Main Track Sessions

MAIN-A. Substance Use Disorders 101: A Practical Understanding, Approach and Treatment for SUD

Level: Introductory/Basic

Presenter: Stephanie K. Morell, MS, LPCA, LCAS, CRC, PVE, CDESI

Description: This introductory course is an overview of SUD which will explore a wide range of topics including:

  • Why individuals use substances
  • Development of substance abuse issues
  • The progressive nature of substance use disorders
  • Models of addiction
  • How substances affect the brain
  • Review of diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders
  • Substance specific information
  • Adolescents and substance abuse issues (vulnerable populations)
  • Women and substance abuse issues
  • Current trends with substance abuse
  • Current legal issues with substance abuse
  • Treatment options and strategies
    • Bio-psyhco-social-spiritual (Holistic) model
  • Stages of Change
  • Sobriety vs. Recovery

The focus will be a practical approach to beginning to understand SUD and treatment.

MAIN-B. How To Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help

Level: Intermediate

Presenter: Steve Hanna, LPC,LCAS,CAC-II, CAI-II; and Dan Hogue

Description: Intervention is the answer to the question: How do you help someone who is so blinded by the disease? Intervention is often overlooked and underutilized despite research that validates its effectiveness. When conducted properly, 85% of people enter treatment following an intervention. When family members become empowered by recovery, their loved ones have better recovery rates than loved ones who enter treatment on their own.

Upon completion of this workshop, attendees will:

  1. Describe the similarities and differences between the Surprise and Invitational models of intervention.
  2. Gain knowledge to outline the principles and practices of both models of intervention.
  3. Have an experiential knowledge of both models by participating in role play scenarios of the intervention processes.

 (Sponsored By: Fellowship Hall)

MAIN-C. Fundamentals, Techniques, and Special Issues in Clinical Supervision

Level: All

Presenter: Leigh Atherton, PhD, LPCS, LCAS, CRC, CCS


The role of a clinical supervisor is unique and exciting; though at times can become a daunting task. Increasingly, clinicians are being charged with the task of extending their roles to include clinical supervision, mentorship, and peer-peer consultation. The purpose of this workshop is to break down the fundamentals of clinical supervision; from theoretical models, to the practice of clinical supervision, and the evaluative processes of clinical supervision. Participants will also explore special issues (e.g., tele-supervision) and peer consultation/supervision techniques.


Participants of this session will:

  • Learn the various theoretical models of Clinical Supervision
  • Learn strategies included in the set-up and contracting stage of supervision
  • Develop supervisory skills for individual and Clinical Supervision
  • Practice evaluation skills for Clinical Supervision
  • Explore special topics in Clinical Supervision (e.g., tele-supervision)
  • Develop skills for conducting and participating in peer Clinical Supervision

MAIN-D. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Group Therapy: Incorporating Motivational Interviewing and other Essential Principles in Group Therapy

Level: Intermediate

Presenter: Sarah Elizabeth Baker, MS, NCC, CCMHC, LCAS-A

Description: This course will demonstrate and describe methods for enhancing the effectiveness of group therapy. While Motivational Interviewing and its incorporation in the group process will be one focus, other methods to enhance the effectiveness of group therapy will be discussed. This session will teach and model methods for individuals from varying disciplines who intend to lead and engage in group therapy. Discussion of these methods will be described in a manner that will allow universal application (e.g., population diversity, group format, presenting concerns).

MAIN-E. Basic Pharmacology for SUD Clinicians in an ERA of New Psychoactive Substances and Medication Assisted Treatment

Level: Basic/Intermediate

Presenter: Darryl S. Inaba, PharmD., CATC-V, CADC III

Description: Discoveries of new abusable Phytochemicals and  synthetic designer drugs molecules (designated as New Psychoactive Substances by the world Health Organization) along with the continued proliferation of diverted prescription and OTC medications creates a significant challenge to clinicians who work in the field of Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders. Despite their confusing street and media references and their complicated molecular structures all can be generally viewed as being CNS stimulants, depressants or psychedelics: Uppers, Downers, All Arounders with pharmacologic effects similar to familiar substances of abuse. This presentation will review the basic pharmacology of chemicals involved, the neurobiology of addiction and how these are now influencing the development of new treatments for Substance Use Disorders inclusive of Medication Assisted Treatment  (MAT).

Upon completion of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the 2 major circuit of the brain’s addiction pathway and name at least 2 brain structures involved with the “Go” and “Stop” processes of these circuits
  • Elucidate 3factors that contribute to the development of the brain anomalies associated with Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.
  • Describe how neurotransmitters affect compulsivity and cravings and name at least 3 the most important neurotransmitters involved in these activities.
  • Explain formation of dendritic memory spines and identify the 2 major pathways of memory formation in the brain and their role in addiction.
  • Provide at least 2 ways that gene expression is altered to influence addiction vulnerability

 (Sponsored By: Dominion Diagnostics)

MAIN-F. Marijuana – Don’t Let Your Credibility Go Up in Smoke!

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Presenter: Allan Barger, MSW; and Lynn Jones, LCAS,CCS, LPC


With the current national trend of marijuana legalization, there is a surge of interest in understanding how substance use professionals may effectively address its use, potential for addiction, as well as other health and impairment problems.  If you are looking for the latest research and an approach that reaches individuals where they are instead of dredging up the failed scare tactics of the past, this track is for you!  You will learn to navigate the current landscape effectively while keeping your credibility intact.  We will explore the latest research related to outcomes of THC use, current trends and identify an approach that will work effectively with your audience.   

