Make Your Vocation a Vacation and Continue Your Education

Monday, August 4th, 2014

“Breaking News for the Addiction Professional” was the topic for this summer’s three-day conference at the Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies (VSIAS) from July 14 -16 in historic Williamsburg, VA. All licensed healthcare professionals need Continuing Education Units (CEU), to maintain their credentials. Each year, the Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies hosts one of the state’s largest and best educational conferences. Phoenix House Mid‐Atlantic (PHMA) was proud to be a sponsor and organizer for the twelfth consecutive year. If there were one conference a year in Virginia that you should attend, this would be the one.

Cindy BlantonPHMA Admission’s Manager, Cindy Blanton, worked tirelessly to ensure that the conference featured the nation’s leading addiction professionals who bring evidence-based practices and skill-building workshops to the attendees. Cindy Blanton is on the VSIAS board of directors and faculty, and has dedicated her time and clinical expertise to the conference since its inception.

Kicking off the conference as this year’s Keynote Speaker was Phoenix House Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Andrew Kolodny. The breaking news he had to share was “Responding to the Opioid Addiction Epidemic,” a topic near and dear to him. Dr. Kolodny is also the co-founder and president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), a national organization representing physicians from several medical specialties including Addiction, Primary Care, Internal Medicine, Pain, Public Health, and Emergency Medicine. PROP’s mission is to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by overprescribing of opioid pain medication.

VA_Summer_Institute_Addiction_Studies 2Did you know that the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has listed the opioid addiction epidemic as a public health crisis on its top 5 priority areas for 2014? Drug overdoses now exceed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States and overdoses involving prescription pain killers now exceed overdoses from heroin and cocaine combined. When asked about the overprescribing of opioids, Dr. Kolodny stated “Opioids are an important class of medication for easing suffering at the end of life and when prescribed short–term for severe acute pain. But when opioids are prescribed long-term for chronic pain, we may actually be harming far more patients than we’re helping. The problem goes well beyond the risk of addiction and other serious side effects. It’s that they don’t seem to work well when taken long-term and may actually make pain worse, a phenomenon known as hyperalgesia.”

Next year, make your vocation a vacation, and continue your education in the presence of wise and engaging presenters, in beautiful historic Williamsburg, VA.

Since 1962, Phoenix House Mid‐Atlantic has served more than 30,000 individuals struggling with substance abuse. Every day, Phoenix House Mid‐Atlantic helps hundreds of people who are suffering from addiction in programs in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Call us today at: 1 888 671 9392 to learn more.

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