Enjoy an "Evening with the Experts" Through February
The inaugural installment of the “Evening with the Experts” lecture series took place at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute auditorium on February 5, and featured a comprehensive lecture on current illegal drug use in the Salt Lake City area by Lt. Mike Ross of the Salt Lake Police Department.
Katie Carlson, M.D., an addiction specialist from University of Utah Health Care, was also on hand answering questions about treatment for addiction of different substances.
Key points from the presentation:
• Marijuana is not today’s gateway drug, it’s prescription drugs
• Many individuals being treated for opioid abuse were initially addicted to prescription pain pills
• Crack, heroin, meth, ecstasy, and LSD distribution and consumption are present throughout the Salt Lake Valley, with much of the illegal activity centered around the area near Pioneer Park, the Road Home homeless shelter and the Rio Grande Depot
• On a recent operation, children as young as 14 years old approached undercover officers trying to buy heroin
• Synthetic drugs (spice, bath salts) are the wave of the future, and are being seen all over the valley, particularly down town
• While behavioral and psychosocial treatment for addiction can be similar, regardless of the substance, physical treatment for symptoms like detox and withdrawal are treated with specific medications and environmental settings corresponding to the substance that was being abused
• The effects of meth are seen months after discontinued use; degradation on the body is powerful and happens very quickly
• Lt. Ross expects the area to see a rise in “clandestine” or “one-off” meth labs (portable, can be done in a 2-liter bottle)
• Younger users are less motivated to seek help with addiction as they have less to lose than older users
• Treatment forced on younger users can often be effective
The next presentation in the “Evening with the Experts” series will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute auditorium, and will feature Michael Lowry, M.D.’s lecture titled “Resilience to Stress: What Makes a Person Either Vulnerable to Stress or Resilient.”
Feb. 12 - “Resilience to Stress”
Michael Lowry, M.D.
What makes a person either vulnerable to stress or resilient? Psychiatrist, Dr. Lowry, will discuss stress response, how it can go wrong, and what can be done to keep it going right.
Feb. 19 - “Understanding Suicide Risk Factors and Suicide Prevention”
Doug Gray, M.D.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Gray, will explore suicide risk factors, common myths about suicide and suicide prevention, including novel prevention efforts.
Feb. 26 - “Genetic Modeling: From Cancer to Mental Health”
Mario Capecchi, Ph.D
Nobel Prize wining geneticist, Dr. Capecchi, will describe a number of applications of gene targeting including modeling human sarcomas and a neuropsychiatric disorder, Trichotillomania.