Faculty and Student Attend APhA Institute on Substance Use Disorders

(June 17, 2019)

Nina Ameli, PharmD Class of 2020, and Nancy Alvarez, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA, associate dean for academic and professional affairs in Phoenix, represented the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy at the fifth annual APhA Institute on Substance Use Disorders in Salt Lake City, Utah May 29 - June 2, 2019.

The APhA Institute offers pharmacists, student pharmacists, and other health professionals with a holistic, patient-centered approach to a cadre of substance use disorders including alcohol and opioids. Over four days, participants are exposed to the neurobiology of addiction, the culture of recovery and treatment, various 12-step programs and more. Pharmacists in recovery share their experiences with participants and serve as examples of how health care professionals can reengage and reclaim careers and lives after substance use disorders wreak havoc.

“The Institute really opened my eyes and heart to this disease. Sometimes we turn a blind eye to this topic because we don’t feel personally affected by substance use disorders,” said Nina.

“However, I realize that we are only a few people away from knowing someone with a substance use disorder. We can prepare ourselves to align their lives toward recovery and be a resource in our communities. Our preparedness is not only for our future patients but also for coworkers, classmates, family, neighbors and close friends. Prior to this meeting, I never thought to ask or notice. Every student and pharmacist should want to and hopefully have the opportunity to attend the APhA Institute once in their career. The amazing thing about this event is that once you go, you want to return again, as evidenced by the number of participants returning to the Institute each year.”

View a glimpse of what goes on during the five days from this short video made by Eric Dobberpuhl, APhA National Member-at-Large and student pharmacist from Chapman University School of Pharmacy.