Continuing Education Event – The Case for Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) – Webinar – 9/15/2020

This free continuing education event is co-hosted by Recovery Centers of America and the Maryland Physician’s Association, Med Chi.

Deni Carise, Ph.D.
The opioid epidemic in our country has understandably been given much attention. Here we discuss the prevalence of opiate use/addiction in population, present how the opioid crisis came about in the country, what’s helped address this problem and why this problem isn’t going away. We will also discuss how the COVID Pandemic has impacted the opioid problem including increases in overdose rates, changes in our providers and patients as well as the treatment system. We will also look at the effectiveness of substance use disorder treatment – does it work? Compared to what?

1. Attendees will know how the opioid crisis came about in the US including the three “waves” of the crisis.
2. Attendees will understand how the COVID pandemic has impacted treatment programs, treatment delivery, providers, and patients.
3. Attendees will be able to compare success rates, and predictors of relapse of individuals with substance use disorders to those with other chronic disorders such as asthma or diabetes.
4. Attendees will be able to discuss studies that have shown that motivation for recovery upon entering treatment is not an essential ingredient in predicting outcomes or success.
5. Attendees will be able to compare the public’s goals for substance abuse treatment to the goals treatment providers’ measure.

Dr. Merritt
Medications help substance use disorder patients in varying ways, from significantly decreasing cravings for opioids or alcohol to harm reduction benefits from decreased needle use and HIV/HEP C transmission. There are now 3 primary options for the use of medications in treating substance use disorder: methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex) and naltrexone (VIVITROL®). Although they all provide support in helping our patients, each has different indications, uses, goals, and benefits. In this session, for each medication, we will describe the development, mechanisms of action, intended uses, and “real world” experience implementing these three primary options in medication-assisted treatment. Special focus will be given to their role in diminishing cravings for drugs/alcohol, reducing the harms associated with drug use, and their risk/benefit profile. This course will familiarize the audience with various evidence based treatments for opioid use disorder
1. Learners should come to understand that OUD is a brain disease that can develop after repeated opioid use.
2. Learners should know there is effective medical treatment for OUD just as for other medical problems or brain-based diseases.
3. Learners should be able to describe the mechanism of action for each of the medication treatments for OUD.

Credit hours for Licensed Clinicians: 2 NBCC
Recovery Centers of America has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7002. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Recovery Centers of America is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs

Credit hours for physicians: 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society and the Recovery Centers of America (RCA). MedChi is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Deni Carise, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer, Recovery Centers of America
Deni Carise, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist and part of the recovery community for over 35 years. She is currently Chief Science Officer of Recovery Centers of America (RCA) and Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania. RCA is dedicated to creating neighborhood-based treatment and recovery campuses that include detoxification, residential, partial hospital, intensive and traditional outpatient, family, and alumni services. Beginning in March 2016, RCA has opened 7 such campuses, 2 in MA, NJ and MD, and 1 in PA, multiple outpatient and opioid treatment programs.

Deni has held similar positions at CRC Health Group, with more than140 programs and Phoenix House, a nonprofit substance abuse treatment provider with over 100 programs where Dr Carise developed national standards for clinical care and Clinical Toolkits for over 30 evidence-based practices. Dr Carise was Chief Clinical Advisor for Sierra Tucson, a premier facility treating substance abuse, pain, mood, eating and trauma disorders. She serves on various Boards and has worked extensively internationally, with treatment providers in Nigeria, Mexico, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Singapore, Brazil, and China and numerous other countries to help develop national systems that integrate scientifically-validated tools into clinical treatment delivery. She has also been featured in segments of Nightline, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS and NBS evening news, Access Hollywood, New York news and has also been quoted in popular newsprint media such as US News and World Report, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, and others. She has published over 100 articles, books, and chapters.

Dr. Sarah Merritt
Lifestream Health Center
Dr. Merritt is a triple-board certified physician with ABMS qualifications in anesthesiology, pain medicine, as well as addiction medicine.

She is proud to call Baltimore City her home, but she grew up in Huntsville, Alabama. She attended Birmingham-Southern College, and medical school at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. After residency in anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, she pursued additional fellowship training in pain management at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute. She is well versed in the full spectrum of interventional and medical pain management techniques. Her practice includes not only needle-based procedures such as epidurals, radiofrequency, and ultrasound-guided injections, but also medical management of acute and chronic pain. She also has a portion of her practice dedicated to treating opioid use disorder.

Currently, Dr. Merritt is active as a volunteer in the medical community in addition to her medical practice. She was appointed by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a member of the Technical Access Committee (TAC) for the Maryland State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). This group analyzes data collected by the PDMP, and reviews certain requests for PDMP data. She is also the Co-Chairperson of the Legislative Council for MedChi, the Maryland state medical society and a member of the MedChi Board of Trustees. She is a member of MACS – the Maryland Addiction Consultation Service, a grant-funded effort through the University of Maryland, which is currently developing initiatives and educational content for Maryland physicians.


Sep 15 2020


5:00 pm - 7:00 pm



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