priorities and documentation strategies and tools to ensure patient safety and improve communication between providers. Additionally, fentanyl remains a critically important issue throughout the state, and we have two sessions related to fentanyl trends and impact.”
For those that attend, Fox hopes they leave informed and empowered to go back to their communities and make an impact.
“Individuals from all walks of life and professions are working to combat this crisis and make a difference in the lives of those struggling with substance use disorders,” said Fox. “It is important for these individuals to share their experiences and to learn about available resources to assist those living with substance use disorders.”
The summit is made possible by grant funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.
Submitted by: Matt Crouch