880 Front St #6293
San Diego, CA 92101-8893
Fax Number:(619) 557-5004
Event Review By Michelle Downey, LMFT, RN
Thank you for joining us for our September meeting of the San Diego Society of Addiction Professionals. Our invited speaker was Laura Duffy, US attorney for San Diego and Imperial Counties. She had wanted the speaking event to coincide with Opiate Awareness Week.
Due to an unfortunate death in the family, Laura sent the first Assistant US Attorney and Director of Community Outreach Cindy Cipriani.
When I met with Cindy beforehand, I asked what message did she want to impart to the group today. She wanted to let us know about her desire and efforts at being in the field finding solutions, instead of incarcerating drug addicted people. Most importantly, she wanted to let us know that she appreciated our efforts in the field with the people and families who have been affected by addiction.
As she started out, she told of her personal connection with her family that had been affected by addiction. This is not what I, or any of the group, had expected but certainly warmed our hearts. She not only was sharing her facts and information as a representative of the office, she was demonstrating that she was “one of us”.
Besides sharing what her office has been doing lately, which was impressive, she shared the latest trends with drugs and pills themselves along with the bills in Congress and the challenges they face. The differences between State and Federal laws she was able to highlight some of the creative ways she has been able to impact problematic areas such as marijuana dispensaries in our community with power of the pen. She shared the tremendous amount of resources that her office has made available.
In addition to the latest creative efforts at getting messages out into the community including the play and video called “Other People’s Kids” to focus on prevention. She talked about current attempts at reducing the stigma and changing the culture away from pain pills into alternative treatments.
The discussion of questions and answers were particularly lively.
Charlie Nelson PhD asked if given the political uncertainty of the election year, and the certainty that another President would be elected what might be the changes. We were educated about how the process would affect those President Obama had appointed. She said that her position would probably not going to change but her supervisor, Laura Duffy, would probably be replaced by the next President’s personal selection.
Dr. Judy Saalinger, PhD, wanted to know how we could access the latest information for our blogs and programs.
David Christopher LMFT was able to suggest an idea about how to share this information she and her office has more effectively with our group, who have a huge impact in our community. She agreed to collaborate with us for this information exchange.
Asking individuals what they thought of the talk, not only was everyone very excited about this speaker, but the large group of approximately 50 people, hung around after the talk until we had to be out of the building. This spoke for itself. Talking and enjoying the connections with each other was felt to be a tremendous asset to this group.
We want to thank Dynamic Clinical Labs for providing our delicious lunch.