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Mental Health Update

Posted in:
April 29, 2022
Mental Health Update

04/29/2022 – OASAS Harm Reduction Webinar Series for Providers

Dear Providers,

As mentioned on the OASAS Harm Reduction Town Hall with providers on 4/14/22, OASAS will be hosting a Harm Reduction Webinar Series for OASAS Providers during the month of May. Please see the information below for the webinars. Additional information is forthcoming.

Thursday, May 5, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm: The History of Harm Reduction with Maia Szalavitz


Presenter Bio: Maia Szalavitz is the author, most recently, of *Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction*, which is the first history of the movement to focus drug policy on minimizing harms, not highs. She is also contributing opinion writer for the *New York Times*.

Her previous *New York Times* bestseller, *Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction *wove together neuroscience and social science with her personal experience of heroin addiction. It won the 2018 media award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Her 2006 book, *Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids,* was the first to expose the damage caused by “tough love” youth treatment and helped spur Congressional hearings.

She has also authored or co-authored five other books, including the classic on child trauma, *The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog,* and has written for numerous publications including *TIME, Wired*, and *Scientific American*. She lives with her husband and two squeaky cats in New York City.

Thursday, May 12, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm: Harm Reduction Informed Substance Use Treatment: Why is it Essential to Success and What Do We Do?* *with Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, Founder and Director of The Center for Optimal Living


Presenter Bio:  Andrew Tatarsky has worked with people who use drugs and their families for over 40 years. Andrew developed Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) for treating the spectrum of risky and addictive behavior as an alternative to traditional abstinence-only substance use treatment. IHRP brings relational psychoanalysis, CBT and mindfulness together in a harm reduction frame. IHRP meets people where ever they are on their positive change journeys and works collaboratively to support people in discovering their truth and what goals and approach to positive change best suit them. The therapy has been described in his book, *Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems*, and a series of papers. He is Founder and Director of the Center for Optimal Living in NYC, a treatment, education and professional training center based on IHRP. His writing, teaching, clinical work and leadership aim to promote a re-humanized view of problematic substance use and a harm reduction continuum of care that will extend help to everyone who needs and wants it where ever they are ready to begin their positive change journeys.

Thursday, May 19, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm: Harm Reduction Strategies to Decrease Overdose Risk: The Evidence with Kelly S. Ramsey, MD, OASAS CMO 


Thursday, May 26, 2022, 3:00-4:30 pm: Motivational Interviewing and Harm Reduction: A New Look at an Old Friend with Pat Lincourt, LCSW, OASAS Associate Commissioner, ATAR and Joseph R. Turner, JD, Co-Founder/President/ CEO of Exponents*


Presenter Bio: Joe Turner is the co-founder and current CEO of Exponents, a 30-year-old community based human services and harm reduction program in NYC. Exponents provides compassionate and person-centered drug treatment, recovery and wellness services to the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Since its founding in 1988, over 11,000 program graduates have completed its programs-many of whom are in management positions of nonprofit agencies.  At Exponents, “…we meet people where they are, but we don’t leave them there!”

Joe was born and raised in Brownsville, (*never ran…never will*) Brooklyn, NY. He attended Long Island University. Inspired by the courage of civil rights lawyers, he attended and graduated from Hofstra University School of Law, where he went on to practice law in the fields of criminal justice,  civil rights, and general practice. He has worked for the National
Conference of Black Lawyers, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Community Action for Legal Services. For the past 35 years, he has soldiered for social justice, compassionate human services, and recovery.

As CEO, Joe led Exponents through the disruption of COVID-19, enabling the agency to continue to provide drug treatment and crisis management services without interruption. Quickly turning to tele-health and tele-visual individual and group counseling sessions, as well as establishing a 24-hour crisis hotline, Exponents retained over 95% of its program participants.  Joe has often said that “…every crisis shines a bright light on our strengths and weaknesses.” Indeed, the strength of Exponents that was gleaned from the COVID-19 crisis, was the forging of a “community of hope.”

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Exodus Transitional Communities, co-chair of the Harm Reduction Committee of the ASAP of NYS, a member of the New York Certification Board, and the Executive Committee of the NYS OASAS Recovery Implementation Team. In addition, Joe is the co-chair of the New York State Harm Reduction Association, as well as the former president of President of the Board of Directors of Friends of Recovery –NY (*FOR-NY*).

Monthly OASAS Harm Reduction Office Hours with Providers will start in June. Please join us.

Thursday, June 16, 2022, 1:00-2:30 pm with Kelly S. Ramsey, MD, OASAS CMO; provider guests TBA


Thank you.

Communications Department
NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)