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Effectively Engaging and Treating Individuals with Opioid Use Disorders - Opioid Summit Day 1
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Effectively Engaging and Treating Individuals with Opioid Use Disorders - Opioid Summit Day 1

When: Monday September 28, 2020
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: United States

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DAY 1 – September 28, 2020

1:00 pm Welcome
1:05 pm Florida Opioid Response Overview
  • SOR Update
  • Moving forward, a view towards 2020-21
1:30 pm Florida Trend Data
  • Florida Data
  • Provider Surveys
2:00 pm Medication First Model Panel
  • Medication First Principles
  • Residentail Programs
  • Program Culture
3:00 pm Implementing Medication First Model – Challenges & Opportunities Discussion
4:00 pm Adjourn


Medication First Panel

Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the Missouri Department of Mental Health began disseminating the Medication First framework according to the following four key principles:

  • Clients receive pharmacotherapy as quickly as possible, prior to lengthy assessments or treatment planning sessions;
  • Maintenance pharmacotherapy is delivered without arbitrary tapering or time limits;
  • Individualized psychosocial services are offered but not required as a condition of pharmacotherapy;
  • Pharmacotherapy is discontinued only if it appears to be worsening the client’s condition.

A panel of Missouri treatment providers will discuss the challenges and successes they experienced as they began implementing the Medication First model within their treatment practices. They will discuss how this approach was received by their staff, communities and their patients as well as the lessons learned since then.

Panel Presentation Objectives:

  1. Learn how Missouri implemented a Medication First Model in both rural and urban settings
  2. Discuss the barriers encountered during implementation including the myths around Medication First models and the approaches use to resolve those challenges
  3. Understand the outcomes and future of the medication first model



Cori Putz is the Executive Vice President at Preferred Family Healthcare with almost three decades of experience in the field of addictions and behavioral health. Cori has been instrumental in transforming one of the largest substance use treatment providers in Missouri from an abstinence-based model to one that embraces the use of addiction medications and Medication First as a best practice. She is a Qualified Addiction Professional in the State of Missouri and holds an MBA.

Ryan Essex is the Chief Operating Officer for Gibson Recovery Center, Inc. located in Southeast Missouri. Mr. Essex has been in this role for 8 years and has served in many clinical and supervisory roles over the last 16 years. Mr. Essex has been an administrative and program surveyor for the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for 12 years. This role allows him to evaluate and apply a set of industry approved standards to behavioral health facilities throughout the United States. Mr. Essex is the current President of the Missouri Credential Board. He is the current chair of the committee working on substance use treatment system transformation in Missouri. In addition to his clinical work he also previously served as an elected official in the state of Missouri and brings that experience to policy making.

Clif Johnson, CRAADC, is the Chief Stakeholder Relations Officer of Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health. Mr. Johnson has worked for 33 years in the field of substance use disorders beginning in 1987 at Koala Center as a Detox counselor and SUD counselor. He is currently a Certified Reciprocal Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor, Certified Criminal Justice Professional, HIV Certified, and a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor. Mr. Johnson has served as President of the Missouri Certification Board and Chairperson of the Missouri Recovery Network. He is also a trained Clinical Supervisor and a supervision trainer. He is currently serving on the Missouri Drug Court Board and as a trainer for a Medication Assisted Treatment team through Missouri Institute of Mental Health.