Cooley to host discussion on heroin epidemic

On Friday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 9 p.m., WMU-Cooley Law School will present, "Silence Equals Death: How the Heroin Epidemic is Driving Change in Perception, Treatment, & the Law." The program will explore the new recovery advocacy movement, how the heroin epidemic is fueling its growth and effectiveness, and the resulting changes in public perception, policy, and the law. It will feature a screening of the acclaimed documentary film, "The Anonymous People."

Following the film, WMU-Cooley Professor Lauren Rousseau will moderate a panel discussion with four experts in the field. The panel will consist of:

- Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, who presides over the 51st District Sobriety Court and is co-founder of RADEO (Regional Anti-Drug Education & Outreach)

- Andre Johnson, president and CEO of the Detroit Recovery Project

- Erica Clute, business development and contract management specialist for Meridian Health Services and the Oakland County regional chairperson of Families Against Narcotics

- John S. Gilbreath, retired administrative law judge for the state of Michigan, former chairperson of the State Bar of Michigan's Lawyers & Judges Assistance Committee, and adjunct professor at WMU-Cooley

Lauren Rousseau said, "The growing attention to this issue by the media and the public is leading to a changed perception of addiction generally, as well as increasing demands for public policy and legislative changes to recognize addiction as a disease and ensure treatment availability."

The free event is open to the public and will take place at the WMU-Cooley Auburn Hills campus (2630 Featherstone Rd.). Space is limited, to reserve a seat, email

Published: Tue, Jan 27, 2015


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