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“Change the Stigma” Conference for Future Health Professionals

WV Drug Intervention Institute Partners with UC School of Pharmacy to Present “Change the Stigma” Conference for Future Health Professionals.

Charleston, WV – Health professions majors from campuses throughout West Virginia and the United States are invited to join more than 100 University of Charleston students pursing degrees in the pharmacy, nursing, physician assistant and health promotions on Saturday, March 27, 2021 during an online conference to address negative perceptions surrounding opioid addiction within the healthcare profession. The conference is sponsored by the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc., the UC School of Pharmacy, and the University’s Chapter of the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy.

“Stigma associated with drug addiction can interfere with prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.” said Dr. Susan Bissett, President of the WV Drug Intervention Institute. “The Change the Stigma Conference aims to help health professions students overcome stigma so that they can effectively assist patients in managing the disease of addiction.”

The conference will include discussions around the role of healthcare professionals in combatting the opioid epidemic as well as conversations about helping children and adults overcome the impacts of addiction. Participants will learn how to address stigma within the profession and manage the effects of negative perceptions about addiction can have on patient care. In addition, participants will receive Naloxone training, so they are prepared to respond to drug overdoses in the community.

“As future healthcare professionals on the frontlines of providing care to patients suffering from the disease of addiction, it is our responsibility to respond with compassion and competence,” said Clayton Snow, University of Charleston Class of 2022 and conference co-organizer. “We will play a crucial role in challenging these negative perceptions and advocating for equal, high quality care regardless of their health condition.”

The conference will be held in an online format from 8:30am until 4:00pm. Sessions will include discussions on harm reduction, co-prescribing of naloxone, medication safety, pathways to recovery, medically assisted treatment, and medication safety guided and led by experts from DiposeRx, Walgreens, the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, ThinkKids, Yale University School of Medicine, the University of Charleston, and the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute.

Registration is free to all health professions majors throughout West Virginia and is open until March 25, 2021 at 4pm. To view the program and register visit Media is welcome to attend via Zoom. For more information, including a schedule of events, visit: or contact the WV DII at: (681) 205-2287.



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