 This session will prepare and begin the certification for Prevention, Intervention, or Treatment professionals who wish to implement the evidence-based Prime For Life™ 420 program with clients. Full attendance is required for certification and there will be some homework. PFL 420 uses cognitive behavioral, motivational interviewing and other research-based approaches to address one of the toughest issues facing our field – the misuse of THC and the problems it causes.

(Sponsored By: DWI Services and Prevention Research Institute)

MAIN-G. Promoting Healthy Intimate Relationships and Families in Recovery

Level: All

Presenter: William Mock, Ph.D., LISW, LICDC, SAP


The process of addiction batters relationships.  After sufficient relationship battering,  individuals in relationships lose practice in skillful relating and genuine emotional intimacy. Many relationships survive the addiction only to falter during recovery. Active chemical dependency represents an ongoing change process for the family.  The family makes slow, incremental, adaptive changes over time in response to the steady progression of the disease.  These changes help the family to survive the continuing crisis that is chemical dependency.

Sadly, this is one of those times where the solution becomes worse than the problem.  Using time tested and accepted family and relationship techniques in the right measure and right order reverses this toxic process and increases the functioning of all involved.  One such process is family regeneration networking.  This workshop reviews the current research on what makes for a successful relationship. Characteristics found in these relationships are identified and explored as to the role they play in creating and enriching ongoing growth between couples. Various exercises are examined as means for promoting growth and relationship regeneration.  Participants will leave with at least five approaches they can use with their clients.  Participants will know the core regeneration networking principle, and be able to identify four or more of the principle techniques for using this technology with addiction families and intimate relationships.

MAIN-H. Stacked Deck: An Evidence-based Program to Prevent Problem Gambling

Level: Introductory

Presenters: Ashley Trantham, MS; Alison Drain, MSW, MPA; and Amy Prokopowicz, NCC, LPC, LCAS, MAC

Description: Participants will develop hands on experience and knowledge in how to effectively implement the Stacked Deck curriculum.  Stacked Deck is an evidence-based program designed to prevent problem gambling in grades 9-12; however, it has been used in grades 7 & 8 as well.  Stacked Deck is listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. Stacked Deck is intended to change attitudes towards gambling based on the premise that attitudes are best predictors for behavior. It increases knowledge about gambling and the odds of winning.  It corrects beliefs about gambling.  And finally, it prevents or decreases the frequency of gambling behavior. 

Up to 30 full scholarships will be awarded to participants.  Priority will be given to school administrators, principals, teachers, after-school programs and community prevention specialists.  Those interested in enrolling must receive prior approval from Amy Prokopowicz at the NC Division of MHDDSAS (   All scholarships are subject to the availability of funds.

(Sponsored By: The North Carolina Problem Gambling Program and the North Carolina Division of MHDDSAS)

MAIN-I. Prevention Clinic:  A Focus on Prevention Mastery, Leadership and Community Engagement

Level: All

Presenters: William Geary, PhD; and Tracy Johnson, BA


This prevention track is designed for anti-drug coalition leaders, community leaders, drug prevention personnel, education professionals, or those who want to launch a community anti-drug coalition in their environment. This training will feature both didactic instruction and small group exercises. The track will offer three advanced training sessions.

Topic areas include a foundational reviewing the history and evolution of the coalition movement, the public health model, assessing risk and protective factors, stages of community readiness and associated strategies, and seven basic steps to starting a coalition. The training sessions will then move on to cover the advanced ideas and tools in developing a coalition strategic plan, building organizational structure, recruiting and maintaining volunteers, developing a leadership plan, and steps to strengthening and sustaining the coalition infrastructure and resource base.

(Sponsored By:  Southeast Prevention Technology Transfer Center)

MAIN-J. Gender and Sexual Diversity: Education, Understanding, and Support

Level: All

Presenter: Adrienne Michelle, LMFT

Description: In this course you will learn key terms, cultural competency, and gender and sexual diversity in an attempt to help you connect with LGBTQ+ communities and clients. Through interactive activities, case presentations and personal disclosure we will learn and understand ways to help support clients including letter writing for Trans/Non-binary clients.


  • Identify and understand key terms that are within the LGBTQ+ Community
  • Understand the difference between Gender in the binary vs the Gender spectrum.
  • Interact in activities that promote understanding of intersectionality.
  • Identify the complexities surrounding gender presentation and the internal and external hardships affected.
  • Review cases and use their experiences both personal and professional to discuss, empathize and understand the client’s experience
  • Learn how to write letters in support of clients for HRT, surgery, etc.

The session is constructed to meet these goals by providing education, interactive activities and presenting the case of intersectional, gender and sexually diverse clients whose struggles are about gender and sexual diversity, maintaining relationships, and understanding identities. We will also discuss statistics and barriers to the community seeking services with specific action steps for substance abuse.

(Sponsored By: Southeast Addiction Transfer Technology Center)

MAIN-K. Criminogenic Risk Assessment

Level: Basic/Intermediate

Presenter: Heather Gagnon MSW, LICSW, LADC

Description: Participants will develop an understanding of criminogenic risk assessments and their use. Attendees will also gain knowledge of how to use a risk assessment to inform treatment interventions and programing decisions for the criminal justice involved population.  This training will address the eight criminogenic needs and risk assessments as well as how to use them to determine Risk, Need and Responsivity (RNR). At the completion of this training the participant will have knowledge of what is a criminogenic risk assessment, and why we can use them to inform treatment plans and treatment decisions.

(Sponsored By:  Southeast Addiction Transfer Technology Center)