30 episodes

Timely discussions that aim to shift perceptions of addiction from a moral failing to a chronic, manageable condition. Let’s confront the stigmas that hinder effective treatment and motivate healthcare professionals to play an active role in helping individuals recover. Treatment is available. Recovery is possible. Stay informed—follow and subscribe!

The Treat Addiction Save Lives Podcast American Society of Addiction Medicine

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Timely discussions that aim to shift perceptions of addiction from a moral failing to a chronic, manageable condition. Let’s confront the stigmas that hinder effective treatment and motivate healthcare professionals to play an active role in helping individuals recover. Treatment is available. Recovery is possible. Stay informed—follow and subscribe!

    Episode 19: Teri Sforza sits down to talk about addiction reporting and the stories that have stuck with her

    Episode 19: Teri Sforza sits down to talk about addiction reporting and the stories that have stuck with her

    In another special episode, we are joined by 2024 ASAM Media Award recipient Teri Sforza. Teri describes her journalistic approach as that of an "accountability reporter." In this conversation, she shares her journey to the field of addiction reporting and her thoughts about the need for potential legislation and oversight related to the addiction treatment industry. Teri discusses her work as a lead reporter on the award-winning series, Rehab Riviera. She also addresses how she has perceived stigma through her reporting, how journalists can help combat stigma, and what motivates her to continue her work. Teri offers advice and words of wisdom for up-and-coming or current journalists who may be interested in reporting on addiction.
    Teri Sforza, MFA, is one of the lead reporters on the Orange County Register (OCR)/Southern California News Group’s ongoing probe of fraud, abuse, and death in the Southern California addiction treatment industry. The Rehab Riviera series coverage won first place for investigative reporting from the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA), first place for projects reporting from Best of the West, and was a finalist for the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation's print award in 2018. Teri birthed the Watchdog column in 2008, aiming to keep a critical (but good-humored) eye on governments and nonprofits, which won first place for public service reporting from the CNPA in 2010. She contributed to the OCR's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of fertility fraud at UC Irvine, covered what was then the largest municipal bankruptcy in America‘s history, and is the author of The Strangest Song, the first book to tell the story of a genetic condition called Williams syndrome and the extraordinary musicality of many of the people who have it. She earned her M.F.A. from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television, and enjoys making documentaries. She's honored that her work has been recognized by ASAM and hopes for a brighter future for people struggling with addiction.
    Links:
    ASAM Awards & Scholarships
    Rehab Riviera
    The Orange County Register
    Southern California News Group
    American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
    California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM)
    The Strangest Song: One Father’s Quest to Help His Daughter Find Her Voice
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Treatment is available and recovery is possible. Visit ASAM’s Patient Resources page for more information.
    The information shared in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The views expressed in this podcast may not be those of the host or ASAM management.

    • 33 min
    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Stephanie Weiss

    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Stephanie Weiss

    Stephanie Weiss, MD, PhD, FASAM, joins us for this special episode recorded at ASAM’s 55th Annual Conference. Dr. Weiss shares her experiences attending ASAM’s conferences over the past few years, including the virtual conference in 2020 when she was a Ruth Fox Scholar. She talks about her extensive educational journey and the surprising path to her current job at NIDA. She also discusses her work regarding kratom, kratom use, and how that use differs in the US versus other countries. Dr. Weiss addresses the challenges of interpreting urine drug testing and the complexities of stigma related to addiction.  
    Dr. Weiss is the staff clinician serving the Translational Addiction Medicine Branch (TAMB) of the NIDA IRP. After earning a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of South Florida, Dr. Weiss received her medical degree from Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2011. She practiced as an emergency physician in Florida before completing fellowships in addiction medicine and medical toxicology, a subspecialty that cares for patients with poisonings, environmental exposures, and overdoses. She also participated in Boston University’s Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars Program, which fosters the development of addiction physician scientists. Dr. Weiss assumes responsibility for providing optimal, safe, and ethical care to study participants and clinical support toward the TAMB mission of conducting inpatient and outpatient proof-of-concept human laboratory studies. Her research interests include kratom toxicology, medication misuse, and improving interpretation of urine drug testing.
    Links:
    ASAM Annual Conference information
    Ruth Fox Scholarship Program
    NIDA – National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Research in Addiction Medicine Scholars Program
    American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Treatment is available and recovery is possible. Visit ASAM’s Patient Resources page for more information.
    The information shared in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The views expressed in this podcast may not be those of the host or ASAM management.

