The Impact of Opioid Use and Opioid Poisoning on the Brain

Sponsor: NH Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Association

PRESENTATION: The neurocognitive problems arising from opioid use include changes in executive functioning (planning, judgement and impulse control) along with the cognitive impact of hypoxia and anoxia, which include changes in memory, motor functioning and judgement) create significant barriers to care for people living with opioid use disorder. This 6-hour training will provide an overview of how opioid use changes the brain and effects behaviour, as well as brain injury resulting from opioid poisoning.   The first portion of the workshop will provide an introduction to the large scale brain networks that govern response to rewarding stimuli and how they influence behavior and decision-making.   Research related to the impact of opioid use on these structures will be reviewed, as well as what is known about recovery of these networks with abstinence.  The impact of opioid poisoning and anoxic injury will also be discussed.  The majority of the program will focus on the clinical implications of opioid related brain changes and brain injury.  Learners will be introduced to evidence based- behavioural programming options, including the use of incentives, to manage the complex issues arising from opioid disorders.  Resources for client and family education as well as direct intervention to address cognitive impairments will also be reviewed.

Upon completion of the event participants will be able to:

  • Describe the clinical presentation of neurocognitive impairment resulting from opioid use.
  • Describe the neurocognitive impairment that may be associated with opioid poisoning and chronic hypoxia.
  • Describe the nature and benefits of environmental supports for people living with the neurocognitive effects of opioid use disorders and/or opioid poisoning.
  • Identify the key elements of incentive-based programming.
  • Identify strategies and locate resources that support direct intervention to address neurocognitive changes resulting from opioid use.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Dr. Carolyn Lemsky, PhD. C.Psych. ABPP-CN, is a board certified neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience working in rehabilitation settings in the U.S. and Canada. For the past 20 years she has been the Clinical Director at Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto. She is also the director of the Substance Use and Brain Injury (SUBI) Bridging Project, a research and knowledge transfer initiative funded by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. SUBI training and clinical materials have been used internationally to prepare addictions and mental health workers to accommodate the needs of people living with acquired brain injury. She has provided training and consultation across the US and Canada. In addition to frequent conference presentations, Dr. Lemsky has contributed book chapters and articles to the neuropsychology and brain injury literature.

For more information and to register click here

Event Details

September 15, 2022
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
130 Pembroke Road, Suite 150
Concord, NH
see registration