Dr. Christina Basedow, RCC, CSAT, CMAT
Day 1 – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm Bannerman Walker Room
Recovery communities (RCs), also known as therapeutic communities, are a type of long-term residential treatment for addiction that emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach. RC’s aim is to treat the affected individual as a whole while examining the underlying mechanisms and individual causes of addiction. Further, RCs focus on creating positive lifestyle changes and bolstering recovery capital in order to facilitate sustained recovery. RCs are rooted in evidence-based practices and rely on measurement-based care to guide treatment. RCs draw upon the resilience of communities to not only enable recovery but also improvements in overall well-being and functioning. Moreover, RCs aim to promote recovery by establishing a shared vision and commitment to recovery over the long term.
This session will delve more deeply into the clinical relevance of treatment in RCs in general. Strategies to increase treatment accessibility and recovery capital will be discussed. Specifically, the admission process into Alberta’s inaugural therapeutic community, the Red Deer Recovery Community by EHN Canada, will be explained to facilitate access to these treatment spaces, which are fully funded by the Alberta Government. Finally, research findings on the clinical outcomes of over 700 former inpatients will be presented along with perceived barriers to measurement-based care and how they can be addressed.
The following presentation will address:
- The importance and clinical relevance of treatment in Recovery/Therapeutic Communities
- Treating underlying causes and setting up residents with extensive recovery capital through long-term treatment
- Getting to the root of trauma and truly addressing issues
- Using evidence-based practices, and research measures, to show the efficacy of treatment
- Alberta Recovers
- Why this model is so relevant for Canada and how private and public healthcare can work together
- Making treatment accessible
- Presentation of research findings from 700+ patients over the past three years on their recovery journey; what works, what clinicians find most relevant, and what we need to do better.
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Room – Main Ballroom 3:30 pm February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
Speaker – Dr Julian M Somers
This talk will look back in order to look forward, and describes opportunities to end tensions that have formed between sectors identified with Harm Reduction and Addiction Recovery respectively.
Methadone maintenance therapy emerged in North America in the 1950s, leaving an indelible mark on public addiction treatment. The first research publications appeared a few years later and described programs operating independently in New York and Vancouver. Despite their separate origins the two programs were remarkably similar with respect to the people they served (referred to by both teams as “addicts”), their modest inclusion of methadone, and the importance they placed on long-term supports capable of helping “addicts” to reintegrate into society.
By the 1980s public addiction treatment was woefully insufficient in many countries, causing drug users to band together and help one another. Harm Reduction emerged from the Dutch Junkiebond and contemporaneous groups elsewhere in Europe and North America. These groups emphasized opportunities to reduce harms caused by drugs and by policies under the War on Drugs. AIDS and other ensuing forces caused harms to multiply, and the practice of Harm Reduction was preoccupied by mitigating their proliferation.
New writing on addiction offers a conceptual opportunity to align Harm Reduction and Addiction Recovery in the service of long term person-centred goals. This new writing evokes some of the same themes that guided early methadone programs, but also incorporates crucial lessons learned in ensuing years. The result is an opportunity for Harm Reduction and Addiction Recovery to bring out the best in each other so that we might all be our best for those we aim to help.
- Know the origins of effective methadone maintenance therapy and its inclusion of practices that reduce harms and promote recovery from addiction.
- Know major reasons for the current rift between services associated with harm reduction and addiction recovery respectively.
- Know major recent developments that create opportunities for unification among people who wish to help those who struggle with addictions.
- Davidson L, Rowe M, DiLeo P, Bellamy C, Delphin-Rittmon M (2021). Recovery-oriented systems of care: a perspective on the past, present, and future. Alcohol Research 41(1):09
- Dole VP, Nyswander ME & Warner A (1968). Successful treatment of 750 criminal addicts. JAMA 206(12) 2708-2711
- Marlatt GA (1996). Harm reduction: come as you are. Addictive Behaviors 21(6):777-788
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February 21st and 22nd Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary.Conference-Program-2023_Schedule_Final_Withlinks_20
Register today and earn CEUS, network with your community and be part of this innovative conference.
