The Opioid Crisis: A Social Work Perspective

William C. Gilbert, PhD, MSW, LCSW, AADC
5 CECs

Monday, July 22, 2019
9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Hartford Public Library, Downtown Location, Room 026 – Use Arch St entrance
Click here for seminar fees

The current opioid crisis plaguing the United States is killing tens of thousands of people and putting a strain on treatment programs across the country. As a result, social workers must be prepared to understand and respond to the crisis. To this end, this seminar will begin with a general discussion on addictive substances, covering all of the major drugs of abuse including stimulants, depressants, alcohol, and marijuana. The reasons why people become addicted, including the psychopharmacology of drugs and the psychosocial aspects of addiction, will also be discussed.

The second part of the seminar will focus on opioids. Opioids, including heroin, will be discussed as a unique and powerful class of drugs. In addition to understanding the pharmacology of opioids, the long history of their use will also be discussed for participants to gain an appreciation of the scope of the epidemic.

The third part of the seminar will concentrate on the opioid crisis itself including the varied reasons for the epidemic and why it continues. The macro issues of the epidemic including the state and federal government’s response will also be explored. The seminar will include a discussion on techniques to treat persons suffering opioid use disorder and the role that social workers should play in addressing the problem.

By the end of the seminar, participants will be able to:

  • describe the major types of psychoactive drugs and their effects on the brain and body
  • discuss why opioids are especially addictive and how this has contributed to the current epidemic
  • describe micro and macro social work practice interventions in response to the opioid crisis
  • describe the innovative medication assisted treatment (MAT) methods used to treat opioid addiction and social work’s role in the use of MAT