Virtual Substance Use Prevention Summit Brings the Field to New Heights

Thousands of Participants Expected at National Conference

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 20.3 million adults in the United States have substance use disorders. In vulnerable populations, such as those with other mental illnesses and teenagers, substance use is especially problematic. Among those with mental illness, an estimated 18.2 percent also have substance use disorders. Thirty-eight percent of 12th graders reported illicit drug use in 2019. More than just statistics, substance use can have devastating effects on people’s lives.

On Thursday, October 8th, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:45 p.m., the National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program Office and the University of Baltimore Center for Drug Policy and Prevention’s A Division For Advancing Prevention and Treatment  (ADAPT) are hosting a virtual summit that will provide essential knowledge and tools for substance use treatment professionals to take back into the field. The summit, Advancing Substance Use Prevention in HIDTA Communities, will establish standards, discuss strategies, and provide support to attendees. Over 1,000 participants have already registered online, and registration is still open here.

Summit Focus

ADAPT Director Dr. Lora Peppard stated that the HIDTA Prevention Summit “will advance the way we think about substance use prevention fundamentals moving forward and perhaps unveil some hidden truths around the value of prevention.”

National HIDTA Program Director Shannon Kelly and Deputy Director Jayme Delano, as well as Dr. Peppard, will give opening remarks. After the opening remarks, the Summit will kick off with two keynote addresses. Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll and United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams. M.D. will deliver the first keynote address, “Our Nation’s Approach to Today’s Landscape of Substance Use.” NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, will then deliver the second keynote, “Advances in Substance Use Prevention Research.” Next, Dr. Grant Baldwin, director of the Division of Overdose Prevention at CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Director of the Overdose Prevention Division, Dr. Rita Noonan, and Karen Voetsch explain the Center’s approach to substance use prevention.

After lunch, the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives will lead participants in a workshop focusing on the implementation, evaluation, and value analysis fundamentals for substance use prevention. Finally, the Summit will conclude with a resource panel comprised of professionals from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the CDC, and the Prevention Technology Transfer Center. Summit presenters will introduce multiple resources, and participants will be able to download a supplementary resource packet for their use.

The Importance of Substance Use Prevention

In addition to the human costs of substance abuse, there are significant financial cost. The financial cost for the Nation imposed by substance abuse is $193 billion dollars annually. The annual cost of drug-related crime is $61 billion dollars, with $56 billion in criminal justice costs. Substance abuse also affects healthcare systems, with the estimated cost of $11 billion annually for medical intervention. The implementation of effective, evidence-based substance use prevention strategies could offset these costs significantly.

Dr. Peppard related that, after attending the Summit, participants will leave with “a firm grasp on the dynamics of substance use prevention, and how they can help move the needle towards extraordinary in the individual and unique work that they do.”

Don’t forget to register using this link today!

Logos for Executive Office of the President of the United States, ADAPT, Washington/Baltimore HIDTA