Speakers announced for heroin awareness forum
From staff Reports February 19, 2013 1:06PM
Updated: March 21, 2013 6:17AM
The lineup of speakers for the 2013 Hero Helps Community Forum to be held April 19 will include local physicians who will discuss what the medical community can do to develop and implement interventions to reduce heroin overdose deaths.
Previewing this year’s forum, Paul Lauridsen, clinical director at SteppingStones Treatment Center, said, “Speakers will present information about best practices for overdose prevention in medical settings. For example, an emergency department’s response to overdoses can be vital in preventing future overdoses,” Lauridsen said.
“Such responses include the use of medications that reverse overdoses and referring patients and their families to treatment and support resources. Additionally, speakers will talk about the essential role that doctors and other medical professionals play in identifying individuals who may be addicted to pain medications.”
Speakers will include:
Dr. David Mikolaczyk is the medical director for emergency medicine at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. He has treated numerous patients for heroin overdose and said he would like to focus the attention of the public, law enforcement, EMS, government and schools on the epidemic of heroin use and abuse in our communities.
Dr. Seth Eisenberg from the Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse within the Illinois Department of Human Services will share information about opioid overdose prevention, Illinois’ Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment).
Dr. Steven Aks is the director of the Toxikon Consortium of Chicago and an emergency room physician at Cook County Hospital. Aks will discuss the importance of sharing toxicology resources among hospitals across the state. He will also address training individuals to administer out-of-hospital naloxone as well as prescribing naloxone for use by heroin users.
The forum will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. The event is being held in the JFK Sports Complex on the Lewis University campus, 1 University Parkway in Romeoville.
For more information, visit the forum’s website: www.herohelpsevent.org.