WASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today a new non-profit organization named FORCE—Female Opioid-addiction Research and Clinical Experts—announced its founding at the National Press Club. FORCE also honored two distinguished women who have served the public good through their efforts in dealing with the opioid epidemic. FORCE is an alliance of women with scientific, health policy and medical expertise in opioid addiction and who are well positioned to achieve FORCE's mission of reducing the stigma and treatment barriers that people with opioid addiction face every day. These efforts will save lives by ensuring that more patients receive effective treatment.
FORCE aims to change the opioid addiction conversation. While there has been progress in recognizing that opioid addiction is not a moral failing but is a chronic brain disease, most conversations still center around short-term solutions, such as "getting a bed in detox" and judgmental language such as "staying clean". FORCE intends to drive awareness of the critical need for ongoing outpatient "evidence-based treatment" and the importance of "staying alive and functional." FORCE will take on common injustices and treatment barriers rooted in stigma, including: a law enforcement mentality that criminalizes rather than treats opioid addiction, reliance on treatment modalities that are not supported by clinical evidence; and inadequate societal support for access to high-quality addiction treatment, including reimbursement coverage of life-saving medications.
12:45pm EDT Live Webcast: https://scontent.webcaster4.com/web/FORCE
Alliance Members of FORCE include:
- Genie L. Bailey, MD, DABAM, FASAM, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Director of Research, Stanley Street Treatment & Resources, Inc.
- Andrea Barthwell, MD, DFASAM Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and former Deputy Director of Demand Reduction White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
- Reed Brady, MS, JD, Head of Quality and Compliance at Braeburn Pharmaceuticals
- Kelly Clark, MD, MBA, DFASAM, DFAPA: Chief Medical Officer of CleanSlate Centers
- Sandra Comer, PhD, Director of the Opioid Laboratory in the Division on Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence
- Shannon Hartley, Chief Marketing Officer at Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization focused on ending addiction
- Amy L. Kennedy, Director of Education, The Kennedy Forum
- Sonnie Kim, PharmD, SVP Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals
- Shruti Kulkarni, Policy Director for Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD)
- Michelle Lofwall, MD, University of Kentucky, Associate Professor, Departments of Behavioral Science & Psychiatry, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research
- Kenzie L. Preston, PhD., Senior Investigator, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Chief, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Research
- Behshad Sheldon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals
- Annie Umbricht, MD, Johns Hopkins University, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Sharon Walsh, PhD, Director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Professor of Behavioral Science, Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Kentucky and past President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence
- Amanda Wilson, MD, Founder and Chairwoman of CleanSlate clinics, treating over 5000 patients with opioid addiction in the outpatient setting
- Stacey L. Worthy, Esq., Director of Public Policy for the Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine (Aimed Alliance)
FORCE honored two distinguished women with the 2016 FORCE Award, which recognizes women who are making positive impacts in our nation's efforts fighting the disease of opioid addiction. Today's invited honorees were:
- Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Dr. Leana Wen, Commissioner at Baltimore City Health Department
FORCE will also provide two grants in the amount of $25,000 each to other organizations or activities that promote education and evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction. These grants may be provided to support the following:
- Fellowship programs in addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry;
- Travel grants to addiction medicine & addiction psychiatry scientific conferences;
- Scholarships for treatment for patients in need through addiction-focused patient assistance programs;
- Programs integrating opioid addiction treatment into inpatient hospital settings and emergency departments;
- Programs caring for pregnant women suffering from opioid addiction and their infant;
- Charity clinics for the uninsured.
FORCE is being funded, in part, by a grant from Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. FORCE plans to continue to hold public events that raise both opioid addiction awareness and the funding needed to achieve its ambitious objectives.