CWRU Organizes Bipartisan Panel on Opioid Epidemic in Washington, D.C. Nov. 29

Case Western Reserve University has organized a bipartisan public policy briefing entitled “Combating the Opioid Crisis, From Treatment to Enforcement: Best Practices & Collaboration,” at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 29.

Hosted by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), the briefing will provide insight into the innovative partnerships that have been forged between the court system, academia, and others leading to effective prevention and treatment strategies to combat the opioid crisis.  The briefing will be results-oriented and provide practical advice to attendees on successful solutions. Attendees will also learn about gaps in the current system and what policy changes are needed to improve outcomes.

President Barbara R. Snyder will provide opening remarks for the briefing, and members of Congress will be invited to share observations on this pressing public health issue. Daniel J. Flannery, PhD, Director of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, will be among the multidisciplinary experts on the panel. Dr. Flannery will focus on the importance of real-time information-gathering in instances of both fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses. He and his colleagues at the Begun Center recently received a nearly $1 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to evaluate opioid overdose protocol in Cuyahoga County.

“The number of deaths from overdose of heroin, opiates and synthetic compounds like fentanyl and carfentanil continue to rise to record levels, particularly in states like Ohio,” said Dr. Flannery. “Locally the number of nonfatal overdose incidents reaches into the thousands annually. We have an opportunity to bring innovative practices and lessons learned to our congressional representatives who are now making decisions about policy and funding in response to the recently released President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Faculty and staff of the Begun Center and the Mandel School are in a position to provide significant input on how to address this significant public health crisis.”

The panel will be moderated by William Modzeleski, former Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Modzeleski also sits on the National Advisory Board for the Begun Center. In addition to Dr. Flannery, the panel will highlight a number of diverse perspectives on the issue:

  • Justin Herdman, Esq., is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and will address the work of the Heroin-Opiate Task Force of the Northern District of Ohio, of which Dr. Flannery is also a member.
  • Sara McIntosh, MD, is a psychiatrist and addictionologist. She serves as Chief Clinical Officer at ADAMH, the Fairfield County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board; Medical Director at Maryhaven Inc.; and Consultant Addictionologist at Lower Lights Christian Health Center. She will discuss best practice approaches for access to and engaging in treatment.
  • Judge Ari Porth is Circuit Court Judge of Broward County, Florida, and involved with the Florida/Broward County Drug Treatment Program. He will explain the role of drug courts in treatment, recovery, and relapse prevention.