Celebrating Life: New Solutions for the Opioid Crisis

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The New School- Hoerle Lecture Hall

63 Fifth Avenue, UL105

New York, NY 10011

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Join us for a panel discussion and Town Hall meeting about the current status of opioid use and overdose in New York City and the United States. Experts in the fields of public health, psychotherapy, community engagement, public policy, and members of The New School’s Student Health Services will present their perspectives on the impact of opioid use and how to reduce the number of overdoses. Every attendee will be trained in overdose prevention strategies and naloxone kits will be provided to those who wish to receive them. This event is open to the public and is free of charge.

Following an overview of the current opioid use patterns and overdose rates in New York, we will discuss the programmatic work that is being done to address the multiple challenges associated with this issue. We will hear from people who work with active drug users and have invited current and former drug users to contribute to the panel discussion. In addition, treatment professionals will describe an integrative harm reduction approach to working with active drug users.

We want to get the message out that a key part of the solution to the opioid overdose crisis requires a shift in thinking about treatment to complement and support public health overdose prevention strategies. A harm reduction-informed continuum of care linking harm reduction strategies to the full array of effective substance use disorder treatments needs to be integrated with overdose prevention efforts. Treatment should be organized around the stages of change and begin where people are motivated to make positive changes. By shifting from an abstinence-only model to a harm reduction model that honors all positive change goals including safer use, reduced use, moderation, and abstinence will engage a wider range of people who may not be ready or willing to adopt abstinence as their initial goal in the treatment process.

Event outline:

  • Brief presentations by each speaker (5-10 min.)

  • Testimonials/Q & A with audience

  • Overdose prevention training and naloxone kit distribution for those who wish to receive them

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Tyrone Thaddaeus Brown, PhD, 1199SEIU

  • Allan Clear, NY Department of Health, AIDS Institute

  • Kevin Franciotti, The New School

  • Gail Goldstein, MPH, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

  • Barry Lessin, M.Ed., CAADC, Families for Sensible Drug Policy

  • Denise Paone, EdD, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene

  • Tracy Robin, LCSW, The New School

  • Sharon Stancliff, MD, Harm Reduction Coalition

  • Robert Suarez, Board Member, International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD); North American Representative, North American Network of People who Use Drugs (NANPUD)

  • Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, Center for Optimal Living

This event is offered in collaboration with:

Center for Optimal Living

Families for Sensible Drug Policy

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

New York State Psychological Association's Division on Addictions


Donations collected for this event will support The New School's Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling.

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The New School- Hoerle Lecture Hall

63 Fifth Avenue, UL105

New York, NY 10011

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