Grand Futures: Local agencies collaborate to educate about prevention, treatment and recovery for substance use disorders |

Grand Futures: Local agencies collaborate to educate about prevention, treatment and recovery for substance use disorders


Sarah Valentino
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Substance Use Prevention And Recovery Seminar returns to Northwest Colorado for a third year, albeit different in both size and delivery due to COVID-19. The seminar will be held virtually at 9 a.m. Oct. 30. The originally weekend event was canceled this past spring amid the global pandemic. This fall, the planning committee is offering the shortened, virtual format free to all participants.  

The event is one of many local efforts to bring different community sectors together for education over one of the most persistent public health concerns our region has faced: substance use disorder. The seminar is supported by a Rural Communities Opioid Response Program implementation grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, received by Memorial Regional Health. 

Twenty-two organizations have joined this effort to address substance use disorder across Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco and Jackson counties. In addition to supporting cross-sector education, the grant also supports resources for prevention, treatment and recovery. This includes distribution of Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication; investment in sober and transitional housing; and telehealth expansion across the region. 

“Part of addressing the opioid epidemic is education,” Opioid Response Program partner Lindsey Simbeye said of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. “It is not enough to just educate doctors, or treatment providers or law enforcement officers (in isolation). We really need to reach multiple different audiences, including the public, and bring everyone together to do this work in collaboration.”

This year’s seminar will include three presentations and one panel:

  • 9 a.m.: “Opioid Epidemic Overview & Impact of COVID-19,” presented by Dr. Robert Valuck, director of the Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention at the University of Colorado
  • 10 a.m.: “Trauma-Integrated Addiction Treatment,” presented by Dr. Mike Bares, chief clinical officer at the Foundry Treatment Center
  • 11 a.m.: “Medication-Assisted Treatment Best Practices & Mobile Health Services,” presented by Donna Goldstrom and Dr. Jeremy Dubin, clinical medical directors for Front Range Clinic (recently merged with Steamboat Springs’ Road to Recovery)
  • Noon: “Substance Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice System Panel” with Matt Karzen, district attorney for Colorado’s 14th Judicial District; Craig Thornhill, licensed addiction counselor working with local jail populations; James McLaughlin, director of paramedicine at Ute Pass Regional Health Service District; Valerie Resendez, diversion program manager at Colorado’s Office of Behavioral Health; and Emily Richardson, manager of Co-responder Services also at Colorado’s Office of Behavioral Health. Moderated by JK Costello, senior behavioral health consultant with the Steadman Group

Substance Use Prevention And Recovery Seminar is planned with behavioral health professionals, medical providers and social service providers in mind, but the general public is welcomed — and encouraged — to join. 

To learn more and register, visit

Sarah Valentino works for Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

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