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Marshall University experts to address national summit about impact of substance abuse on families

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.– A team of experts from Marshall University has been selected to present next month at the nation’s largest annual conference focused on the opioid crisis. 

The group will travel to Atlanta in early April forThe National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

In their session “Using What We Know:  Helping Teachers, Families and Communities Respond Systematically to Children Affected by Familial Substance Use Disorder” team members will discuss the effects on children when substance use disorders are present in families, as well as effective school, community and family-based interventions. They also will describe how missing opportunities to intervene to support the family structure contributes to cognitive, emotional and behavior problems in children before and after they start school. 

The panel of Marshall presenters includes Amy Saunders, director of the Marshall University Wellness Center; Marianna Footo-Linz, chairman of the Psychology Department; Conrae Lucas-Adkins, assistant professor of school psychology; Lyn O’Connell, clinical coordinator of Marshall’s Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program; and ToddDavies, associate director of research in the Division of Addiction Sciences at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. 

Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert said he is pleased to see Marshall’s leadership in recovery efforts recognized. 

“In Huntington, we are at the center of the solution to this epidemic impacting communities across the country,” he added.“Because our community was affected early, we are now ahead of the curve and the rest of the country in creating recovery initiatives. Recent data show that Huntington may have turned a corner in this fight in the last few months and the lessons Marshall’s healthcare and social services providers have learned will be helpful to the rest of the country.” 

Saunders, who also serves as co-chairman of the university’s Substance Abuse Coalition, said the panelists are looking forward to the summit. 

“We are excited for the opportunity to share the experiences and expertise that we have gained as we assist our community and state with recovery initiatives,” she said. “Marshall University is committed to developing best practices in education, prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery to help families affected by substance use.” 

The National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit will be held April 2-5, with participants from local, state, and federal agencies, business, academia, treatment providers, and communities impacted by prescription drug abuse and heroin use. 

The Marshall speakers will join a number of national figures on the agenda, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, and the heads of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

For more information, contact Saunders atsaunde22@marshall.edu or (304) 696-4800. 

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Date Posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2018