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Stony Brook Southampton Symposium Addresses Opioid Crisis Thursday

Event aims to educate medical professionals about addiction and recovery.

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and Caron Treatment Centers are holding their fifth annual Addiction Medicine Symposium this Thursday, October 18, with a special focus on educating medical doctors, physicians, pharmacists, psychologists, therapists, medical students, residents and social workers about addiction and issues related to the national opioid crisis.

The symposium, at Stony Brook Southampton’s Avram Theater (University Campus, 39 Tuckahoe Road), seeks to help participants comprehend addiction as a disorder that involves elements of both impulsivity and compulsivity. Attendees will become familiar with the three stages of addiction, including binge/intoxication, withdrawal/negative effect and preoccupation/anticipation.

Additionally, the doctors in attendance and learn to better understand ways of treating pain, being more aware of the ethical and legal issues involved with prescribing opiates, such as Vicodin, OxyContin and the famously deadly Fentanyl to patients.

The all-day event begins with a registration and networking breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by opening remarks from Caron New York Regional Vice President Todd Whitmer, and a welcome speech by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital‘s Chief Academic Officer and Director of Medical Education, Dr. Shawn Cannon, a powerful local voice in the advocacy of addiction medicine and a member of the Southampton Opioid Task Force.

Addiction medicine specialist Dr. Shawn Cannon speaking at the Southampton Opioid Addiction Task Force meeting on Thursday
Dr. Shawn Cannon speaking at the Southampton Opioid Addiction Task Force meeting in February, Photo: Oliver Peterson

During a Opioid Task Force presentation back in February, Cannon pointedly remarked that the widespread abuse of opioids is “everyone’s problem” and must be addressed. “Time to start talking about it…I don’t care who you are,” he said during his talk about the issue, adding, “We have to change the attitude of ‘not in my backyard. It is in your backyard.”

After the opening talks, the symposium will proceed with a series of 45-minute sessions about topics such as “Epidemiology of the Current Epidemic and New Delivery Systems of Medication for Medication Assisted Treatment,” “Understanding Substance Use Disorder,” “Healthcare Professionals and Substance Use Disorder,” “The Real Effects of Marijuana on Co-Occurring Disorders,” “The Opioid Epidemic: From Prescription to Death to Everything in Between,” “Educating Residents and Medical Students on Addiction,” “Medical Marijuana: Fact vs. Myth,” and “My Journey to Recovery: A Physician’s Story from Addiction to Sobriety.”

Presenters for the various sessions include Stony Brook University professors, Caron Treatment Centers experts and doctors from the East End and other parts of Long Island. The day will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A session.

View the Addiction Medicine Symposium’s complete list of speakers and a detailed agenda.

Find more info and register at caron.org/events/2018/10/addiction-medicine-symposium.

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