Hamburg conference to focus on drug trends, substance abuse disorders

| 11 Nov 2015 | 01:30

    Recognizing the ever constant need for current and valid information to address substance use disorders, The Center for Prevention and Counseling is presenting its annual conference on Nov. 13 at Crystal Springs, Emerald Room, Hamburg, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The conference includes breakfast and lunch, exhibits by treatment providers, and six hours of continuing education and professional development credits. This event is open to everyone including parents, caregivers, school staff, clergy, treatment professionals and all concerned business and community members who will take away something to become part of the solution to substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery.

    Valerie L. Mielke, assistant commissioner for the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services, will welcome participants, providing a statewide perspective with her strengths as a manager, policymaker and advocate regarding mental health and substance use disorders. Hear from recently featured N.Y. Times contributor, James N. Hall, a leading expert in drug abuse trends, who will present information on current synthetic drugs being marketed throughout the country and what we need to be concerned with, locally. Hall has tracked patterns and trends of substance abuse converting his years of research about emerging drug problems into community-based solutions.

    Other featured speakers include Gary Mendell of Shatterproof, a national organization he founded to honor his son, Brian, who lost his life to addiction in 2011. Mr. Mendell is committed to protecting youth from addiction while ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease.

    A local perspective will be provided by the Sussex County Prosecutor, Francis Koch and Sgt. Adam Polhemus of the New Jersey State Police Drug Monitoring Initiative who will bring an understanding of the statewide law enforcement efforts to address drug prevention. Information on marijuana will be discussed under the direction of Timothy P. McMahon, Special Agent, Drug Enforcement Administration and the conference will also address gambling, as an addiction, with a presentation by Neva Pryor, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey.

    Addiction impacts over 85 million people including the families and friends of those in recovery from alcohol and other drugs in the United States and there now exists the largest grassroots movement to provide an awareness of how recovery works. Recovery Advocate, Patrick Roff, of the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services as well as Aaron Kucharski, Advocacy Trainer from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of New Jersey will explain the recent and inspiring work being done by people speaking out, putting a face and name to recovery, making it easier for others to do the same.

    There is no fee for Continuing Education credits (CADC, LCADC, LPC, CPS, MFT and Professional Development Hours). There will be additional fees for both social work credits and pharmacist credits. We are unable to provide nursing credits at this time.

    For more information about this conference, please contact Ayla at or 973-383-4787 ext.251.