Our country’s ongoing opioid epidemic has its roots in prescribed “pain killers.” Some pharmaceutical companies convinced the medical community, and the general public, that their pills would take away our pain. In the wake of the surge in addiction to opioids, matters are further complicated and increasingly deadly due to the rise in fentanyl and xylazine being added to illicit opioids.

On April 27, 2023, we heard from health care professionals who helped us to change the way we manage and treat pain, and explored options for treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). We also heard a personal story about opioid use and subsequent recovery.

Watch a recording of the April 27, 2023 Program

Meet Our Presenters

Below are some of the presenters and panelists who have shared their expertise and experience at various programs related to opioids. Their contact information may be found by clicking on the “Learn More…” buttons.

Be a Part of the Conversation programs do not provide behavioral health advice and are for informational purposes only. Our programs are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding substance use disorders or related family needs. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any Be a Part of the Conversation program or video.

Kate Appleman, MA, LPC, CAADC, CSAT, CCS

Senior Director, Clinical Practice and Professional Development
Caron Treatment Center

Steve Moriconi, DMD, FACD, FICD

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

J. Gregory Hobelmann, M.D., M.P.H.

Joint CEO
Ashley Addiction Treatment

Dana DePaul Ellis, MSTOM, L.Ac

Licensed Acupuncturist

Sean Rodgers

Person in Recovery
Director of Family Services and an interventionist and family coach with Synergy Houses

David Clements, IV, MD

Addiction Psychiatrist
Founder, Southeastern Executive Health

Philly may get more federal money to address opioid crisis as alarm grows over xylazine*, a dangerous and increasingly common drug additive
Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/19/2023
   *While xylazine is not an opioid, but a tranquilizer, it is being added to opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.

Biden administration declares fentanyl laced with xylazine ‘an emerging threat’ in the US
CNN Health, 4/12/2023

FDA Approves First Over-the-Counter Naloxone Nasal Spray
US Food & Drug Administration, 3/29/2023

The feds just removed restrictions around prescribing a popular addiction medication (buprenorphine). What does it mean for patients?
Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/30/2023

Racial and ethnic disparities in emergency department–initiated buprenorphine across five health care systems
Academic Emergency Medicine, 1/19/2023

Pharmacists Can Be Key to Helping Folks Kick Opioid Addiction
US News & World Report, 1/13/2023

Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Network

Deep Brain Stimulation for Severe Opioid Addiction
National Institutes of Health, 11/21/2022

Useful Resources on Opioid Overdose Prevention
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration), 7/19/2022

Naloxone Overdose Prevention Laws
Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System, 1/21/2022

2021 Overdose Epidemic Report: Physicians’ actions to help end the nation’s drug-related overdose and death epidemic —and what still needs to be done.
American Medical Association, 9/2021

Philadelphia drug deaths soared again in 2020, hitting Black residents hardest: ‘It’s a racial justice issue’
Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/3/2021

Opioid Crisis Fast Facts

The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance Campaign to Stop Opiate Abuse

“Good Samaritan” Drug Overdose Immunity Laws
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Find a Drug Take-Back Location
Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs (DDAP)

Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic; Painkillers Driving Addiction, Overdose
National Safety Council

Opioid/Heroin Reversal (Naloxone)
Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs (DDAP)

Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Find a Parent Support Group near you:
Meeting finder.

Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Chronic Pain Anonymous
Mutual Aid Groups