Radford University to host comprehensive conference on regional substance abuse issues
To explore the perplexing challenges of substance use disorders facing the region, the Radford University School of Nursing will host a conference featuring a lineup of professionals representing federal, state, local and private perspectives on Oct. 27.
The conference, titled “Substance Use Disorders in SWVA: Establishing Connections and Networks,” will take place in Radford University’s Kyle Hall from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The conference will be live-streamed to the New College Institute in Martinsville and the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon to expand access to the day-long assembly of substance abuse experts.
The conference is free, but space is limited. To register, call (540) 831-7185 or register online.
“This will be a unique and powerful assembly of those who daily confront the dilemma of substance use,” said Victoria Bierman, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing and coordinator of Radford’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program. “It will be a rich interdisciplinary presentation to help those who are daily working to stem the ever-rising tide of damage done to our communities and our loved ones by rampant substance use.”
Keynoting the conference will be Jean Bennett, Ph.D., regional administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), who will discuss the foundations of addiction.
Other featured speakers include:
- Chris Alderman – peer recovery specialist, New River Valley Community Services
- Chad Brown – special agent, Virginia State Police
- Sue Cantrell, M.D. – director, LENOWISCO Health District
- O. Pryor Green – Virginia Department of Corrections
- Mary McMasters, M.D., DFASAM – addiction specialist, Virginia Department of Health
- Gail Taylor – director, Virginia Office of Behavioral Health Wellness
- Allyson Tysinger, J.D. – senior assistant in the Virginia Office of the Attorney General and section chief, Health Service Section
- Teresa Van Nostrand, Ph.D.– Virginia Department of Corrections
The conference will include plenary sessions in the morning and a series of breakout sessions in the afternoon on topics that include treatment, recovery and relapse, motivational interviewing and enforcement of drug laws and pharmaceutical regulations.
“Our purpose is to share helpful tactics, strategies and insights and help conference guests establish connections to valuable resources and expertise,” said Bierman, who is project manager of a four-year, $1.9 million Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration that enables faculty from Radford University’s Waldron College of Health and Human Services, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences to train and supervise behavioral health care professionals to confront the effects of widespread alcohol and drug use.