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Opioid Summits
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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.

DAY 2 – September 29, 2020

1:00 pm Welcome
1:05 pm Retaining Patients in Treatment
  • Florida Data
1:20 pm Engagement & Retention Strategies
  • MAT for Opioid Use Disorder: Innovative Models for Enhancing Retention and Continuity of Care
2:30 pm Retention Strategies Across Florida Discussion
3:10 pm Treating Stimulants
3:45 pm Future Action
4:00 pm Adjourn




Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: Innovative Models for Enhancing Retention and Continuity of Care

Evidence-based treatments for opioid use disorder (OUD) include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or medication for opioid use disorder (M/OUD). Retention in MAT results in better outcomes; yet, rates of treatment retention are low. This presentation discusses the results of a study conducted for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation that examined models and strategies for retaining individuals in treatment and for enhancing continuity of care across settings. Among the settings examined were geographically diverse opioid treatment programs; specialty and non-specialty providers of buprenorphine; home-delivery of injectable naltrexone; a provider offering a spectrum of SUD, mental and physical health care, and housing and employment services; and a large health system working closely with the criminal justice system. The presentation highlights practical lessons learned that the audience may find useful to adapt for their particular service settings.

Presentation Objectives:

  1. Describe innovative approaches to enhancing retention in medication treatment for opioid use disorder
  2. Assess treatment practices that may impede retention and continuity of care
  3. Apply techniques to promote retention in treatment



Peggy O’Brien, PhD, JD, is a Senior Research Leader at IBM Watson Health. Dr. O’Brien is a behavioral health services researcher, with subject matter expertise in mental and substance use disorder service delivery, utilization, and financing. Much of her recent research for federal agencies has focused on the opioid crisis, including opioid prescribing practices and policies; the prevalence of polysubstance use and co-occurring conditions with opioid use disorder; the delivery of medication treatment for alcohol and opioid use disorders (M/AUD, M/OUD); initiation, engagement, continuity of care and retention in M/OUD; the use of telehealth in the treatment of substance use disorders; and the regulatory structure supporting use of residential treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. Dr. O’Brien also has done work in furtherance of the SUPPORT Act, including related to increased capacity for M/OUD treatment and Medicaid funding of housing supports for individuals who are homeless and who have substance use disorders.

Dr. O’Brien previously worked as an attorney and as a mental health clinician. She was the Clinical Director of a secure residential facility in Massachusetts that treats adolescents with co-occurring serious emotional disturbance and intellectual disabilities. Dr. O’Brien received her PhD in social policy and management with a concentration in behavioral health services from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University where she was a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism trainee.


Evidence-based Practices in Treating Stimulants
Misuse and abuse of prescription and illicit stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines, continues to rise in the United States. In 2018, about 40 percent of all overdose deaths in the United States were related to a stimulant. Over the past 30 years extensive research has been done on the development of treatments for individuals with Stimulant Use Disorder (StUD). This has led to an understanding of what “works” and what does not. While there are no approved medications, there are several behavioral strategies with evidence of efficacy in assisting individuals to reduce and/or discontinue their stimulant use. Dr. Rawson will discuss how evidence-based practices such as Contingency Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Community Reinforcement Approach, Motivational Interviewing and physical exercise support treatment efforts for individuals with StUD.

Presentation Objectives:

  1. Learn about the use of evidence-based practices that can be used in the treatment of stimulant use disorders



Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D., is the retired Co-Director of UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and now Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, in which he has been a member for more than 20 years. He received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Vermont in 1974. Dr. Rawson oversees clinical trials on pharmacological and psychosocial addiction treatments. He is principal investigator of the NIDA grants on aerobic exercise, screening and brief intervention in a mental health setting, and a Fogarty training grant between UCLA and Cairo University. He also is principal investigator of the SAMHSA/PEPFAR: Cooperative Agreement for Workforce Development in Vietnam: HIV-Addiction Technology Transfer Center and recently completed the SAMHSA/Department of State: Iraq Drug Demand Reduction Initiative. He has led addiction research and training projects for the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Drosos Foundation and the U.S. State Department, exporting science-based knowledge to many parts of the world. Dr. Rawson has published 3 books, 35 book chapters, and over 200 peer-reviewed articles and has conducted over 1,000 workshops, paper presentations, and training sessions.


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