A $600 CACCF Value
Room – Main Ballroom 4:00 pm February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
Speaker Dr Anna Lembke
Stanford psychiatry professor Anna Lembke—New York Times bestselling author of Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence—decodes complex neuroscience into applicable strategies that explain and promote recovery. An expert in treating addictions of all kinds, in this talk Lembke discusses the biology and psychology of radical honesty: Telling the truth in all things large and small. She illuminates how radical honesty strengthens the prefrontal cortex, engenders a plenty-mindset, and ends the cycle of destructive shame that perpetuates addiction. Drawing on lessons from scientific research as well as the lived experience of people in recovery, students will learn how honesty as a daily commitment can help curb desire and encourage contentment and connectedness.
- Explain the discipline of radical honesty (telling the truth in all things) and its relationship to the prefrontal cortex
- Identify the role of radical honesty in promoting a plenty mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset.
- Review how radical honesty with the intention of making amends promotes intimacy and ends the cycle of destructive shame that perpetuates addiction.
- Ahmed, S. H., and G. F. Koob. “Transition from Moderate to Excessive Drug Intake: Change in Hedonic Set Point.” Science 282, no. 5387 (1998): 298–300. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.282.5387.298.
- Michel André Maréchal, Alain Cohn, Giuseppe Ugazio, and Christian C. Ruff, “Increasing Honesty in Humans with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114, no. 17 (2017): 4360–64, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1614912114.
- Volkow, N. D., J. S. Fowler, G-J. Wang, and J. M. Swanson. “Dopamine in Drug Abuse and Addiction: Results from Imaging Studies and Treatment Implications.” Molecular Psychiatry 9, no. 6 (June 2004): 557–69. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.mp.4001507.
Anna Lembke, MD is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. A clinician scholar, she is the author of more than a hundred peer-reviewed publications, has testified before the United States House of Representatives and Senate, has served as an expert witness in federal and state opioid litigation, and is an internationally recognized leader in addiction medicine treatment and education.
In 2016, she published Drug Dealer, MD – How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), highlighted in the New York Times as one of the top five books to read to understand the opioid epidemic (Zuger, 2018).
Dr. Lembke appeared in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, an unvarnished look at the impact of social media on our lives. Her latest book, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence (Dutton/Penguin Random House, August 2021) was an instant New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller and has been translated into 25 languages. It combines the neuroscience of addiction with the wisdom of recovery to explore the problem of compulsive overconsumption in a dopamine-overloaded world.
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Room – Main Ballroom 3:30 pm February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
Speaker Giuseppe Ganci
Addiction often leads to isolation; recovery helps change that. In a Recovery Oriented System of Care that builds Recovery Capital, the goal is to focus on the whole person and the whole community with which they live to heal. One of those opportunities is to help the individual have fun in recovery, building their human, social and cultural capital, individuals with substance use disorder have higher health outcomes.
From many in early recovery we hear that recovery was neither visible nor easily accessible, by building a recovery community, we not only help the individual in front of us, but we are also helping the next person who may experience some of the benefits of a recovery community. By building a recovery community, the message of recovery is more visible.
We can build recovery communities by supporting recovery events, anti-stigma campaigns, recovery awareness days, and advocacy drives to force government policy changes so people who use substances feel less marginalized and encouraged to ask for help.
Using peer support and thriving on the personal experience of the community, allows the community to feel empowered to make these initiatives start off as grassroots with room to grow, strengthening and supporting the community along the way.
To help grow the local recovery community, community partners are needed such as municipal, provincial, and federal governments, treatment centres, indigenous community leaders, LGBTQ2S+ organizations.
