The Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) is offering a training focused on harm reduction, the recovery continuum, and evidence-based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.

Harm reduction is an effective approach to addressing the public health epidemic involving substance use as well as infectious disease and other harms associated with drug use. Harm reduction strategies are both evidence-based and the standard of care for patients with SUD or at risk of SUDs.

SAMHSA defines harm reduction as a proactive and evidence-based approach to reduce the negative personal and public health impacts of behavior associated with alcohol and other substance use at both the individual and community levels. Harm reduction is critical to keeping people who use drugs alive, as healthy as possible, and is a key pillar in the multi-faceted Health and Human Services' Overdose Prevention Strategy. Harm reduction services can include, but are not limited to, evidence-based practices such as syringe exchange, naloxone distribution, and fentanyl testing strips.

To support our licensed organizations, IDHS/SUPR's Medical Director, Nicole Gastala, MD, will be delivering a training on harm reduction, the recovery continuum, and evidence-based SUD treatment.

Dr. Gastala is board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She graduated from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Iowa. In her clinical role, she has developed and expanded MAR by mentoring new prescribers, precepting residents, and training clinicians within the Chicago and Illinois communities. She has also focused on the development of a walk-in integrated behavioral health, addiction, and primary care program within her FQHC system at UI Health Mile Square Health Center. In January 2021, Dr. Gastala joined the team at IDHS' Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery.

Objectives for this training:

  1. Increase the understanding of harm reduction and the recovery continuum
  2. Learn evidence-based harm reduction and treatment services for SUDs, particularly opioid use disorders
  3. Incorporate person-centered language in the care of patients with SUD

IDHS/SUPR encourages your organization's medical director, nurses, and counselors to participate in this training to learn more about harm reduction and evidence-based treatment approaches to assist your organization consider how to incorporate these approaches when treating SUDs and OUDs.

The training is scheduled for June 28, 2022, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. To register, visit Prevention First.

The training is free, and CMEs and CEUs will be offered for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADCs), social workers and licensed clinical professional counselors. If your organization is IDHS/SUPR funded, your organization can bill Community Intervention for your staff's participation in IDHS/SUPR sponsored trainings.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Jazelyn Cerda at Jazelyn.Cerda@illinois.gov .