Seminar to examine impact of substance abuse

Substance abuse continues to rise in the United States with Michigan ranking 18th in the nation for overdose deaths. A program, presented by the Oakland County Bar Association’s Municipal, Criminal, and Medical-Legal committees, will feature a panel of national and local experts assembled to discuss the scope of the opioid and heroin crisis in Michigan. These experts will identify strategies for combating the epidemic in Michigan, and share information and resources to help address the crisis.

“Substance Abuse in Our Cities and Suburbs: A Coordinated Response to Stop the Epidemic” will take place on Thursday, May 4, at 8:30 a.m. at the Oakland County Commissioners Auditorium, 1200 North Telegraph Road, in Pontiac. 

Dr. Ljubisa J Dragovic, Oakland County chief forensic pathologist and medical examiner, will act as moderator and presenter for the seminar. Other presenters are Police Chief Jerry Narsh, Village of Lake Orion; Oakland County 51st District Court Judge Richard D. Kuhn Jr.; Christina Nicholas, administrator of Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment Services, Oakland Community Health Network; Julie Brenner, executive director of the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities; Dr. David Neff, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; and Dr. Jessica Gayta, BioMed Specialty Pharmacy. 

Topics of discussion will include current and future trends in opioid abuse at local, state and national levels; the mental and physical effects of addiction on children, families, and communities; and the role of drug courts and the criminal justice system in combating the problem. In addition, the panel will review alternative pain management protocols and how the medical field can assist in reducing addiction. 

This event is free of charge and is sponsored by BioMed Specialty Pharmacy; Lisa Anderson of Johnson, Rosati, Schultz, Joppich PC; Emily Thomas of Reiter & Walsh, PC; and the Law Office of J. Randall Secontine PLLC. Beverages and a continental breakfast will be provided. 

Attendees must pre-register by Tuesday, May 2. To register, go to 


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