News Releases

September 02, 2016

Collaborating for Families Affected by Substance Use Conference

White House Drug Policy Director Michael Botticelli and National Child Development Expert Ira Chasnoff, MD to Set the Stage

More than 275 Vermonters who work with children and families will gather in Killington on Wednesday, September 7, for a conference designed to strengthen collaborations to support families affected by substance abuse, including opioid drugs.

Sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health, Embracing Today, Empowering Tomorrow conference will be held at the Killington Grand Hotel from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference features keynote presentations in the morning, with workshops that highlight Vermont collaborations in the afternoon.

Secretary of Human Services Hal Cohen, Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD, and Deputy Health Commissioner Barbara Cimaglio will welcome participants and provide the Vermont context. The morning features keynote presentations by two national experts:

9:00 a.m. - A 21st Century Approach to Drug Policy & Public Health

Michael Botticelli - Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

Director Botticelli leads the nation's drug policy efforts, which are based on a balanced public health and public safety approach. Mr. Botticelli himself has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder for more than 26 years. He has encouraged millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard, confronting the stigma long associated with substance use disorders.

10:15 a.m. - The Mystery of Risk: Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy & the Vulnerable Child

Ira Chasnoff, MD - President of NTI Upstream and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago

Dr. Chasnoff is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and the effects of maternal alcohol and drug use on the newborn infant and child. His most recent work focuses on community approaches to integrating behavioral health services into primary health care for women and children, and the impact of child welfare system policies on the occurrence of co-occurring mental health disorders in children who have been exposed to alcohol and illicit drugs. Dr. Chasnoff will also give the send-off presentation with the question: Is prevention a moral obligation?

To learn more about Vermont's efforts to address substance abuse prevention and treatment, as well as for health news, alerts and information - visit

Media Contact: Vermont Department of Health, 802-863-7281

Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: September 02, 2016 14:24:11