Our Speakers

Learn about the latest in addiction treatment and recovery tools and techniques from leading experts across the addiction health spectrum.

2019 Speakers

David T. Courtwright

Presidential Professor, Dept. of History, University of North Florida

Speaker

David T. Courtwright has published four books on the history of drug use and drug policy. They are Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America; Addicts Who Survived; Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World; and The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business. The last was published this May by Harvard University Press. A graduate of the University of Kansas and Rice University, he has taught for thirty years at the University of North Florida, where is now presidential professor emeritus. His research has been recognized by the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Media Award, as well as fellowships from the American Historical Association, NASA, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Courtwright’s presentation, “Opium to Opioids: U.S. Drug Policy Past, Present, and Future,” provides an overview of U.S. drug use and drug policy from the wave of iatrogenic narcotic addiction in the late nineteenth century to the current opioid addiction epidemic. He argues that the policy pattern is, and will likely continue to be, cyclical in nature, as both lawmakers and physicians have oscillated between over- and underreaction to emerging drug issues.   

ON OUR AGENDA

Opium to Opioids: U.S. Drug Policy Past, Present, and Future
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Wendy E. Coughlin, PH.D.

Speaker

Dr. Coughlin is a person in long term recovery who works in private practice specializing in Substance Use Disorders and recovery for the individual, family, and family court. Wendy is the author of Twelve Steps: The Sequel, expanding the 12 steps to maximize growth in recovery.  She is certified as a Masters Certified Addiction Professional (FCB), Master Addiction Counselor (NADAAC), Florida Family Mediator, Guardian ad Litem. She is a past-President and board member of FMPG and a board member of FSAM.

Website: drwendycoughlin.com

ON OUR AGENDA

Language is Important: Words Matter
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 1:30 PM

David Aronberg

State Attorney

Panelist

Dave Aronberg was elected State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in November 2012 and re-elected without opposition in 2016. He is a former Assistant Attorney General, White House Fellow and Florida Senator.

As State Attorney, Aronberg leads a team of 120 prosecutors and 220 professional staff in five offices throughout Palm Beach County. Aronberg’s leadership has led to a significant increase in conviction rates for both felonies and misdemeanors, a decrease in the number of juveniles direct filed into adult court, and a greatly improved working relationship with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

In July 2016, he created a Sober Homes Task Force that has made more than 55 arrests for patient brokering and insurance fraud in the rehab industry and has led to new Florida laws and regulations that have become the model for other states. Aronberg’s efforts convinced Google to restrict advertisements and improve screening for addiction treatment. As opioid deaths continue to rise nationally, Palm Beach County experienced a 62% decrease in opioid overdose deaths in the first four months of 2018, compared to the same period last year.

Dave Aronberg was born in Miami. He attended public schools before going on to graduate with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. After graduation, he worked in the litigation department of a large South Florida law firm while also working closely with then Insurance Commissioner Bill Nelson to investigate European insurance companies that refused to honor World War II-era policies sold to victims of the Holocaust. In 2000, Aronberg was selected to be one of 15 White House Fellows from across the country. In this nonpartisan position, he served in two presidential administrations as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury Department for international money laundering, including the laundering of terrorist assets.

Dave Aronberg was elected to the State Senate in 2002 as its youngest member and served until 2010. Focusing on criminal justice and consumer protection issues, Aronberg passed major identity theft and port security legislation and served as the Chairman of the Military Affairs and Domestic Security Committee. He also served as Chair of the Everglades Restoration Committee, where he advocated for accelerating water storage projects and additional State and Federal support for Florida’s “River of Grass.”

In 2010, Aronberg returned to the Florida Attorney General’s Office as a Special Prosecutor for Prescription Drug Trafficking. In his role as the Attorney General’s “Drug Czar,” Aronberg led an anti-pill mill initiative that helped clean up the pain clinic industry and reduced the record number of people dying each day from oxycodone abuse. His work to save lives from drug overdoses continues as a top priority to this day.

