A Community Conversation About Mental Health and Substance Abuse

On June 27, 2017, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) hosted a large, well-attended mental health conference “NOT ALL WOUNDS ARE VISIBLE – A Community Conversation About Mental Health and Substance Abuse.”Based on the conference evaluation forms, we learned that attendees wanted more time to ask the presenters questions.  In response to the communities’ direct feedback, UMMS and UMB are launching a series of half-day Community Conversations that explore specific behavioral health illnesses in depth and provide ample time for questions and answers, starting with addiction and substance abuse this Fall.

The first community conversation, Let’s Talk About Addiction and Substance Abuse, will take place on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 at the UMB Campus Center, 621 W. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD 21201 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public, and includes free parking, breakfast, and event materials for all attendees.  A live broadcast of the event will take place in several localities across the state, including:

  • Baltimore County (hosted by UM St. Joseph Medical Center
  • Charles County (hosted by UM Charles Regional Medical Center)
  • The Mid-Shore region: Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties (hosted by UM Shore Regional at Chesapeake College)
  • Prince George’s County (hosted by UM Capital Region Health & The Judge AW Center) at the Maryland Center at Bowie State University. 

Event Topics

Dr. Chris Welsh will kick-off the event by defining “addiction and substance abuse”.  He will be joined by Dr. Brad Schwartz who will discuss the non-opioid additions, such as K2 and synthetic marijuana. Dr. Narayanan Ramesh will delve into the current opioid crisis affecting all of our communities.

Dr. Eric Weintraub will address recovery from addiction and substance abuse.  Dr. Jason Ramirez, author of “The Hard Way: A Doctor’s Fight Against Addiction, Poverty and Depression”, will conclude the program discussing the challenges of growing up as the child of heroin-addicted parents.
Each topic will be followed by a substantive Q&A session where all attendees, including those at our satellite locations, will have the chance to ask the presenters questions.  Each location will have local vendors present to offer information and resources available in their respective communities. 

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Welsh is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and serves as Medical Director of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Substance Abuse Consultation Service.

Dr. Schwartz serves as Educational Director of Emergency Medicine for University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center and as a Clinical Instructor in Emergency Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Ramesh is the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center.

Dr. Weintraub is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Division Head of Alcohol & Drug Abuse at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a specialist in addiction psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Ramirez is Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of Inpatient Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Registration is free, but required.  More information about the event, including registration, is available at: www.umms.org/communityhealth.