About the Five Topics for the Breakout Sessions

During the workshop, participants spend much of their time split out into one of five breakout sessions. These five topics for the breakout sessions cover just some of the many elements of a comprehensive strategy, but by learning to use new resources and techniques, communities are building their capacity to use these techniques on many other topics.

Participants will stay with the same topic for all of the breakout sessions so they can make progress on moving towards actions in these areas. Each topic will have 3 breakout sessions over the course of the workshop.

Three of the topics will be “local only” and will be guided by a local facilitator who has been trained to support the process, starting with a quick tour of the relevant sections of the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub. The other two topics will have a combination of local in-person groups and people who are participating via a web-conference calls. These two topics provide good options for people who may prefer to attend remotely rather than being at the local site.

Each group will explore some of the no-cost, low-cost or self-funding strategies that can be adopted by communities.  

The Three In-Person Only Topics

Reducing the Occurrence and Impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Group facilitator will vary by community.
This topic will review the comprehensive strategy map that focuses on reducing NAS and the negative impact it has on infants and communities. Participants will explore the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub to see that there are many different ways that community partners can play a role in reducing the factors that lead to babies being born opioid dependent and many things that can be done to minimize the negative impact when infants are conceived by a woman dependent on opioids. These in-person groups should have people from multiple sectors and multiple roles discuss both short-term steps and longer-term strategies to work together on this important topic.

Improving Safe Storage and Disposal of Prescription Drugs

Group facilitator will vary by community.
Even for communities that have taken steps to expand drop-boxes or conduct drug take-back days, far too many dangerous prescription drugs are still unsecured in the homes of community residents. Minimizing the availability of pills that can be misused, given away or stolen is a very important prevention strategy. This track will review the strategies, tools and actions that are available in the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub to help community partners work together for greater impact.

Enhancing Peer Recovery Groups

Group facilitator will vary by community.
One of the most important part of a successful recovery ecosystem is peer support. Many communities offer some access to peer support groups, but many needs are still not sufficiently met. Enhancing peer recovery groups is an important area where community partners can work together to help end the opioid crisis. Some communities only have programs based on the 12-Step model, and that may not be ideal for all people. While many people have achieved long-term sobriety through programs on the 12-step model, many others have relapsed into substance misuse in spite of their attempts to participate in these programs. This track will look at several economical and practical ways that communities can expand the options for peer recovery groups and expand the number and variety of groups to achieve greater impact. This group will also explore potential actions on topics like reducing stigma of being in a peer recovery group, using innovative technologies to support peer recovery groups, and peer-run recovery housing.

Two In-Person + Web-Conference Call Topics (that allow remote participation)

Expanding and Improving Risk Factor Screening and SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) 

Track Leaders: Dr. Trish Henrie-Barrus and Bill Barberg

Dr. Henrie-Barrus will explain the importance of psychological risk stratification and how it can change prescribing practices to reduce the risk of people becoming addicted to opioids. She will also explain how SBIRT can help prevent people from moving from early misuse of opioids to Opioid Use Disorder. Expanding SBIRT can create more and better options for catching people early and guiding them to get the help that they need--especially before they switch to heroin and fake pills that are increasingly spiked with fentanyl. SBIRT is an evidence-based approach that can be used in many scenarios. This track will look at an innovative screening tool that can not only guide prescribing practices and improve early detection of the likelihood of a person misusing opioids but it can also generate positive net revenue for the heathcare providers that use it. Participants will learn how, in many cases, expanding effective screening and SBIRT can be self-funding strategies that can bring revenue to the care providers and bring help to the people who need it.

Improving Protective Factors for Youth

Track Co-Leaders: Joe Markiewicz and Judson Bemis

While some of the tactics used in the past to discourage drug use by youth have not been very effective, there is a growing body of encouraging practices and research that shows ways that parents, caregivers, other youth and communities can increase the protective factors that reduce the likelihood of a young person starting to misuse alcohol, opioids or other drugs. This track is led by a national leader in youth training and engagement, and it will explore valuable techniques and the free and low-cost tools that are available through the Opioid Coalition Resource Hub (OCRH) to help parents, caregivers, youth and community organizations work together to create environments where youth thrive and avoid the destructive impact of substance abuse. Participants will also learn about a new, free phone app and platform that helps improve the relationship of teens with parents or caregivers--and ways to spread the adoption of that app in a community.


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