    • 18 min
    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Alexander Zotos

    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Alexander Zotos

    Alexander Zotos, MD, FASAM, joined our host, Zach, live from ASAM’s 55th Annual Conference in early April. In this special episode, Dr. Zotos explains how his mentors and patients influenced his decision to pursue the field of addiction medicine. He talks about how perceptions surrounding addiction have evolved over time and efforts of the Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine (TNSAM) to challenge the stigma associated with addiction. Dr. Zotos shares his thoughts on the importance of holistic care, his positive experiences attending ASAM’s conferences over the years, and his main takeaways from this year’s conference. He offers advice to his younger self and newer addiction medicine professionals, stressing the importance of education and training.
    Dr. Zotos has been practicing addiction medicine for over 18 years in the Chattanooga, TN, area. Having worked in both public and private settings, he brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the field of addiction medicine. Since his medical residency, Dr. Zotos has been working at a local treatment center and currently serves as the assistant medical director. His special interests include treatment of opioid use disorder with buprenorphine. He has been board certified in addiction medicine since 2010.  Dr. Zotos additionally works in emergency medicine and is board certified in family medicine. He currently serves as the treasurer and past president of TNSAM. 
     
    Links:
    ASAM Annual Conference information
    Tennessee Society of Addiction Medicine (TNSAM)
    American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Treatment is available and recovery is possible. Visit ASAM’s Patient Resources page for more information.
    The information shared in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The views expressed in this podcast may not be those of the host or the management.

    • 8 min
    Episode 18: Dr. George Koob stops by in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month to discuss his addiction research and why motivation matters

    Episode 18: Dr. George Koob stops by in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month to discuss his addiction research and why motivation matters

    In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, we are joined by George Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Dr. Koob talks about his background and career journey, along with major insights made through his research, including regarding alcohol withdrawal. He addresses stigma related to alcohol use (or abstinence from) and offers advice for the next generation of researchers and clinicians in this exciting and dynamic space, with so much potential for expanding knowledge. Dr. Koob shares resources for individuals, family members, physicians, or anyone looking for information related to alcohol use and alcohol use disorder, including Rethinking Drinking and the NIAAA Treatment Navigator. He emphasizes the importance of motivation (e.g., motivational interviewing) rather than confrontation and seeing your doctor, or encouraging your loved one to see their doctor, for a physical as a good first step in addressing any issues related to alcohol use. Dr. Koob finally explains his motivation for continuing his work in this field.
    In addition to serving as director of NIAAA, Dr. Koob is also a senior investigator at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse where he directs the Neurobiology of Addiction Laboratory in the Integrative Neurosciences Research Branch.
    As an authority on alcohol use disorder, drug addiction, and stress, he has contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry associated with the acute reinforcing effects of alcohol and drugs and the neuroadaptations of the reward and stress circuits associated with the transition to dependence. He has published over 800 peer reviewed papers; mentored 13 PhD students, 85 post-doctoral fellows, and 11 K99’s (Pathway to Independence Award postdoctoral researchers); and authored several books including the Neurobiology of Addiction. He received his PhD in behavioral physiology from Johns Hopkins University in 1972. He did post-doctoral studies at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the University of Cambridge (England). He subsequently held positions at The Salk Institute and the Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Koob is the recipient of many honors, including membership in the National Academy of Medicine (USA) and award of the Legion of Honor (France).
    Links:
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
    Society for Neuroscience – Autobiographical Chapter
    Rethinking Drinking
    NIAAA Treatment Navigator
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Neurobiology of Addiction
    The Healthcare Professional’s Core Resource on Alcohol
    American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Treatment is available and recovery is possible. Visit ASAM’s Patient Resources page for more information.
    The information shared in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The views expressed in this podcast may not be those of the host or ASAM management.

