Panel I: How the Global Opioid Epidemic is Affecting Women and Families
Speaker I: Women in the Middle-East: Opioid Addiction and Myths
Mona Al-Sawwaf, MD
Dr. Mona Al-Sawwaf is a Consultant Psychiatrist in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and International Advisor to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on women and addiction. Her research focuses specifically on substance use among Arab women. She previously served as the head of the women’s psychiatric unit and clinic supervisor at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah. As a U.S. Department of State-sponsored Humphrey Scholar, Dr. Al-Sawwaf combined mid-career professional development affiliations at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School with graduate courses at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. While there, she consulted with colleagues about the management of drug addiction in women, and current research, program planning and the designing of effective prevention programs.
Speaker 2: Sex Differences in Prescription Opioid Use Patterns Among Community Members in North Central Florida
Mirsada Serdarevic, PhD
Dr. Serdarevic studied psychology at the University of Vermont (UVM) and received her BA in 2013. Soon after, she began working at the Health Behavior Research Center at UVM on a R01 study that was funded by NIAAA as a senior research assistant with Dr. John Helzer and Dr. Gail Rose. In 2015 Mirsada began her doctoral studies at the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) as a NIDA T32 pre-doctoral fellow. Under the mentorship and chair of her committee, Dr. Linda Cottler, Mirsada received her Ph.D. in epidemiology from UF in the spring of 2019. Mirsada’s research interests include substance use, mental health, and health disparities. Her dissertation specifically focused on prescription opioid use and risk factors for use in the community. She has published 9 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 2 opinion editorials.
Speaker 3: Gender-specific Aspects of the Opioid Epidemic Among Women in the United States
Jennifer Lorvick, DrPH
Dr. Jennifer Lorvick is a Senior Public Health Scientist in the Community Health and Implementation Science Program at RTI International. Her community-based research focuses on the social and structural determinants of infectious disease risk, such as deprivation, violence, incarceration and drug use. She is currently examining health care access and utilization among women in the criminal probation system. Her background is in public health and the epidemiology of drug use, HIV, HCV and sexually transmitted infections. Her work has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, the International Journal of Drug Policy, and the Lancet. Gender-specific aspects of the opioid epidemic among women in the U.S.
Flash Presentations: How Will We Solve the Opioid Crisis
(1) Women Who Use Opioids Experience Stigma: Impact on Access and Retention in Harm Reduction Services and Interactions with Child Welfare Rose Schmidt, MPH
Rose Schmidt is the Research Manager at the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and a member of the Canadian FASD Prevention Network. At the Centre, she manages research and knowledge translation activities on diverse topics related to women’s mental health and substance use, including: gender informed addiction services, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) prevention, and the implementation of trauma-informed practice. Rose has a Master of Public Health from Simon Fraser University and a BSc in Health Science and Psychology from the University of Waterloo. Rose’s work addresses gender-based determinants of health inequity and integrates social epidemiological methodology into applied policy research.
(2) Preparing for the Inevitable – The Development of a Model of Care to Manage Women with Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy and Parenting in Sydney, Australia Maja Moensted, PhD
Dr. Moensted has many years of experience working within the academic and community sector conducting social research, mainly focusing on the meeting between vulnerable citizens and welfare institutions. She has expertise in qualitative approaches to social inquiry and has used different methods to explore a range of contemporary issues including social determinants of health, youth inequality, crime and substance use, racial discrimination and the experiences of young carers. She completed a Doctoral Study in Social and Political Science at University of Melbourne in which she investigated the support needs of disadvantaged young people. Dr Moensted currently works with Drug Health Services and Discipline of Addiction Medicine, University of Sydney investigating best practice service approaches for mothers with substance use issues and highly complex needs.
Panel II: Marijuana Use – Focused on Teens
Speaker 4: Marijuana Use Among South African Teens
Courtney Peasant Bonner, PhD
Dr. Peasant Bonner is a Research Clinical Psychologist at RTI International where she works in the Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research (SUGAR) Program to adapt and evaluate women-focused HIV prevention interventions. Dr. Bonner has worked with young people living with and affected by HIV for 10 years and is passionate about HIV prevention among underserved populations. Dr. Bonner’s research and publications focus on understanding the impact of gender-based violence, substance use, and mental health on HIV risk and developing sustainable interventions to address these factors to reduce health disparities among vulnerable women. Dr. Bonner’s current research projects are examining the feasibility of integrating mental health, HIV prevention, and substance use services for young women in Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Bonner earned her PhD from The University of Memphis and completed her postdoctoral research at Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS.
Speaker 5: Trends in the Use of Marijuana Among Female Teenagers in Thailand
Usaneya Perngparn, PhD
Assistant Professor Dr. Usaneya Perngparn, Consultant of Drug Dependence Research Center, College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University completed a Doctoral Degree in Research for Health Development, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. She received 2 Master’s Degrees in Demography at Chulalongkorn University and in Population Research at University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, where she had training at Addiction Centre. Having close collaboration with national/international levels, she has given counseling and training in drug/alcohol, training analysis needs and data management. She had a long-time contribution to the Ministry of Public Health in compiling and processing national drug dependent treatment records. Her research areas are on sociocultural context of risk-taking behaviors among women and transgender sex workers, evaluation of drug dependence treatment system and the multi-sector community development projects to reduce opium cultivation and use in hill-tribal communities, indigenous Buddhist temple treatment of drug dependence and methadone treatment. She conducts and oversees research in alcohol, substance abuse, harm reduction, prevention and intervention. Her works are published in many international journals.
Speaker 6: Trends in Marijuana and Vaping Use Among Teenagers (U.S. National Youth Survey)
Omar El-Shahawy, MD, MPH,PhD
Dr. El-Shahawy is a post-doctoral fellow in the New York University School of Medicine, Population Health Department, Section on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use. Dr. El Shahawy obtained his medical degree at the University of Ain Shams in Cairo, Egypt, in 2002 and his Master of Public Health in international health development from the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 2007. He first came to United States as a Hubert Humphrey fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2010. During his fellowship, he had a particular focus on gender issues in adolescent and marginalized groups. He obtained his PhD in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences from the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at VCU in 2015. His current research interests include novel tobacco products, smoking cessation, and patient-physician decision making.
Speaker 7: Youth Cannabis Trends Within the Overall Context of Cannabis Use in Europe
Paul Griffiths, MSc
Mr. Griffiths joined the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) nearly a decade ago and became scientific director in 2010. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Griffiths has supervised a considerable increase in the scope and scientific sophistication of the Centre’s work, making the EMCDDA a world leader in documenting the extent of drug use and identifying trends in use patterns and substances of abuse. Mr. Griffiths and the agency’s staff monitor all aspects of the European drug situation, maintain a network of European drug information centers, and, with Europol, implemented the European Union early warning system on new psychoactive substances. Previously, at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Griffiths revised the primary United Nations instrument for collecting information on the drug situation, which required significant skill in both the technical and political arenas. Mr. Griffiths has made a world-class contribution in documenting drug abuse trends and standardizing statistical records and, at the EMCDDA, has helped create what the journal Addiction called one of the world’s leading research centers in the addictions field.