Day 1 :
Founder, Soaring Hope Recovery, USA
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To provide science-based addiction recovery opportunities to those afflicted with the brain disease of addiction. This state-of-the-science recovery regime includes “Using the brain for a change”, i.e., neurotransmitter rebalancing, brain imaging, and neuro-feedback to treat addiction, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, trauma, PTSD, PMS and all other afflictions that are controlled by the brain. Fifty year’s addiction experience and dedicated family and domestic relations professional with significant experience in family matters. Background includes child and family investigation, domestic violence, drug related criminal cases, and DUIs. Skills include parenting evaluation, domestic violence, restraining orders, developing shared-parenting plans, court reporting, facilitating and mediation. Education in family relations, child and human development; community and human resources family relations and addiction recover.
Statement of Problem: Opioid Overdose is the #1 Killer. Every day at least 115 Americans die from opioid use and the rates of substance use disorder related deaths are continuously on the rise in the United States. Properly addressing this growing crisis starts with understanding the nature of addiction, and the prevention, treatment and recovery opportunities available (National Council).
Methodology and Theoretical Orientation: Science has shown that the brains of addicts are physiologically different - that they work differently — than "normal" brains. In Neuro-scientific terms, pleasure, or the feeling of well-being, is a distinct neurological function linked to a complex reward and reinforcement system. Creating new neural pathways; neurotransmitter rebalancing and stress release and detoxing the body is the answer to achieving sustainable recovery. During a 12-month study, 178 clients participated in the Seven Components of Care for at least 30 days. Each entered the program with some degree of anxiety and depression; a dependence on illicit drugs; alcohol; and prescription medications. Upon entry each completed The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI II). As the clients transitioned they completed their exit Inventory. Participants received neurofeedback (LENS); neurotransmitter rebalancing; spiritual-experiential therapies; evidence-based therapies (CBT, DBT, Psychodrama, EMDR, Yoga); and a lifetime recovery plan.
Findings, Conclusions, and Significance: As 178 participants transitioned from the integrated therapeutic regime, only one reported a low level of anxiety and no one reported depression. All had titrated from prescriptions and were functioning at an all-natural level. Frequency distribution data related to the mid-prefrontal cortex EEG sites present an interesting analysis of how LENS training can be related to the actual prefrontal cortex functioning. It is exciting to expect that LENS can be a great contributing factor to expect that prescription medication therapy can actually be replaces with holistic, integrated therapy.
Professor & Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Pathology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, USA
Keynote: Effects of opioid receptor blockade on nicotine-taking and -seeking behavior in rats: clinical implications for smoking cessation medication
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Dr. Xiu Liu got his MD & PhD in China and completed postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in USA. He is a professor and associate director of the Graduate Program in Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He has a two-decade track record of studying drug addiction, particularly nicotine and alcohol addictive behavior in animal models. His research has been funded by USA National Institute of Health and Food and Drug Administration grants and the State of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program grants. He has published 60 research papers, 6 book chapters and more than 80 research abstracts. Dr. Liu has served as a member of grant review panel for international and national research funding agencies and an editorial board member of more than a dozen reputed journals.
Statement of the Problem: Brain opioidergic neurotransmission has been implicated in reinforcement-related processes for several drugs of abuse. However, it remains not fully understood whether activation of opioid receptors plays a role in the reinforcing/motivational effects of nicotine and its associated environmental cues. The present work examined effects of pharmacological antagonism of opioid receptors on nicotine primary reinforcement and conditioned motivation by nicotine cues.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to press a lever for intravenous self-administration of nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion, free base). Nicotine conditioned stimuli (cues) were established via pairing sensory stimuli with each nicotine injection. In subsequent extinction test sessions, lever responses produced neither nicotine injection nor its associated cues. In relapse test sessions performed after extinction, lever responses resulted in re-presentation of the cues without nicotine injection. Opioid antagonists were administered prior to the test sessions.
Findings: Pretreatment with the non-selective opioid antagonist naltrexone (0, 0.25, 1, 2 mg/kg) effectively attenuated lever responses supported by nicotine cues. In contrast, naltrexone (both acute and chronic treatment) did not change lever responses for nicotine self-administration. However, further tests revealed that pretreatment with antagonists selective for µ receptors (naloxanazine: 0, 5, 15 mg/kg) but not δ receptors (naltrindole: 0, 0.5, 5 mg/kg), or κ receptors (GNTI: 0, 0.25, 1 mg/kg) suppressed nicotine self-administration.
Conclusions & Significance: These results suggest a clinical potential of the non-selective opioid antagonists for preventing cue-triggered tobacco craving. Moreover, the results indicate that the µ rather than δ or κ subtype of opioid receptors plays a role in mediating the primary reinforcement of nicotine, suggesting that opioid neurotransmission via the µ receptors would be a promising target for the development of opioid ligands for curbing nicotine intake and stopping tobacco smoking.
Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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Professor WK Tang was appointed to professor in the Department of Psychiatry, the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2011. His main research areas are Addictions and Neuropsychiatry in Stroke. Professor Tang has published over 100 papers in renowned journals, and has also contributed to the peer review of 40 journals. He has secured over 20 major competitive research grants. He has served the editorial boards of five scientific journals. He was also a recipient of the Young Researcher Award in 2007, awarded by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Background and objectives: The objectives of this study were to ascertain the pattern of grey and white matter volume reduction and regional metabolic and activation abnormalities in chronic ketamine users, and to evaluate the correlations between these brain abnormalities and cognitive impairments in chronic ketamine users in Hong Kong.
Design: Cross-sectional observational study.
Setting: Counselling Centre for Psychotropic Substance Abusers in Hong Kong.
Participants: One hundred and thirty-six participants were recruited from October 2011 to April 2014. The participants were divided into two groups: ketamine users (79) and healthy controls (57).
Main outcome measures: Psychiatric assessments included screening with self-rating questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. All of the participants completed a detailed cognitive battery that covered general intelligence, verbal and visual memory, executive functions, motor speed and language. All of the participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain.
Results: Many of the participants in the ketamine group also frequently used cocaine and cannabis. Among the ketamine users, 12.6% were diagnosed with a mood disorder and 8.9% with an anxiety disorder. The participants in the ketamine group had worse performance than the healthy controls on tests of general intelligence, verbal, visual and working memory and executive functioning.
In terms of grey matter volumes, the right orbitofrontal cortex, right medial prefrontal cortex, left and right hippocampus and possibly the left orbitofrontal cortex were smaller in the ketamine group. In contrast, the volumes of the left basal ganglia, left putamen and possibly the left caudate were higher in the ketamine group. In terms of white matter volumes, the ketamine group had a lower periventricular white matter volume in the right hemisphere. The grey matter volumes of the left and right orbitofrontal cortex, right medial prefrontal cortex, left basal ganglia and left putamen, and right periventricular white matter volume were negatively correlated with the severity of ketamine dependence. The hippocampal volumes were correlated with performance on the arithmetic, information and digit span tests. The periventricular white matter volume also correlated with the information score.
A functional connectivity examination of the default mode network revealed significantly decreased connectivity in the medial part of the bilateral superior frontal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, bilateral gyrus rectus, left superior temporal pole, left inferior temporal gyrus, bilateral angular gyrus and bilateral cerebellum crus II in the ketamine group. This group also displayed increased connectivity in the bilateral precuneus and right inferior occipital gyrus.
Conclusions: The results provide imaging evidence of brain damage in chronic ketamine users. Chronic ketamine use was associated with reduced grey and white matter volumes in certain regions of the brain. Chronic ketamine use was also associated with altered functional connectivity with the default mode network. Abnormal brain structures and altered functional organisation of the brain network may underlie the hypersensitivity towards drug related cues but weakened cognitive control in those with ketamine addiction. Longitudinal or prospective studies would help to strengthen the evidence on the reversibility of the structural and functional brain damage caused by ketamine.
Founder, Sober Services, United Kingdom
Keynote: Addiction Interventions: With love, honesty and boundaries, supporting the family to help addicts access treatment immediately
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Ian Young is a charismatic speaker, with a natural talent of being a positive, uplifting and thought shifting influencer. In 2001 aged 29, after 13 years of chronic alcohol and drug addiction, homelessness and living outside of society he discovered the solution to his debilitating lifestyle, creating a life filled with laughter and love – addiction free! He was the founder of two very successful residential rehabs in the UK, before starting Sober Services in 2008 - pioneering Sober Companions and emerging as the leading Sober Interventionist across the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He is now looking to grow his methodologies in Asia and Australasia. Ian is also a senior trainer at Sober Academy, delivering training for those looking to work intensely with addictions. The author of “It’s Not about me”, he discloses his story through addiction, whilst exploring practical and spiritual lessons he’s learned along the way.
The challenge has always been that family members are crying out for help in many directions, whilst their loved one is in a desperate place, but yet be unable to force them into treatment due to their unwillingness to accept their circumstances or admit defeat to their dependencies. This is called denial, and it leads to many more months/ years of debilitating health and poor behaviors at the expense of the whole family and everyone around the afflicted individual. This has been a major dilemma for treatment providers who want to help but feel unable to work with an unwilling patient. Historically we’ve been told that a person will only respond to treatment once they are willing to engage, and so everyone tentatively waits for them to reach “rock bottom”. We disagree. Our Sober Intervention process works in conjunction with the family confronting their own enabling behaviours and using love, honesty and boundaries we guide them through a process that is effective immediately over 90% of the time, to bring about willingness in the afflicted individual to accept help right here, right now, on our terms. During this presentation, I will explain in more detail the problem facing families whose loved ones don’t want to accept their condition. I will then guide the delegates through the 7 stages of a successful addiction intervention, and then finally I’ll take them through the process that I use personally, using love, honesty and boundaries to produce the willingness in the addict to accept help and move towards permanent recovery.