- Participants will learn how to engage the community to organize and want recovery events
- What is the return on time and money invested in community events
- The difference between a recovery event and a mutual support group event
- Resources to organizing recovery events
- How to move forward after COVID with in-person events
- Recovery Month has been voted in by the House of Commons, now what?
- Munton AG, Wedlock E and Gomersall A (2014) The role of social and human capital in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. HRB Drug and Alcohol Evidence Review 1. Dublin: Health Research Board
- Gilbert, WC, “Correlates of Recovery from Substance Use Disorders” (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 757. https://opencommons.uconn.edu/dissertations/757
- Russell, C. (2018). Essential Elements of an Asset-Based Community Development Process. ABCD Institute Publication .
- Anderson, M., Devlin, A. M., Pickering, L., McCann, M., & Wight, D. (2021). ‘It’s not 9 to 5 recovery’: the role of a recovery community in producing social bonds that support recovery. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 28(5), 475–485. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2021.1933911
For over a decade Giuseppe has been advocating for equal access to recovery-oriented systems of care in Canada.
Giuseppe works tirelessly as the Director of Community Development for Last Door Recovery Society, a nonprofit Canadian charity that provides addiction treatment services for youth, adults and families.
Giuseppe also is behind many recovery initiatives both local and national, he is the Committee Chairperson for Clean Sober and Proud, a series of sober events during Metro Vancouver Pride season.
Chairman of the Board of the Recovery Day BC Society, a one-day street festival that features, music, information booths, and over 40,000 attendees. 2022 marks the 10th Anniversary of Recovery Day BC, with an anticipated goal of 70,000 people.
Conference Committee Chair for the 5th Anniversary of the Recovery Capital Conference, a national event that brings together recovery leaders, policymakers, and occupational health and healthcare professionals.
Giuseppe also co-hosts and produces a weekly live radio show called Talk Recovery Radio on 100.5 fm and streams live on Facebook. This year marks its 8th Season interviewing guests from across North America to discuss the many paths to recovery and the latest addiction recovery news.
Giuseppe believes technology is key to continuing to break down the stigma of addiction and recovery. The mission of Giuseppe is to use technology to remove barriers to better health. Two tech projects that Giuseppe is working on is the “My Recovery Plan” Software and the “Better – My Recovery App” both tools will help build recovery capital. MRP allows service providers to measure, mentor, and monitor an individual’s recovery journey. Better App is a recovery and overdose prevention support tool to help save lives and connect people.
Giuseppe tries to keep the recovery conversation public and at the forefront with over 35 social media platforms with a yearly reach in the millions, ensuring people see the message that recovery from addiction is possible, attainable, and sustainable.
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Room – Bannerman Walker Room – 1:30 pm to 3:00. February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
Speaker Dr. Alison Jones Webb
Family members, friends, neighbors, professionals, and other community members outside the addiction and recovery support services field play a critical role as allies in supporting recovery. Research shows that creating a meaningful life in recovery requires access to healthcare, safe and affordable housing, educational opportunities that may have been missed during periods of drug use, and employment that allows people in recovery to support themselves and their families and contribute to society.
Recovery capital refers to the resources, both internal and external, that an individual can draw upon in order to overcome substance use and maintain recovery. Building recovery capital throughout the recovery-oriented system of care is an important aspect of addressing substance use and promoting long-term recovery.
The session will begin with a presentation on the recovery ecosystem and recovery capital and will then identify real-world examples of ways allies in communities have supported recovery by changing the community environment and creating opportunities to boost recovery capital. We will explore specific strategies for building recovery capital within community sectors, such as social support networks, law enforcement, education and employment, and healthcare. The session will include a discussion of practical, inventive tools, based on recent research, for community members, employers, and professionals in the various sectors to build and increase recovery capital.
This presentation will be of interest to community leaders, service providers, policymakers, and anyone interested in using the resources and networks of allies to address substance use and promote recovery within their community.
