Community wide, FAMILY EDUCATION SEMINAR continuing on January 11th, 2020. Register Below!The next Family Education Seminar will be held on Saturday, January 11th at the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine. If you are concerned that someone you love has a substance use issue, would like continued education on the disease of addiction and how it affects the family, or just need support as you navigate through the recovery process, please join us for a day of lectures and activities presented by some of the top doctors, clinicians and experts in the Richmond area.
Let’s Reduce the StigmaTo those who study it, the truth is plain to see - addiction is not a moral failing but a devastating disease of the mind that can be treated and healed. Nevertheless, there is still so much isolation, shame, and stigma attached to substance abuse for addicted patients and their families that it is difficult for many to seek the help they so desperately need. One of the ways we fight against stigma is by educating families throughout our community on the reality and nature of the disease and giving them the means to counteract it. Families are often surprised to learn that things they did out of love and concern for a family member struggling with addiction were sometimes not helpful. The keys to turning things around are knowledge and informed compassion. Our goal in this effort is to equip families with the knowledge and resources they need to grow and heal and by doing so, help us reduce the deadly effects of stigma in our community. Addiction is “a family disease” and family members are profoundly affected when a loved one suffers. We hope that our program will help family members to recognize the many ways their lives have been impacted by the illness of their loved one. More importantly, we hope they’ll be introduced to the kind of understanding, practices, and treatments that are needed to begin their own journeys of recovery.
Guest SpeakersAdrienne Loker, LCSW
Adriene will be presenting a lecture titled, ‘Seeking Peace During the Storm’. This retreat-style presentation welcomes anyone battling the addiction of a loved one. Adrienne engages participants to individualize the content that is received, but ensures that attendees walk away with a better understanding of themselves, their loved one, and the impact that the storm of addiction has caused. Specifically, she will explore from a trauma lens the changes that take place in the brain the longer we are exposed to the storm of addiction, and attendees will gain insight into how they can take care of themselves and reduce the overall chaos in their lives. Adrienne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in trauma and addiction recovery. She received her Bachelor’s (2009) and Master’s (2012) of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She’s worked in a variety of mental health settings addressing the roots and manifestations of chemical dependency, including the Forensic Mental Health Unit at Central State Hospital, the residential campus for sexually reactive youth at United Methodist Family Services, and the Intensive Outpatient Program and Medication Assisted Treatment Program at Family Counseling Center for Recovery. For several years she created and managed the experientially based, trauma informed Intensive Outpatient Program at Dominion Youth Services and resigned to debut her own private practice, Seeking Depth to Recovery, which aims to renovate community therapy by offering intensive individual sessions with a neurobiologically informed treatment plan. Adrienne has advanced training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which accelerates the healing process. Adrienne also has training in psychodrama for groups, individuals, and couples sessions and offers daylong retreats using this modality. She believes deeply in the use of experiential approaches that allow clients and families to experience the change process viscerally from the roots of suffering, rather than remain cerebrally focused through talk therapy.
Mike Zohab - DBHDS Opioid Project Coordinator, Founder of the Virginia Recovery Foundation
Mike Zohab, DBHDS, will be presenting a lecture titled, ‘Navigating Community Resources in the Face of Stigma and Bias’. Mike is a lifelong resident of Henrico County, Virginia and recently retired from the Richmond Police Department after 30 years. The majority of his law enforcement career has been in investigations with a primary focus on all levels of drug enforcement. These included working in an undercover capacity, supervision of narcotic and violent crime investigations, asset forfeiture and money laundering investigations, and retiring as the Commander in charge of the Special Investigation Division. Currently, Mike is the State Opioid Response Grant Manager for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for the State of Virginia and has managed over 50 million dollars of grant funding for the State of Virginia building prevention, treatment and recovery programs for Substance Use Disorder. In 2013 Mike saw a need for the renovation of how law enforcement addressed opiate addicts. The drastic increase in overdose victims, coupled with years of professional and personal contact with individuals struggling with addiction, fueled a passion to be a change agent in this opiate epidemic. Mike instituted policy changes and educational programs to better serve the victims of the disease of addiction and in the spring of 2016 founded the Virginia Recovery Foundation. In his downtime, Mike loves all aspects of outdoor life - in particular fishing and hunting.
VCAM PresentersDr. James Thompson
Dr. James Thompson, our CMO, and co-founder will be presenting a lecture on the Science of Addiction. Dr. Thompson is leading the industry with his compassionate, caring team by providing comprehensive outpatient care to those experiencing addiction and alcoholism in our community and beyond. He co-founded VCAM with a vision, to create an outpatient treatment center that combines the standard tools of addiction medicine-ambulatory detox, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) - with psychiatry, counseling, and recovery coaching, to make individualized treatment plans that encompass the specific recovery needs of his patients. That vision continues to develop with the addition of the Family Program which will be available not only to patients’ families but to the community at large. He understands from a personal level how important it is to educate family members and loved ones on the disease of addiction, and more importantly, afford them a chance to grow and heal in their own recovery.