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Dr. C. Everett Koop - Substance Abuse Science and Policy Issues

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M Booth & Associates

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Leading Addiction Experts Will Join Former Surgeon General in Roundtable on National Treatment/Prevention Agenda

(PRINCETON, NJ/WASHINGTON, DC, February 10, 2003) -- Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD will address shortcomings of the nation’s current approaches to substance abuse and addiction during a provocative speech at the National Press Club February 12 to leading scientists, journalists, policy-makers, advocates, and substance abuse treatment professionals.  Substance abuse remains the nation’s number one public health problem, responsible for one in four deaths in the U.S.  The address will also be webcast and archived at www.rwjf.org
The speech will kick off a roundtable discussion of innovation in substance abuse treatment and prevention featuring some of the field’s leaders, such as the scientist whose groundbreaking findings led to restrictions on the availability of alcohol to minors and the psychologist who co-created a framework for behavior change that enables many more individuals with addictions to be treated more successfully. 
The morning program is sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Innovators Program at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, President and CEO, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will be on hand to welcome participants, as will J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD, Director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“This complex public health problem cannot be solved by simplistic so-called solutions, embodied in catch phrases such as ‘legalization’ and ‘medicalization,’” says Dr. Koop, who is currently Senior Scholar at the Koop Institute at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.  “Our nation’s philosophy and policy should be as finely tuned to providing treatment as it is to interdicting drug runners.  And we must stop fighting the addicted and start fighting the disease of addiction and its purveyors, be they distributors of cocaine or executives of Big Tobacco.”
Prior to Dr. Koop’s speech at 9 a.m., participants in the addiction roundtable will have the opportunity to meet some of the field’s leaders during “Breakfast with the Innovators” at 8:15 a.m. These include Jack E. Henningfield, PhD, the program’s host and newly appointed director of the Innovators program.  Dr. Henningfield is Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins.  His leading edge research and policy innovations helped lay the foundation for recognition of nicotine as an addictive drug.
“We wanted to bring together decision makers in the field with varying viewpoints, representing federal agencies, Congress, academia, and the research and treatment communities, among others,” says Dr. Henningfield.  “Dr. Koop’s discussion of the challenges and opportunities to the field will focus our ensuing panel discussion and the participation of all involved.  We hope this will trigger an ongoing dialogue among all concerned on how to best address this public health challenge.”
The panel discussion will address such questions as:  Did raising the drinking age really make a difference?  Shouldn’t we tell all children to “just say no?”  Why focus on youth smoking in inner cities beset by AIDS and addiction to illegal drugs?  Should drug-addicted pregnant women be jailed or treated for their abuse?  How do we bring drug abuse treatment into communities that have neither the resources nor the tolerance for a treatment center?  Shouldn’t addicts be forced into treatment, rather than tailoring treatment to their stage of readiness?  Moderated by Dr. Henningfield, the panel discussion will include the following participants:

  • Joseph V. Brady, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Biology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences & Professor of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Over his four decades of research, Dr. Brady has led innovations in the understanding of how drugs cause abuse and addiction.  He recently pioneered a nationally acclaimed mobile drug treatment unit to bring drug addiction treatment and counseling into underserved areas of Baltimore.
  • Carlo C. DiClemente, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Dr. DiClemente is co-creator of the Transtheoretical Model of Change, a model that identifies stages of change and other factors that predict treatment outcomes and allows many more people to enter treatment programs at earlier stages of readiness.
  • Sandra Headen, PhD, Research, Program Implementation and Evaluation Consultant, The Paragon Foundation and North Carolina Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch.  Dr. Headen’s trailblazing work in research, community advocacy and health promotion in low income communities of color has provided valuable information on how race, gender and other factors influence teens’ motivations to smoke or not to smoke.
  • Ralph Hingson, Sc.D, Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean for Research, Boston University School of Public Health.  Dr. Hingson’s landmark research has supported laws that make it illegal for persons under 21 to drive after drinking, lowering the allowable blood alcohol concentration for adult drivers to .08 percent and setting even lower limits for drivers convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence. These laws have led to hundreds of lives saved each year
  • Hendree Jones, PhD, Director, Center for Addiction and Pregnancy, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Jones directs the clinical research program at the Johns Hopkins Center for Addiction and Pregnancy, which is among the nation’s foremost programs offering intensive comprehensive intervention with wrap-around services for pregnant women with addictions, leading to improved health of the mother and infant and helping to break cross-generational patterns of addiction.

Drs. DiClemente, Headen, Henningfield and Hingson are recipients of the Innovators award.

Immediately following the panel discussion there will be a viewing of the American Visionary Art Museum’s (Baltimore) exhibit “High on Life:  Transcending Addiction” and conversations with artists Ray Materson and Linda St. John, and museum founder and director, Rebecca Hoffberger.
Innovators Combating Substance Abuse is a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that recognizes and rewards those who have made substantial, innovative contributions of national significance in the field of substance abuse and drug addiction. Each award includes a grant of $300,000, which is used to conduct a project over a period of up to three years that advances the field.  The program addresses problems related to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs through education, advocacy, treatment, and policy research and reform at the national, state, and local levels.   Founded in 2000 by the late John Slade, MD at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) School of Public Health, the Innovators national program office relocated to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in December 2002.  Jack E. Henningfield, PhD, a 2000 Innovator awardee and Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins, was appointed national program director.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care.  It concentrates its grant making in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.
Johns Hopkins is one of the world's premier centers for scholarship, research and patient care. The University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System are separate, but closely allied, institutions. Founded in Baltimore, they now reach across the Baltimore-Washington area, with additional facilities in China, Italy and Singapore and partnerships around the world. The university comprises eight schools, a research and development division called the Applied Physics Laboratory and a number of institutes and centers. (PRIVATE)
The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System comprises three hospitals, as well as other elements of an integrated system, from a community physicians group to home care.  Johns Hopkins Medicine, established in 1995 to unite Hopkins’ biomedical research, clinical, teaching and business enterprises, brings together The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its faculty with the facilities and programs of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.  The $2.7 billion enterprise is one of the largest employers in Maryland.  Its components consistently are named at the top of national rankings for best hospital and best school of medicine, and its faculty consistently win the largest share of NIH research funds.  Results of this research continue to advance efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent many diseases.

Copyright 2004 The Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, Maryland.
All rights reserved. Last Updated January 15, 2010

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