The Summit provided a focus on addiction and medication assisted treatment.
On Wednesday, July 25th, 2018, teams of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers, community leaders and medical professionals were representing each of Indiana’s 92 counties and met to discuss recovery from substance use.
The Statewide Opioid Summit: A Medication Assisted Treatment and Addictions Primer for Justice Professionals was geared towards educating those involved with the criminal justice system on best practices when assisting or dealing with people who have substance use issues.
The event, led by Chief Justice Loretta Rush who chairs the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, is part of the judicial branches efforts to assist in fighting the opioid public health epidemic. Sessions at the summit were focused on educating attendees on the science of addiction and evidence-based treatments for substance use disorder such as medication assisted treatment. It also educated those in attendance on the criminal justice role in these practices and legal implications that may be involved with those treatments.
The Summit provided those in attendance with many educational opportunities to gear the criminal justice system towards understanding that substance use disorder can be treated and mass incarceration for those who have substance use issues is not the answer.
The Summit closed with Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition director, Brandon George, speaking to those in attendance as an example that we can and do recover. Brandon shared with the Summit his story of addiction and most importantly his story of recovery. By being an example of how a person can recover, especially while utilizing the evidence-based practice of medication assisted treatment, it allowed the participants to see a visual success story of recovery. George has utilized his position as director of Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition, to not only educate and advocate on recovery from substance use issues however also the assistance medication assisted treatment can provide for a person’s personal path of recovery. Below is Brandon George’s story of recovery he shared at the Summit.