Prevention experts from across the nation gathered in Buffalo to share ideas on how to prevent underage and illicit substance use and addiction. RIA, UB and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) were co-sponsors of the National Prevention Network Conference on Sept. 13-15 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
The conference offered opportunities for more than 1,000 addiction specialists and researchers from across the nation to network and discuss best practices in alcohol and substance use prevention. Workshop and seminar topics included emerging drug issues and trends, building prevention partnerships and collaborations, prevention-focused media messaging and prevention workforce development.
On the conference’s opening night, OASAS hosted a special reception to honor long-time prevention supporters Bob and Mindy Rich of Rich Products Corp., founders of Western New York United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse. The reception was co-sponsored by UB, Visit Buffalo Niagara, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bills, Independent Health, Elderwood and the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT). Also honored was Linda Flowers, WNY United’s executive director.
RIA helped coordinate support for the conference from a number of UB units which deal with addiction issues, including the School of Social Work, the Graduate School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
In addition, many UB faculty and scientists presented workshops throughout the conference, with a focus on the conference theme of “Advancing a Prevention Agenda in an Era of Health Systems Reform.”