NCWR, OSU-CHS host weeklong virtual Addiction Medicine Conference

08/19/2020 03:00 PM
TULSA – The first full week of September, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and the National Center for Wellness & Recovery will present the Addiction Medicine Conference.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s conference will be held virtually, making it more accessible to participants statewide. To register for specific conference days, visit

The highlight will be the State of Addiction address and panel discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 10 streamed live on

“OSU Center for Health Sciences has been a leader in addressing the opioid addiction epidemic engulfing Oklahoma,” said Kayse Shrum, president of OSU Center for Health Sciences and dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. “And now the National Center for Wellness & Recovery will enable us to play an even larger role in combatting the opioid crisis not just in Oklahoma, but across the country. OSU-CHS and NCWR are committed to taking a leading role in battling the opioid addiction epidemic afflicting Oklahomans and their families. We have assets such as clinical expertise, research capability and educational resources that can be deployed to help curtail the abuse and misuse of opioids.”

Shrum will give an introduction before moderating a panel discussion with guest speakers including Dr. Jason Beaman, chairman of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at OSU-CHS and director of training and education at NCWR; and Dr. Don Kyle, adjunct professor of pharmacology and physiology at OSU-CHS.

“The opioid crisis in Oklahoma is real, and it is not confined to any particular demographic. It is killing the rich and the poor alike, urban and rural dwellers, and men and women regardless of their politics, career choice or insurance status,” said Beaman.

Sept. 8 will be dedicated to addiction in Native America. Kathy Etz, Ph.D., director of Native American Programs and program director in the epidemiology research branch for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will give the keynote address at noon. There will also be sessions on the current state of addiction in American Indian communities, strategies on how to combat addiction, and treatment options available as well as sessions on mental illness and adverse childhood experiences and how these can affect addiction in the Native American populations.

On Sept. 9, the focus turns to addiction and the law. Sessions aimed at professionals working in law enforcement and law practices will cover topics such as neurobiology and red flags of addiction, innovative programs for addiction and criminal justice, recent opioid litigation, Oklahoma’s laws regarding drug dealing and cannabis, and substance use and criminal responsibility.

An update on addiction medicine is set for Sept. 10. Geared toward health care, addiction medicine and mental health professionals, these sessions will cover topics including the next wave of methamphetamine overdoses, neonatal abstinence syndrome, vaping, the drug Sublocade, and addiction and other diseases.

“Ending the opioid crisis is an all-hands-on-deck problem,” Beaman said. “That means everyone from police officers, sheriff’s deputies and lawyers to primary care physicians, counselors and pharmacists to Native American tribal leaders and lawmakers all need to understand the scope of addiction and what they can do help.”

The last three days of the Addiction Medicine Conference, Sept. 11-13, will be dedicated to foundations in addiction medicine. This is intended to be a crash-course in addiction medicine, as well as a preparatory course for the addiction medicine board exam.

Physicians, health care professionals and other experts will cover everything from the neurobiology of addiction to prevention to ethics and the law. Other topics will be alcohol and treatment, stimulants and sedatives, psychiatric and medical co-morbidities, pain and addiction, pregnancy, cannabis and tobacco, epidemiology, opioid treatment and proper prescribing, psychosocial treatments of addiction, and motivational interviewing.

For information, email or call 918-561-1282.


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