    • 21 min
    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Kelly Ramsey

    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Kelly Ramsey

    For this special episode recorded live at ASAM’s Annual Conference, Kelly Ramsey, MD, MPH, MA, FACP, DFASAM, talks about her journey into the field of addiction medicine and how her early experience dispelled myths she previously heard about people who use drugs. She addresses stigma related to addiction, the prevalence of xylazine in the illicit drug supply*, and the need to recognize and treat appropriately polysubstance drug use and overdoses. Dr. Ramsey also discusses her thoughts about the future of addiction medicine and the importance of harm reduction and meeting patients where they are. She shares what she finds enjoyable about attending ASAM’s conference and offers words of wisdom to the new generation of addiction medicine providers.
    Dr. Ramsey is a board-certified internal medicine and addiction medicine physician who has treated substance use disorder since 2004. She worked as medical director of an academic center-based opioid treatment program (OTP) in the South Bronx before working for nearly a decade for a large FQHC in the Hudson Valley where she created and grew a medication for addiction treatment (MAT) program for opioid use disorder (OUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) to 10 sites and 1500 patients. More recently, Dr. Ramsey worked as the chief of medical services at the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), in a policy, regulatory, and clinical role.
    Dr. Ramsey currently works as an addiction medicine and harm reduction consultant as well as providing low threshold clinical care and clinical supervision in addiction medicine in three drug user health hubs in New York. She has provided expert advice to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) AIDS Institute and their Office of Drug User Health (ODUH), serving on numerous committees for about 15 years, providing expertise in addiction medicine, harm reduction, HIV care, and HCV care.
    Dr. Ramsey was the recipient of the New York State Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award for contributions to drug user health in NYS in December 2018. She was the Distinguished Contributions to Behavioral Medicine Award Recipient, awarded by the American College of Physicians (ACP) in April 2023. Dr. Ramsey was awarded the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Special Medical Alumni Board Award in October 2023.
    Dr. Ramsey is the immediate past president of the New York Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (NYSAM) Board of Directors. In addition, she currently serves as Region I Director, representing NYS, on the national American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Board of Directors.
    Links:
    ASAM’s Annual Conference information
    Finding Lifesaving Solutions to a Dangerous Trend
    American Society of Addiction Medicine
     
    If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Treatment is available and recovery is possible. Visit ASAM’s Patient Resources page for more information.
    The information shared in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The views expressed in this podcast may not be those of the host or the management.
     
    *The comments in the discussion alluding to 90% of syringes containing xylazine refer to the findings of the following study: The Emerging of Xylazine as a New Drug of Abuse and its Health Consequences among Drug Users in Puerto Rico - PMC (nih.gov).

    • 19 min
    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Geri-Lynn Utter

    Special Episode from the 55th Annual ASAM Conference: Dr. Geri-Lynn Utter

    Dr. Geri-Lynn Utter, PsyD, joined us from the ASAM 55th Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, which took place April 4-7, 2024. In this special episode, Dr. Utter talks about her experiences at conference over the years and the relationships she has built over time at this annual event. She also describes some of her favorite memories from conference, what she loves about attending, and why she thinks others should attend, as well (spoiler: Connections! Meet-ups! Yoga! Beautiful location!). She emphasizes the importance of self-care for addiction treatment providers and offers advice for those who may have a loved one struggling with addiction or individuals in active addiction.
    Dr. Utter is a licensed psychologist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is PSYPACT certified, allowing her to conduct telepsychology across state boundaries. Dr. Utter specializes in working with individuals who struggle with co-occurring mental health concerns like substances use disorders in conjunction with severe depression and anxiety. She also works in medical affairs as a clinical scientist in the substance use disorder space.
    In 2020, Dr. Utter released her first book, Mainlining Philly: Survival, Hope and Resisting Drug Addiction, which resulted from her desire to share her story and instill hope in others. The book is based on her life experiences and challenges as a result of her parents’ struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, and other mental health concerns like major depressive disorder, severe anxiety, and trauma.
    Her documentary cleverly titled Utter Nonsense was released on Apple TV and Prime Video in August of 2023. It is an informative, touching, and personal look into the world of drug addiction. It focuses on individuals in the Kensington section of Philadelphia and follows her story and a few others to educate on how addiction impacts everyone in its orbit.
    Released in September of 2023, her second book Aftershock: How Past Events Shake Up Your Life Today focuses on the aftershock phenomenon, a repertoire of delayed mental health symptoms like irritability, emotional fatigue, and depression, all rooted in seemingly everyday events like parenting, changing careers, divorce, the death of a loved one, etc., that produce real but often unrecognized stress and trauma.
    Dr. Utter currently lives in a Philadelphia suburb with her husband and two children. When she is not practicing psychology or writing, she can be found on the soccer field or basketball court cheering for her kiddos.
    Links:
    ASAM Annual Conference Information
    Mainlining Philly: Survival, Hope, and Resisting Drug Addiction
    Utter Nonsense
    Aftershock: How Past Events Shake Up Your Life Today
    American Society of Addiction Medicine
    If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Treatment is available and recovery is possible. Visit ASAM’s Patient Resources page for more information.
    The information shared in this podcast episode is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The views expressed in this podcast may not be those of the host or the management.

    • 12 min

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