Behind the Headlines: What is Really Happening With Opioid Use and Treatment in Hawai‘i

Use of opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers has expanded to levels of dependency in many individuals. Several factors contribute to the breadth and complexity of this urgent problem: severe chronic pain, greater use of prescriptions, aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies, among others. Updates about treatment, services, solutions, and resources exist here in Hawai‘i to reduce harm and improve quality of life for all.

Registration: https://moodle.publichealth.arizona.edu/course/view.php?id=27

Guest Co-Speakers:  Heather Lusk, MSW and Christina Wang, DNS From Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center

Heather Lusk, MSW, is the Executive Director Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC). Heather has over 20 years of experience dedicated to reducing health disparities and stigma as it relates to HIV, viral hepatitis and other chronic conditions linked to substance use. As a community leader, Heather works to support systems integration and the intersection of mental health, substance use, homelessness, chronic health conditions and the criminal justice system.

Dr. Christina Wang, DNP, MPH, APRN-Rx, AGPCNP-C is a Nurse Practitioner with the Hawaii Health & Harm Reduction Center (Formerly Life Foundation & The CHOW Project). She particularly has focused her efforts around wound care in the community with emphasis on street-based practice in Honolulu providing care to those most vulnerable including those who are houseless and persons who inject drugs.  Christina also works with clients living with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and to support efforts around care for those with mental illness and substance abuse.

Continuing Education:  1.5 CNEs for RNs, 1.5 CECH for CHES, 1.5 CPEUs for RDs

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify approved medications to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Discuss opioid intervention and updates about management of opioid use disorder.
  • Appropriately refer patients to resources and services to treat opioid-dependent clients in Hawai‘i.
  • Appropriately coordinate care for patients that are opioid dependent.