My Spring and Summer Speaking Tour

This is a list rather than an article. I get a number of emails and messages each week asking about upcoming speeches, conferences, panel discussions, webinars, and other events, so I put this together as a tool for those individuals.I’m a huge music fan, and have recently purchased summer tickets for the Dandy Warhols, Grateful Dead (w/John Meyer but no Phil Lesh), Lumineers, and the star studded show of Cheap Trick-Heart-Joan Jett, so I was inspired to label this my tour (private speeches and trainings that are not open to the general public are not included here).

April 20: Life After Incarceration for NAADAC. Free Webinar. This webinar is aimed at professionals working with clients either currently or formerly involved in the criminal justice system. This includes prison, jail, parole, probation, intensive supervised probation (ISP), and drug court. This session will cover the current state of our national criminal justice system, including statistics that show that America is the number one jailer in the world. The costs of maintaining county, state and federal jails/prisons will also be covered. We will review current reforms in a few forward thinking states. Participants will discuss the top three ways to avoid recidivism: education, treatment and employment. Participants will receive a toolkit of concepts, topics and strategies that they can engage in with their clients. Recommended readings will be offered to help participants gain a strong foundation in the American criminal justice system. Statistics will also be provided regarding the number of people, crimes and costs. The need for reform will be presented, including discussion of problems and inequities within the system that need to be addressed, such as the impact that heroin and prescription drugs have had on the criminal justice system. The webinar will also cover soft and hard skills that we need to teach our clients in order for them to lessen their chances of recidivating, along with examples of success. Participants who have clients in the criminal justice system will leave the webinar with a plan for work with clients and an understanding of the clinician’s role in the work of criminal justice clients. To register, go here.

April 28: What is the Responsible Marijuana Policy for Our Veterans? at SAM/NJPN. Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. I’m going to lay out the evidence that details the damage that marijuana causes service members and veterans and detail the lack of data on how marijuana helps vets (whenever you read or hear about this, it’s just anecdotes). All day registration (10 to 4, plus lunch) costs $100. To register, go here.

May 3: Substance Abuse Keynote Panel and Life After Incarceration for NASW-NJ. Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. I am facilitating a panel discussion on addiction and recovery that will cover prevention, treatment, recovery support services, policies and medication assistance. The panelists include Dr. Louis Baxter, Jass Pelland and Patty DiRenzo (I handpicked them). This will go from 9 to 11 am. I will present on the criminal justice system in the afternoon. To register, go here.

May 25: College Recovery’s 1st Client Graduation Ceremony. New Brunswick, NJ. Back in 2014, I helped a few concerned individuals create a new treatment program for young adults in order to combat the opiate epidemic and provide newly sober individuals with supportive housing and an entree into higher education. I stepped away from full time work with them in 2015, but I have continued to run the family program there, which is work that is very near and dear to my heart. Sometime this June, they will be having a graduation ceremony for the first half dozen clients that have completed a year of treatment (among other successes). This is free and open to interested individuals. To learn more about College Recovery, go here.

June 15: NJTV Roundtable Discussion on Opiates. Busch Campus, Rutgers in Piscataway, NJ. Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis is a new year-long, multi-platform community engagement initiative designed to raise awareness about the state’s drug problems and solution. The community forum will focus on prevention and education strategies in the fight against drug addiction.The forum will include interactive presentation and informational tables from prevention and education facilities, treatment providers and other experts in the field of drug addiction. We’re expecting close to 150 individuals who would like to recognize, deter and prevent substance abuse from a loved one or colleague to attend the event. The event will be livestreamed on NJTV’s website.

July 10: The Opiate Epidemic and the Medical Industrial Complex for the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. Keynote in New Brunswick, NJ. I’m going to talk about the history of opium, heroin and opioids. I’ll discuss how Big Pharma, doctors, insurance companies, marketers, the FDA, the government and consumers are each responsible for the current epidemic. They are all guilty, though some moreso than others. I’ll also mention policies that are still causing problems and I’ll conclude with policies and programs that are working and should be copied or expanded. To register, click here

July 11 – 15: 21st Century Drugs and Working with the Military and Veterans at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. Conference in New Brunswick. These are 10 hour classes that I’m teaching over five days. They count for initial CADC/LCADC education or CEUs for a variety of health care professions. To learn more about 21st Century Drugs, go here. To learn more about Working with the Military, click here.

August 18: The History of Marijuana Policy at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders. Conference in Denver, CO. This session provides a detailed history of US drug laws, especially as they pertain to marijuana. We will cover the mid-17th century to the present. A strong focus on state laws will be provided from the 1990s to the present, with a particular examination of California, Massachusetts, Colorado and Washington. The push and pull between the federal government and the states will also be discussed. While the main thrust of this session is on history and policy, interventions at the individual and group level with clients will be discussed. (I may have military duty at this time or another obligation, so I’m only 50/50 for actually making this). To register, go here.