ON OUR AGENDA

Panel: Efforts of Sober Homes Task Force
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Al Johnson

Chief Assistant State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit

Panelist

Alan S. Johnson currently serves as Chief Assistant State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit, a position he previously held from 2005 – 2009.  He returned to the State Attorney’s Office in 2013 after serving three years as Executive Director of the newly established Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics. As an Assistant State Attorney for 25 years, Mr. Johnson has prosecuted numerous high profile felony cases. In 2016, Mr. Johnson was asked to lead the State Attorney’s Sober Homes Task Force, established by the Florida Legislature, to conduct a study aimed to strengthen investigation and prosecution of criminal and regulatory violations within the substance abuse treatment industry. In 2017, the Task Force recommended significant legislative changes in the areas of marketing, patient brokering and treatment industry standards. These initiatives passed unanimously and were adopted into law on July 1, 2017.  In its first year of operation, the law enforcement side of the Task Force investigated and charged 45 individuals for violating fraud and patient brokering laws.

In addition to his duties as Chief Assistant State Attorney, Mr. Johnson has also served in various capacities as a member and chairman of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee and the Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee as well as regularly serving as a volunteer youth court judge. Since 2000, Mr. Johnson has been a frequent instructor for the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association in areas including ethics & professionalism, discovery, victim rights, restitution, homicide prosecution, evidence and jury selection.

Mr. Johnson graduated from Columbia University in 1973 and obtained his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976.

ON OUR AGENDA

Panel: Efforts of Sober Homes Task Force
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 3:00 PM

David Sherman, MD FASAM

Speaker

David Sherman, MD FASAM is a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and board certified in addiction medicine.  He completed a two-year fellowship in addiction medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville.  Dr. Sherman is founder and CEO of Wellness Treasure, a medication assisted treatment clinic in New Port Richey that was created in response to the opioid crisis.  He is medical director for Rockland Treatment Center.  Both entities are physically located in the same building so that patients receive ongoing individual and group counseling with medication assistance.  Dr. Sherman is also an addiction medicine physician on staff at White Sands Treatment Center in Plant City.   

ON OUR AGENDA

Opioid Treatment Guidelines
Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Kelly Brady, LMHC, AP

Speaker

Kelly Brady is a Psychotherapist and an Acupuncture Physician who has specialized in serving the professional recovery community since 1993.  Her unique approach combines depth psychology, traditional Chinese medicine (theory and practice), as well as insight from a variety of schools of ancient contemplative wisdom. Her solo practice in the Tampa area offers individual, couple, family, and group counseling, Acupuncture, and Thai Massage.

ON OUR AGENDA

The Science of Meditation
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Breathing Exercise: “The Breath of Gratitude”
Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Marla D. Golden, D.O., FACEP

Speaker

Dr. Marla Golden is an Osteopathic Physician in Jacksonville, Florida. She graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) in 1988 and completed an Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville, Florida in 1992. She is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Golden practiced Emergency Medicine for a number of years before transitioning into Pain Medicine in the year 2000.

She has had a solo integrative Pain Medicine practice for 19 years and has been working with patients with substance and behavioral use disorders for the last 10 years. Her practice is centered on an understanding of the key role of the Connective Tissue System in the maintenance of health or dis-ease.

During that time she co-founded and co-authored The Neuroplastic Transformation Program and Workbook. It is a program designed to help patients and providers understand that neuroplastic change is the underlying basis for disease progression as well as treatment. It is an interactive program that teaches patients self directed, portable, efficacious ways to counteract and overcome their pain.

She utilizes a hybrid manual therapy technique based in Osteopathic Manipulation, fascial unwinding and Craniosacral therapy in combination with sound, vibration and other non-invasive modalities as part of a comprehensive approach to the patient and their pain.