- To learn about the concepts of personal, social, and community recovery capital; identify at least three strategies to engage allies to increase recovery capital at each stage of recovery.
- To learn about the role of recovery capital in supporting multiple pathways of recovery; identify at least three strategies to engage allies to increase recovery capital for people pursuing different pathways.
- To learn about specific strategies for building recovery capital within community sectors such as social support networks, education and employment opportunities, and access to healthcare; identify at least three strategies to engage allies to build recovery capital within each sector.
- Ashford, Robert D., Austin M. Brown, Rachel Ryding, and Brenda Curtis. “Building recovery ready communities: The recovery ready ecosystem model and community framework.” Addiction Research & Theory 28, no. 1 (2020): 1-11.
- Best, David, and Stephanie de Alwis. “Community Recovery as a Public Health Intervention: The Contagion of Hope.” Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 35, no. 3 (2017): 187-199.
- Hennessy, Emily A. “Recovery Capital: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” Addiction Research & Theory 25, no. 5 (2017): 349-360.
- Kelly, John F., Brandon Bergman, Bettina B. Hoeppner, Corrie Vilsaint, and William L. White. “Prevalence and Pathways of Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Problems in the United States Population: Implications for Practice, Research, and Policy.” Drug And Alcohol Dependence 181 (2017): 162-169.
- Laudet, Alexandre B., and William L. White. “Recovery Capital as Prospective Predictor of Sustained Recovery, Life Satisfaction, and Stress Among Former Poly-Substance Users.” Substance Use & Misuse 43, no. 1 (2008): 27-54
Author and public health specialist Alison Jones Webb of Charlottesville, Va., is a passionate advocate for people in recovery from addictions. She has written extensively about issues related to recovery from addiction and harm reduction. Her book, Recovery Allies: How to Support Addiction Recovery and Build Recovery-Friendly Communities (North Atlantic Books), lays out practical ways that communities can help support people in recovery and why this is so vitally important. Via in-depth interviews with people in recovery from around the country and a wealth of information from leading researchers, experts, and advocates, Webb shows readers that there is real hope for people with addictions and that we all have an important role in helping to support and sustain their recoveries.
Webb has developed practical, inventive tools, based on recent research, for community members, employers, and professionals in sectors like law enforcement, education, and healthcare to develop and increase recovery capital.
Webb, who holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of New England and a master’s degree in economic history from The Johns Hopkins University, is a certified prevention specialist, trained recovery coach, Recovery Ambassador with Faces and Voices of Recovery, and a member of the Virginia Recovery Advocacy Project (a part of the National Recovery Advocacy Project’s network of grassroots activists). She is president of the Maine Association of Recovery Residences, where she participated in the development of an innovative overdose prevention program for recovery houses, and she is an active volunteer in numerous other recovery-related efforts.
Webb also has more than 20 years of experience in public speaking, policy development, and advocacy; data-driven decision-making; nonprofit strategic planning; community outreach and organizing; and linking community members with healthcare.
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Recovery on Campus Alberta: Co-Creating Collegiate Recovery Communities
Room – Herald Doll Room 1:30 to 3:00 pm. February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
Speaker Dr Victoria Burns
Co-Creating Recovery-Friendly Campuses: Introducing the Recovery on Campus (ROC) – Alberta Model
University campuses are known to be recovery-threatening environments. Over 20% of students meet the criteria for substance use disorders—yet less than 10% will seek help due to stigma. Specific challenges for campus members in recovery include few suitable housing options and difficulties finding social networks. As an academic in long-term recovery from addiction, Dr. Victoria Burns, PhD, RSW experienced this stigma and sense of non-belonging firsthand.
Although collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) have a long-standing history in the USA dating back to the 1970s, university-based recovery supports are still largely undeveloped in Canada. Addressing this critical gap in Alberta’s recovery-oriented system of care, Recovery on Campus (ROC) – Alberta, is committed to co-creating peer-driven campus communities that support and celebrate all pathways of recovery for students, faculty, and staff across the 26 publicly funded post-secondaries in the province. Funded by Alberta Health, ROC is helping to ensure that all campus members can achieve their educational, personal, social, and employment goals alongside their unique recovery pathways.
