Opioid Awareness Event on May 17

Opioid Awareness Event on May 17
Posted on 05/15/2018
Lane County and HIV Alliance to Co-Host Opioid Awareness Event

The Lane County Pain Guidance & Safety Alliance is hosting an event to raise awareness about the impact of opioids in Lane County. The event, “Opioids in Lane County: What You Need to Know,” will be held this Thursday, May 17th at the Eugene Downtown Public Library from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. 

“We have gathered top-notch speakers from our local community to give Ted-talk style presentations, as well as give folks the opportunity to hear  from some of the leading local experts on opiates and opiate misuse in Lane County,” said Elisabeth Maxwell, Lane County Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Coordinator. “We hear so much in the national media about the opiate crisis and it’s really important for people in our community to know what’s happening at a local level, especially with the life-saving medication, Naloxone.” 

At the event, Eugene-based non-profit, HIV Alliance will be distributing naloxone and providing overdose prevention training. HIV Alliance provides health services to over 3,000 individuals who inject drugs in Lane County, a population at high risk for overdose.  In 2017, 35% of the clients surveyed said they had witnessed an overdose in the last 12 months. From 2010-2014, 8.3 out of 100,000 Lane County residents overdosed due to opioids. Oregon’s overdose hospitalizations and death are roughly 5 times greater than they were ten years ago. 

”Public awareness and education are vital to solving our opioid related problems,” said HIV Alliance Executive Director, Renee Yandel. “This is a community wide issue and in order to combat it we must talk openly and honestly about the impacts of opioids, stigma and the steps community members can take to be safer.  Addressing the health needs of individuals who experience opioid use disorder is also a critical component in preventing HIV and HCV.”

The event will feature four speakers, covering a wide range of topics directly relating to opioid use disorder- from Good Samaritan laws, to neuroplasticity, treatment alternatives and therapy. 

Dr. Patrick Luedtke, MD, MPH, Lane County’s Senior Public Health Officer and Chief Medical Officer for Lane County Health & Human Services, will be presenting "Good Samaritan and County Specific Data on Public Health.” Dr. Luedtke received his M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette University. He has previously spent 11 years in Utah as the State Public Health Laboratory Director, Deputy State Epidemiologist, Acting State Epidemiologist, and Adult Medicine Director for Medicaid clinics. Prior to Utah, Dr. Luedtke served 12 years as an active duty Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy. Listen to his weekly radio show, Health Matters, on KWVA 88.1 FM in Eugene.

Dr. Scott Pengelly, MD, Clinical Health Psychology at Pain Consultants of Oregon, will be presenting "Opioids and its Effects on the Brain.” Dr. Scott Pengelly is a clinical health psychologist whose practice specializes in treating chronic pain, neuroplasticity and brain embodiment, enhancing human performance and reducing the toxic aftereffects of trauma. His skills have taken him from Olympic Games (15 of them!) where he helped prepare athletes and coaches, to positions on various boards and committees involving Pain Society Oregon, Oregon Psychological Associations and more. A recipient of several awards and honors and a servant of the people, Dr. Pengelly helps people excel under duress.

Dr. Mark Mueller, MD, Family Physician at the Community Health Centers of Lane County, will be presenting "Non-Opioid Treatment Alternatives for Opioid Dependence.” Dr. Mark Mueller grew up in the Midwest. He received his Master’s in Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta and worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemiologist. He was awarded his medical degree from the University of Missouri‐Columbia. He is board certified in Family Medicine and joined the Community Health Centers (CHC) of Lane County in 2015.

Dr. Moxie Loeffler, DO, MD, also from the Community Health Centers of Lane County, will be presenting "Medically Assisted Therapies for Treating Patients with Opioid Dependence.” Dr. Moxie Loeffler received her Doctor of Osteopathy degree from the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in California and her Master of Public Health degree from University of California Berkeley. Dr. Loeffler’s interest began while working at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, in a state with a high rate of opioid overdose deaths and very limited access to evidence-based opioid addiction treatment. She and Dr. Mueller implemented the new buprenorphine program at CHCLC in 2017. She grew up in Gilroy, CA and joined the CHC in 2016.

Lane County encourages persons with disabilities to participate in their programs and activities. Please email Leilani Brewer or call 541.799.3377 to request accommodations. Presentation materials in a non-English language available upon request.