Prescription drug abuse conference scheduled for next week

Published 4:16 pm Monday, August 7, 2017

As efforts intensify to tackle drug abuse nationwide, Northeast Tennessee is continuing the initiative of raising awareness.
East Tennessee State University’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services and the Northeast Tennessee Prevention Advisory Council are presenting the third annual “A Tough Pill to Swallow: Addressing the Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse” all-day conference Friday, Aug. 18, at the Millennium Centre in Johnson City. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:45 p.m.
Individuals can visit or register the day-of to participate in the event.
Fees to attend include:
• Physicians – $120
• Non-physicians – $100
• Student/Resident – $60
• Non-Medical Prevention Specialists and Substance Abuse Members – $60
Breakfast and lunch will be provided during the day by Centre staff.
Jennifer Berven, Insight Alliance — based in Washington County — director and event activities coordinator, stated the event allows physicians an opportunity to meet the state’s prescribing practices credit requirements and citizens to learn more about what’s being done to combat drug abuse at a state and national level.
“There’s been a lot of effort locally to raise awareness for abuse of opioids and prescription drugs,” Berven told the Elizabethton Star Monday. The director added that various drug prevention coalitions within the region are participating, including Carter County.
Multiple topics will be discussed, Berven added, including assessing alternative methods for pain treatment, how to evaluate patients for substance abuse, demonstrate under Naxolone and learn more about the state’s guidelines to prescribing pills.
Friday’s morning portion will consist of a variety of topics, including state guidelines on opioid safe prescribing presented by Steven J. Baumrucker, associate editor and chief for the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Various health providers will host a panel from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. providing an update of the opioid epidemic, including prescriptions versus reality.
Following a community resources seminar for attendees, lunch will be provided to gear up for the afternoon breakout sessions.
Berven added there will be three breakout sessions for three different topics: neonatal abstinence syndrome, childhood trauma and pain management. Each of three sessions will last one hour and then attendees will have a chance to discuss evaluations.
“This is our third year providing this event,” Berven said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to give people an update on the status of the epidemic, the improvements we’ve made and areas where we can grow.”
County citizens can learn more about the issue and how to help by visiting the Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition Facebook page online.

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