UB to offer three-part series on opioid crisis

Posted at 9:12 AM, Mar 15, 2016

The University at Buffalo Medical School will host a "UB Mini Med School" series on the growing heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis in Western New York.

"Confronting the Opioid Epidemic" is a three-part series that will feature experts in medicine, pharmacy and nursing, and representatives from law enforcement and government.

"The opioid epidemic is affecting our entire community," said Roseanne Berger, MD, Mini Medical School director and senior associate dean for graduate medical education at UB.  "Whether people have friends or family members whose lives have been disrupted by concern for a loved one, or whether people want to better understand a major problem affecting our community, this program is right for you," she said.

The events will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 15, 22, and 29.

Topics and speakers are:

March 15: "The History and Science of Opioid Addiction"

  • David Herzberg, PhD, associate professor of history at UB and author of "Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac;"
  • Ken Leonard, PhD, director of UB's Research Institute on Addictions; and
  • Peter Thanos, PhD, senior research scientist at RIA.

March 22: "Prevention and Treatment"

  • Michelle Rainka, PharmD, clinical pharmacist in the Division of Neuropharmacology of DENT Institute of Neurology;
  • Torin Finver, MD, clinical instructor with the Department of Family Medicine, a physician with UBMD Family Medicine and director of UB's fellowship in addictions medicine;
  • Joseph Bart, DO, a faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine and operations medical director for emergency medical services at UBMD Emergency Medicine; and
  • Jared Masci, MD, medical director of addiction services, Lakeshore Behavioral Health. 

March 29: "Law Enforcement and Public Health Strategies"

  • Gale Burstein, MD, Erie County commissioner of health;
  • Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty;
  • John P. Flickinger, group supervisor, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration;
  • Dan Rinaldo, drug intelligence officer,
  • NYNJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas; and
  • Cheryl Moore, RN, Erie County Department of Health, who will demonstrate how to administer naloxone (Narcan).

Presentations are open to the public and will take place in the Butler Auditorium in Farber Hall on UB's South Campus. Tickets are $5 for each night with free admission for high school, college and medical students with valid ID.  Net proceeds will be donated to "Kids Escaping Drugs."