Focus Day 2017

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FOCUS Day is a day-long event immediately preceding our annual Summer School of Addiction Studies that highlights a particularly salient and pressing addiction-related problem. We host speakers from multiple perspectives who can address the addiction problem from different points of view and provide the information and strategies that the addiction workforce needs to meet the challenge.

FOCUS Day 2017 seeks to create a space for open and civil conversation about critical impasses that weigh down the impact and success of current addiction treatment. 

We start this dialog by asking:

  • Should treatment centers seek to reduce harm or promote abstinence-only philosophies? 

Many agencies continue to reject medication as a viable adjunct to treatment. Pharmaceutical companies have much to gain from the increased use of naloxone delivery devices and prescriptions. What is the way forward?

  • How do our current public policies shape cultural attitudes towards addiction?  

Depending on who you are, your substance use disorder may be viewed as a crime rather than a health condition. Addiction continues to be deeply (and incorrectly) embedded in American perceptions of race and class. These cultural attitudes fuel stigma and aggravate racial and economic disparities. The 20th century saw multiple drug epidemics and the pouring of enormous resources into fighting a ‘War on Drugs’ that has made little progress in combating the prevalence and severity of substance use disorders in America and served instead to polarize our society. What have we learned and are we finally ready to try a new approach?

  • Where is science, and why does clinical practice no longer look to research to drive its   treatment approaches? 

As scientists unravel the body and brain processes that drive continued use even when conscious intent is to quit, practitioners continue to eschew its most notable findings. Researchers too seldom involve front line treatment providers in developing research agendas. What can scientists do to gain the trust of practitioners, and why do practitioners and legitimate treatment agencies need science to make themselves credible again?

July 16th, 2017
Life Sciences Atrium, Busch Campus, Rutgers University
FOCUS Day 2016 brought together a diverse range of perspectives to understand the breadth of The Opiate Epidemic and offer the most promising strategies for prevention and treatment.

To be added to our mailing list to receive updates and announcements about this event, email us with Subject Line: Focus Day Mailing List.