Afternoon Mini-Track Sessions

MINI-AA. Bridging the Gap between Social Justice and Substance Use Disorders: A Primer

Presenter: Shawn Arango Ricks, Ph.D., LPC, LCAS, CHT, HS-BCP

Description: This workshop will serve as an introduction to the how social justice intersects with substance use disorders. An overview and definition of terms will be provided, as well as a more in-depth look into the role and influence of culture as it relates to substance use disorders. This interactive presentation will challenge participants to examine substance use disorders through a variety of lenses.

MINI-BB. Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age

Presenter: Ed Johnson, M.Ed., MAC, LPC, CCS

Description: Social Networking Sites, Text Messages, Google, Email and the Internet; these digital media have become ubiquitous in the everyday life of Behavioral Health Professionals and the people they serve.  How to incorporate these into Professional Ethics were not covered when the majority of Behavioral Health Professionals were in Graduate School, and they open up multiple issues with respect to self-disclosure and professional boundaries.  This didactic and experiential training will allow participants to gain an increased understanding of the dynamics of these various digital media and how to safely navigate them in a Professional and Personal setting.


  • Participants will be able to describe 3 ways that they can control their digital footprint to reduce client access.
  • Participants will be able to list 3 ways clinicians can potentially use digital communications with clients without violating 42 CFR and HIPPA.
  • Participants will be able to cite 2 specific examples where the ACA 2014 Code of Ethics addresses the issue of “boundaries” in digital communication.

(Sponsored by: SEATTC)

(An additional 0.5 hour of credit is available for participants needing 4 hours ethics – must complete additional assignment; CRCC credit NOT available for this session)

MINI-CC. The Changing Landscape of Tobacco Products

Presenters: Sally Herndon, MPH; Joyce Swetlick, MPH; Stephanie Gans, LCAS, LCSWA, CTTS

Description: The presentation will describe the new landscape of e-cigarettes and other emerging nicotine delivery devices in NC and the nation.   Participants will receive the latest state and national data on the prevalence of tobacco use, including e-cigarettes. The presenter will describe the known health risks, marketing and current policies for e-cigarettes and other nicotine products. Participants will also learn about evidence-based educational resources for tobacco use prevention and cessation, including e-cigarettes.

MINI-DD. Pain and Addiction: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies for Diagnosing and Treating Both Conditions

Presenter: John Femino, MD,  FASAM, MRO

Description: Addiction therapists often listen to their patients complain of pain and are unsure if it represents a true pain disorder, under-treatment of pain because of tolerance and physical dependence, or drug seeking behavior.  Referral to a primary care physician or medical specialists for assistance often results in prescription medication being approved for treatment without consideration of the addict’s recovery status or underlying motives. 

This course will review the biology of pain transmission and the risk of addiction when using opioids for treating chronic pain.  Participants will review the assessment strategies and treatment protocol that compares the pain complaints to the timing course of opioid withdrawal, utilizing commonly available pain and withdrawal scales.  Examples of commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of pain will be reviewed, with emphasis on the use of buprenorphine (Suboxone) as a clinical tool for management of patients with both conditions.  We will also review the risks and benefits of use of cannabis products for chronic pain.

 (Sponsored By: Dominion Diagnostics)

MINI-EE. Intergenerational and Developmental Considerations in Treating Substance Use and Related Disorders [CANCELLED]

Presenter: James Mallinson, LCAS, CCS

Description: Using the same clinical skills with different age-cohort populations can diminish the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention.  Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, Silent, and the GI generations all experienced life events that distinguished them from earlier generations.  The youngest of these groups have had their lives infused with technology, creating the first generation “connected” since birth.       

This workshop examines clinical practices that may be useful when working with various age groups, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, while also exploring ways to avoid barriers presented by more traditional treatment options.  It also explores the use of non-traditional, evidenced-based treatment approaches including the use of technology and interventions using medications. 


Participants will:

  1. Increase their understanding of differences among the various generations particularly Gen Z and Millennials.   
  2. Increase and expand their understanding and knowledge of traditional and non-traditional treatment methodologies for Millennials.
  3. Examine the ethical concerns associated with non-traditional treatment approaches used with this generation.  

MINI-FF. Treating PTSD and Substance Use Disorder in Veteran and Other High Stress Occupations

Presenter: Deb Lynskey-Lake, MSW, LCSW

Description: We will explore the realities of alcohol and drug use disorder among those  in active military, veteran and other high stress occupations, the challenges of accepting treatment, and the concurrent treatment of PTSD and SUDs. The need for treatment is illustrated with safety as well as personal concerns. Family involvement in therapy, and a holistic approach to the dimensions of psychobiosocial and spiritual disorders demonstrate that there is hope of dual recovery and restored career and personal function. Evidence based practice is detailed, including specific treatment for sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and disassociation related to dual diagnoses.  Twelve step education and practice provide ongoing support. The “what next” aspects of relapse prevention, self-care and resuming job/daily functions are related in case studies. Case studies, data, clinical experience and science inform the topic.

Participants will, upon attending the session: 1. Describe the prevalence and link between PTSD and substance use disorder among professional firefighters, and the tools for assessment and engagement for treatment. 2. Relate why PTSD and substance use disorders are most successfully treated concurrently where they occur and describe tools for relapse prevention support. 3. Demonstrate with examples, the dimensions of substance use disorder and dual diagnoses of anxiety, depression and PTSD.

(Sponsored By: Origins Healthcare)

MINI-GG. I Thought Stimulants Went Away!

Presenter: Robert Martin, JD, CEAP

Description: Almost 25,000 people died from cocaine and methamphetamine overdose in 2016. Overdose rates have been and continue to rise. The size of drug seizures by law enforcement are also growing. Have professionals like the public and media become hyper-focused on opiates? This presentation will examine drugs of abuse including synthetics and analogues.


  1. Define a stimulant
  2. Identify the popular and emerging stimulant drugs of abuse
  3. Discuss the diversion of legal stimulants and the sector of persons who abuse legal stimulants
  4. Examine rates of abuse, routes of importation and methods of manufacture
  5. Identify the characteristics of abuse and the trends of combining stimulants with opiates

 (Sponsored By: REM and Associates)

MINI-HH. Heads or Tales:  A System’s Approach to Treating Children with Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders

Presenter: Natasha Holley, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CSS; and Mona Townes, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, MAC

Description: Professionals are having to treat more youth who have substance use and co-occurring disorders.  Although this is becoming more common, the complexities of treating youth with co-occurring disorders causes blurred lines, confusion, and frustration.  Successful treatment outcomes are more evident if the whole person is treated as well as both disorders.  This training will strive to increase knowledge on the risk and protective factors that are associated with this population along with improving interviewing skills, assessments, treatment planning, and crisis planning. 

(Sponsored by: Trillium Healthcare)