A message from our executive director

Our inaugural SUD Talks was an overwhelming success! Held on February 11, 2016, industry leaders have called SUD Talks a “game changer”. For those of you who may have missed it, please enjoy the videos of all the talks. Our goal of changing the way we think, feel, believe and treat Substance Use Disorder, is well underway not just as a community, but as a city, and a nation. Delray Beach, touted as the “Recovery Capital“ of the USA, continues to be a leader in these initiatives. Many thanks to all our SUD speakers and our SUD sponsors. If you are interested in hosting a SUD Talks event in your city, please contact the Delray Beach Drug Task Force. We look forward to announcing the 2017 SUD Talks Event and taking the conversation nationwide.

Many thanks,
Suzanne Spencer
SUD Talks Founder and Executive Director, Delray Beach Drug Task Force

Event Review

"There is a common saying which is floating through the recovery community as of that, which is that the opposite of “addiction” is not “sobriety,” but rather “community.”  And science is continuing to support the notion that connectivity amongst human beings is a stronger buffer against relapse from Substance Use Disorder than abstinence and counseling (and perhaps Medication Assisted Treatment) alone.

Continuing in this line of thought, the Delray Beach Drug Task Force and its visionary leader, Executive Director Suzanne Spencer, has continued to push this concept forward by holding the first ever “SUD [Substance Use Disorder] Talks” in Delray Beach, Florida, on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at the historic Crest Theater in downtown Delray Beach. Attended by the “Who’s Who” of the recovery community, coupled with progressive law enforcement, educators, civic leaders, business owners, and interested citizens, the SUD Talks was modeled after the ever-popular “TED Talks” but with a subject focused upon how each individual in society is responsible for being their own “Agent of Change.”

Fulfilling its name as being the “Village by the Sea,” the City of Delray Beach itself was a major sponsor of the event, alongside “Visionary Sponsor” Michael S. Weiner, Esq., of the Weiner & Thompson law firm; “Idea Sponsor” Advanced Recovery Systems; “Thinker and Doer Sponsor” the Fred & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Services; along with The Hanley Foundation and The Home Depot.

Moving, motivational, and inspiring, are just a few of the words repeated throughout the night, as the various speakers made presentations ranging from 8 to 45 minutes on topics such as The Hanley Foundation's  Dr. D. John Dyben discussion on “There is No Such Thing as a Discount Human Being; ” Dr. Elaine R. Rotenberg’s conversation about "When Denial Becomes an Affliction;” to the main speaker for the evening, the nationally renowned conversationalist Dr. Carl Hammerschlag’s topic of "Healing In Community: Not Cutting Edge Nor Leading Edge, But 'Healing' Edge!" which led to a standing ovation.

Taking groundbreaking action in the recovery field is nothing new for the Delray Beach Task Force or for Mrs. Spencer.  We hope this is simply the beginning of the next level of open community-based conversations to take place not only in Delray Beach, but countywide, statewide, and nationally."

By Jeffrey Lynne
Weiner, Lynne & Thompson, P.A.


The Topics

"Healing in the Community: Not Cutting Edge Nor Leading Edge, but 'Healing' edge!"

- Dr. Carl Hammerschlag

"No Such Thing as a Discount Human Being"

- Dr. John Dyben

"When Denial is the Affliction"

- Dr. Elaine Rotenberg

"Attitudes and Platitudes"

- Marc Woods

"Changing our Genes"

- Dr. Kevin Wandler


A Special Thank You 

Accommodation for Visionary Speaker
Provided by Rick Konsavage and the Delray Beach Marriott Hotel

Website and Collateral Design
Jillian Perez Dudziak, Starboard Studio

Public Relations Partner
Rich Pollack, Pollack Communications

Live Stream & Twitter
Veronica Woodbury, Mandala Healing Center

Transportation Sponsor
Uptown Limousine

Set Design
The Delray Beach Playhouse

VIP Sponsor
Chuck Halberg

Official Media Partners
Channel 25
The Sober World Magazine
Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce

Event Volunteers
Mevism Bacaksiz, Dana Bathurst, Doreen Clancy, Sarah Gentry, Jeff Messer, Terrill Pyburn, Terry Shapiro and the SUD Talks Committee

Additional Supporters
Crest Theater and Technical Crew ; State Attorney Dave Aronberg; Drug Task Force Executive Board and Advisory Board; City of Delray Beach and Mayor Carey Glickstein; Kelli Freeman and the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce; Chief Goldman and Delray Beach Police Department; Home Depot; Inner Circle Network; US Journal Training, Inc.; Addiction Pro Magazine; Cliff Moitt, Video Sergeant; Slatkow and Husak Public Relations; iQuest Productions, Avenue Church