Dr. Burns will begin the panel by sharing about how her own personal recovery journey catalyzed the co-creation of the UCalgary Recovery Community (UCRC) and ROC. She will then discuss CRP best practices, the ROC framework and priorities, and next steps. Second, ROC team members will share about their understanding and experience of recovery, emphasizing the importance of recovery programs on campus:
1. Dr. Andrew Szeto, Director, UCalgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy;
2. Yasmeen Nosshi, RSW, MACP (harm reduction advisor);
3. Lexi Knight, BSW (student in recovery);
4. Noor Hadad, BA (hon.) (staff in recovery);
5). Chelsie Graham, BSW, ROC-Alberta Coordinator (ally with family experience of addiction).
- Explain the history and best practices of collegiate recovery programs, and how they fit within a recovery-oriented system of care
- Outline the framework, goals, and activities of ROC-Alberta, and plans for sustainability
- Describe ROC’s innovative whole campus, all-pathways approach to recovery, and understand the importance of recovering out loud
- Understand the importance of a “Recovery On Campus Program” through the lived experiences of campus members
- Learn how to create and sustain the ROC model in other post-secondary contexts
- Burns, V. F. (2021). The sober professor: reflections on the sober paradox, sober phobia, and disclosing an alcohol recovery identity in academia. Contemporary Drug Problems, 48(3), 223–240. https://doi.org/10.1177/00914509211031092
- Burns, V. F., Walsh, C. A., & Smith, J. (2021). A qualitative exploration of addiction disclosure and stigma among faculty members in a canadian university context. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(14), Article 14. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147274
- Hill, K. M., Foxcroft, D. R., & Pilling, M. (2018). “Everything is telling you to drink”: Understanding the functional significance of alcogenic environments for young adult drinkers. Addiction Research & Theory, 26(6), 457–464. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2017.1395022
- Laudet, A., Harris, K., Kimball, T., Winters, K. C., & Moberg, D. P. (2014). Collegiate Recovery Communities Programs: What do we know and what do we need to know? Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 14(1), 84–100.
- Vest, N., Reinstra, M., Timko, C., Kelly, J., & Humphreys, K. (2021). College programming for students in addiction recovery: A PRISMA-guided scoping review. Addictive Behaviors, 106992. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106992
Dr. Victoria Burns, PhD, RSW is an associate professor at the University of Calgary, Director of the UCalgary Recovery Community, and Recovery on Campus Alberta. She has a BA (hon) (University of New Brunswick), and a BSW, MSW, and PhD in Social Work (McGill University). As a registered social worker, educator, researcher, and engaged activist she has worked in the homelessness and addiction-recovery sphere for over 15 years. She combines her lived experience of addiction and recovery, with a passion for storytelling and the arts, including documentary film, to raise awareness and combat stigma for marginalized populations in scholarly and mainstream spaces alike. She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband Hervé, and their 11-year-old dog named Pinot.
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Room – Bannerman Walker Room – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
- Alberta Association of Cheifs of Police
- Chief Dale McFee
- Dr Janos Botschner
- Dr Julian Somers
- Cal Corley
Alberta Assoication of Cheif of Police
Chief Dale McFee – The societal, economic, and human costs of problematic substance use in Canada weighs heavily on many. In recent months, there have been growing calls to implement specific solutions to the harms resulting from criminalizing people who use substances. These have generated considerable debate in Canadian society. This discourse has two notable features: a restricted framing of the problem that does not typically consider evidence for a wider set of policy options; and advocating responses to the crises associated with problematic substance use that limit consideration of ways to generate immediate and longer-term benefits for individuals and communities. The issues embedded within ‘decriminalization’ are complex, multifaceted and interconnected, and can be worsened by interventions that are restricted in their scope. Effective responses to such complex problems require ‘whole-of-system’ approaches informed by research evidence and a diversity of perspectives, including lived experience. Community partners, leaders and policymakers will benefit from a deepened understanding of the potential role of decriminalization as one part of system-wide efforts that have the potential to achieve important societal goals, including helping to address a range of inequities and reducing secondary crime associated with problematic substance use. Drawing on relevant research, this panel will present and discuss:• A framework for policy reform involving decriminalization and a proposed approach to change in which decriminalization is a component of an integrated, whole-of-system, framework for improving social, health, and economic outcomes; and• The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police’s (AACP) posture and next steps in this regard.
