We were honored to attend last week’s National Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, GA where we also led a panel discussion focused on the family’s role in reversing a national public health epidemic.
Pat Aussem, Master Addictions Counselor, Denise Mariano, Partnership Parent Coach, and Courtney Hunter, our Director of Advocacy and Government affairs, presented “Empowering Families: How to Address a Loved One’s Opioid Use and Become a Family Advocate”, which addressed the challenges families face in identifying opioid misuse by loved ones. The presentation also recognized the various obstacles families encounter when seeking treatment, highlighted the resources and tools that can empower families to take action to engage loved ones in treatment and informed parents about the support and critical information they need to become effective advocates.
They presented to a standing-room-only audience, which speaks to the unmet need of family support services and resources for caregivers who are looking to help a loved one.
Some of our key takeaways from the National Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit:
Francis Collins from the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Nora Volkow from the National Institute on Drug Abuse spoke about the need for expanding medication-assisted treatment programs and investing in research for pain management alternatives to opioids for chronic pain.
Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, underscored the importance of naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medicine, in saving lives and encouraged attendees to always carry it with them.
A general theme echoed by many speakers included working to overcome barriers to treatment, such as ending the stigma associated with opioid use disorders and insurance providers dictating addiction care.