A Visit from the German Drug Comissioner

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Last week, Phoenix House New York welcomed an expert guest: Mechtehild Dyckmans, Drug Commissioner for the German Federal Government, and her team, who joined Phoenix House’s Tessa A. Vining, LCSW and Britta Muehlbach to discuss drug policy and treatment.

Commissioner Dyckmans has a particular interest in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and how our education and treatment programs address this issue. Joining the conversation via phone was Margo Singer, the FASD State Coordinator for the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). Ms. Singer spoke about the many issues affecting FASD, including the Project Choices program that is being implemented in our Mother and Child services as well as in other treatment agencies.

Ms. Vining, Ms. Muehlbach and Ms. Singer also spoke at length with Commissioner Dyckmans about issues around alcohol consumption among our youth. Commissioner Dyckmans was interested in knowing about our youth education, prevention, and treatment programs for binge drinking–a serious concern amongst the youth of both Germany and the United States.

Both groups came away from this important collaborative meeting with a greater understanding of each other and our respective nations–as well as increased knowledge of the international substance abuse landscape.

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