Dr. Janos Botschner is a social scientist specializing in community safety and wellbeing, with expertise in applied research and evaluation, program and policy development and implementation, and human service system enhancements. He has a joint doctorate in applied social and developmental psychology and has held graduate and adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Guelph and at Wilfrid Laurier University. He was a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health from 2003 to 2012, is a past section chair of the Canadian Psychological Association, and has served on local and regional Human Services Justice Coordinating Committees and Justice Advisory Groups. From 2009-10, Janos served as an expert member of the Collaborative Working Group on Mental Health and Addictions for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He has over two decades of leadership experience in the broader public sector, including as founding director of a community-based research institute and chief researcher with a large branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Dr. Julian Somers is a clinical psychologist and professor of health sciences. His work focuses on social policies and clinical practices that reduce homelessness and crime involving people who are substance dependent and mentally ill. Dr. Somers trained and specialized in the field of addiction and wrote some of the first papers addressing harm reduction, relapse prevention, and the effectiveness of brief interventions. He led the first Canadian outcome studies on Drug Treatment Court, Community Court, and other practices designed to divert people from the justice system. He completed clinical training at the University of Washington, Seattle’s Harbourview Hospital, and British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital. He was the Director of the UBC Psychology Clinic, President of the BC Psychological Association, and founding Director of the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction. He began his academic career in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and is currently a Full Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. The Somers Research Group is internationally recognized for initiatives involving large-scale randomized trials, multi-site interventions, and population-level studies described in over 150 publications. Dr. Somers has also created advanced information systems for public health surveillance and to evaluate the effectiveness of policies and services. Dr. Somers has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed papers on related topics.
Cal is the CEO of the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance. He is a former Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP. From 2008 – 2014, he was head of the Canadian Police College and during that time served as the RCMP’s Senior Envoy to Mexico and the Americas. He has extensive experience in both operations and executive management, serving in such areas as community policing, major crime, drug enforcement, national security, criminal intelligence, strategic planning, human resources, and leading major organization-wide reform initiatives. He also served at the Privy Council Office and at Public Safety Canada.
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Room – Herald Doll Room – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. February 22nd, 2023, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta
Speakers Dr Imran Ghauri & Dr J Stryder Zobell
Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) is the gold standard treatment for individuals suffering with opioid addiction or dependence. OAT typically refers to methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone, sublocade and probuphine); each medication comes with advantages and disadvantages, as well as patient preferences based on their long-term recovery goals. Opioid addiction or dependence can affect anyone, including individuals using street-obtained opioids, or individuals being prescribed opioids due to a range of health issues, often chronic pain.
Addiction and recovery treatments, including harm reduction strategies, are an evolving field of research that is being utilized to inform policies and practices. Individuals accessing OAT are often ready to make healthy changes in their lives. Ensuring these individuals can access programs that support their wellness goals are imperative to address the overarching burden of opioid addiction and dependence for individuals, their families, communities, health care systems, and first responders. OAT reduces overdose rates, improves overall health outcomes of individuals and communities, and decreases the financial and physical burden on healthcare systems, incarceration rates, and first responders.