Realizing that most people use substance or self-destructive behaviors to ‘medicate’ all types of pain, she has adapted the original program to incorporate the use of neuroplasticity techniques in the treatment of substance and behavioral use disorders.

She is a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the American Board of Pain Medicine. She is board eligible in Addictions Medicine. She currently continues in a part-time clinical practice and is the Director of Clinical Education for the PCOM South campus in Moultrie, Georgia and a Regional Assistant Dean in the Department of Clinical Education for the PCOM-Georgia campus in Suwannee, Georgia.

ON OUR AGENDA

The Science of Change
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 10:25 AM

Mary Deitch, JD, Psy.D 

Speaker

Dr. Deitch is the President of SASH (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health) and owner/operator of Deitch Therapy and Consulting, LLC in Woodlyn, PA.  Deitch Therapy and Consulting is an outpatient center for the treatment and assessment of problematic sexual behaviors and boundary violations as well as consultation and education for providers. Dr. Deitch specializes in working with problematic sexual behaviors including offending behaviors, schema focused therapy, relapse prevention, assessment and trauma. Dr. Deitch has presented nationally and internationally on the treatment of problematic sexual behaviors, assessment of physicians, vicarious trauma, and offending behaviors. She is the former Program Director for the Keystone Center Extended Care Unit, a residential program dedicated to the treatment of those struggling with sexual addiction. Dr. Deitch was also a consultant and supervisor for Victim Services Center of Montgomery County, Inc a non-profit agency working with those who are victims of crime and their significant others. Her main focus there was supervising students working with children via play therapy and adults utilizing an empowerment model. Dr. Deitch also served as adjunct faculty at Widener University Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and most recently taught on topics related to merging the fields of psychology and law.

ON OUR AGENDA

Understanding Problematic Sexual Behaviors
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 1:30 PM

It Gets Much Easier When You Can Just Talk About Sex
Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Ilene Robeck, MD

Speaker

Dr. Robeck is currently the director of virtual pain care for the Richmond VAMC and in that capacity does econsulting, case based education, and clinical video teleconsults throughout the country seeing patients with chronic pain as well as comoribid medical, sud and/or mental health comorbidities. She is also the Chair of the Primary Care Pain Champions Initiative for National VA. In that role she provides mentoring, education and resources for all in primary care to use when working with patients with pain.

ON OUR AGENDA

Vaping Update: Understand the Risks and Impact on Patients
Friday, June 7, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Leon Smith, MD

Speaker

I practiced in North Jacksonville for over 20 years, and for over 10 in The Villages in Central Florida. I retired in 2011 after receiving a double lung transplant due to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

In addition to my academic career I have held several interesting jobs from cleaned swimming pools in Miami Beach where I was raised, to doing estrogen binding research while in dental school, to working as a Diener in a morgue, and from there scrubbing in during Head and Neck procedures in the ER at the University of Maryland Trauma Center. I still consider the best job in ever had to be my first: being a seaman on a mailboat in the Bahamas in the mid 60s.

Andrew, my son who died of overdose on Nov 11th 2014, was truly a son of this city. He was born here and named after Andrew Jackson. He Attended Stanton Prep prior to coming to live with me in Central Florida. Andrew graduated in 3 from Stetson with a degree in Political Science. He a working for a commercial insurance brokerage and stationed in Los Vegas at the time of his death.

ON OUR AGENDA

Listening to the Choir
Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 10:15 AM

Jennifer Barbieri, LCSW

Speaker

Jennifer Barbieri is a licensed clinical social worker and trauma resolution specialist. Author and speaker, Jennifer believes the brain can be re-trained following traumatic experiences. Jennifer has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings to address unresolved trauma issues and to reduce urges, cravings and symptoms. Jennifer is trained in hypnotherapy, EMDR and energy psychology. Jennifer holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and operates a private practice, The URGES Clinic in Hattiesburg, MS. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys a simple life.

ON OUR AGENDA

Symptom Reduction in Treating Addiction and Mental Health Issues
Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11:15 AM