Event: Tackling the Social Roots of the Opioid Crisis

How can social workers advance a continuum of evidenced-based harm reduction policies and multi-level interventions to address opioid overdose and misuse in key affected communities?

Join us: Thursday, March 29th, 12:15 – 1:45 pm ET

Co-sponsored by the Office of Professional Excellence, Social Intervention Group, Mental Health Caucus and Substance Use and Recovery Caucus.

Free and open to the public; livestream and CEUS are available (registration required).

Register Here

From the Columbia School of Social Work event page:

About the Event

Opioid overdose is now the leading cause of death among people under 50 in the U.S., killing over 100 people a day. Although the common narrative on the current opioid crisis has largely focused on the predominantly white epidemic, opioid overdose death rates have steadily increased for black Americans since 2011 and spiked in 2016. Racialized drug laws, incarceration, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, racism, stigma, and lack of access to care are fueling the epidemic. Social work is uniquely positioned to tackle these structural drivers and redress racial disparities in the current opioid crisis. This workshop will present strategies and next steps for social workers to advance a continuum of evidenced-based harm reduction policies and multi-level interventions to address opioid overdose and misuse in key affected communities.

About the Presenters

Dr. Louisa Gilbert

Dr. Louisa Gilbert is an associate professor at the Columbia School of Social Work. She has served as the Co-Director of the Social Intervention Group (SIG) since 1999 and the Co-Director of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) since 2007. She is a licensed social worker with over 25 years of experience developing, implementing and testing multi-level interventions that address the syndemic mechanisms linking substance misuse, gender-based violence (GBV), trauma and HIV/AIDS among key affected communities in the U.S. and Central Asia. Her specific area of research interest has concentrated on advancing a continuum of evidence-based interventions to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) and GBV among women and women in the criminal justice system (see projectwings.org). She has co-authored over 150 peer reviewed articles from this research.

More recently, she has focused on implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent opioid overdose among people who inject drugs in Central Asia with the investigative team at SIG and GHRCCA. Dr. Gilbert has also recently developed and is currently teaching a new course on “Harm Reduction Policies, Programming and Practice to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic.”

Bethany Medley

Bethany Medley is the Opioid Program Manager for the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC). At HRC, she is responsible for coordinating overdose prevention and drug user health initiatives including naloxone trainings, buprenorphine access, and dismantling the stigma associated with people who use drugs. Prior to joining Harm Reduction Coalition, Bethany interned for the Global Drug Policy Program at Open Society Foundations, where she published several articles on recommendations for improved gender-sensitive policies and practices for women involved in criminalized drug trade and use. Bethany holds a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Register Here