Traditional approaches to opioid addiction or dependence have centered on abstinence; however, recovery approaches are becoming increasingly popular as recovery recognizes that individuals are on a journey that can include relapses. Supportive programming helps eliminate the stigmatization that these individuals suffer from and the guilt that individuals experience when they do relapse.
Recovery capital focuses on the assets around an individual that aid them on their recovery journey and can include: supportive programs, socials supports, adequate and safe housing, financial health, food security, etc. As individuals stabilize during their recovery, recovery capital increases, which further supports an individual’s success with sustained recovery.OAT providers must focus on a patient-centered care framework; each individual must be supported through equitable programming, and have their recovery goals addressed.
Recovery goals often surround a desire to be “drug-free”, with many understanding they require OAT maintenance over a period of 2 years before they desire to taper off OAT. Despite the common desire to taper off OAT, oral tapers can be challenging; these challenges can be mitigated by the use of longer-acting OAT. Recovery can further promote economic benefits as individuals in recovery often desire to return to being productive members of society.
- OAT medications: an introduction to current OAT medications, their associated advantages, and disadvantages. Understanding dosages and tapering, including the challenges with oral tapers. Medications that successfully support ease with tapering.
- The purpose of tapering is driven by individual recovery goals and the long-term success of OAT and recovery. Abstinence Vs OAT-based recovery.
- Recovery: as a focus of treatment goals, to support the individual’s desire to become “drug-free”. Understanding the role of recovery capital for individuals suffering with opioid addiction or dependence. The long-term benefits of recovery for individuals and society as a whole. Improving policies that support recovery-based programs, and the ongoing research required to inform policies, including program outcomes.
- VODP’s approach to OAT, specifically long-acting buprenorphine: understanding how VODP operates. Program outcomes and statistics that support recovery and harm reduction approaches. Providing an overview of long-acting buprenorphine approaches with clients in VODP. Tailored approaches to individual patients
- Evidence for/against tapering OAT (PubMed OAT AND tapering)I. Kosten TR, Baxter LE. Review article: Effective management of opioid withdrawal symptoms: A gateway to opioid dependence treatment. Am J Addict. 2019 Feb;28(2):55-62. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12862. Epub 2019 Jan 31. PMID: 30701615; PMCID: PMC6590307.II. Srivastava AB, Mariani JJ, Levin FR. New directions in the treatment of opioid withdrawal. Lancet. 2020 Jun 20;395(10241):1938-1948. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30852-7. PMID: 32563380; PMCID: PMC7385662.
- Buprenorphine vs Methadone (PubMed OAT AND tapering)I. Gowing L, Ali R, White JM, Mbewe D. Buprenorphine for managing opioid withdrawal. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Feb 21;2(2):CD002025. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002025.pub5. PMID: 28220474; PMCID: PMC6464315.II. Giang V, Thulien M, McNeil R, Sedgemore K, Anderson H, Fast D. Opioid agonist therapy trajectories among street entrenched youth in the context of a public health crisis. SSM Popul Health. 2020 Jun 4;11:100609. doi:
- Other notables:V. Day, N., Wass, M. & Smith, K. Virtual opioid agonist treatment: Alberta’s virtual opioid dependency program and outcomes. Addict Sci Clin Pract 17, 40 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-022-00323-4
Dr Imran Ghauri MD CCFP AMI am a UK trained physician who developed an interest in Addiction Medicine while completing higher training in the Emergency Room, With so many overdoses repeatedly in the ER I decided that I would take the lead and start to prescribe OAT from the ER. I continued my work while further training in General Practice, working in both Addiction Clinics and in Prisons in the UK. I transitioned to Canada where I continued working with the addiction population and while doing so achieved my specialist designation with the College of Family Physicians.I currently am privileged to work with the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program in Alberta. This is a revolutionary program led by Dr Nathaniel Day which has changed the perception of OAT , following Evidence-Based Practice we are able to offer rapid care to Albertans in many different walks of life.