2016 SUD TALKS: Official Press Release

America’s Recovery Capital Becomes a Model
For Finding Long-Term Solutions

Delray Beach Drug Task Force Breaks Down Wall
By Bringing Opposing Forces Together

Once a month, police department leaders, code enforcement officials and municipal government lawmakers in Delray Beach sit down in a small room with those who operate drug treatment facilities, recovery centers and sober homes.

In years past, the two sides would often be at odds with one another – and clashes are not quite yet obsolete.

But thanks to the Delray Beach Drug Task Force, a non-profit organization with a 20-year history of addressing the issues that surface in a city known as the recovery capital of America, adversarial relationships have been replaced with collegial discussion focused on collaboration and developing solutions.

“Our task force is tearing down walls and bringing together local addiction professionals and community leaders to find long-term solutions to issues facing our community,” said Suzanne Spencer, the task force’s executive director. “We have become a model for other communities who are contacting us to learn more about our successes.”

In February, the task force will take its efforts of bringing groups together and sharing information to the next level by hosting SUD Talks. The SUD or Substance Use Disorder – talks are an idea-sharing series of 5- to 45-minute presentations focused on building integrated community models and addressing issues facing communities and professionals dealing with the substance-abuse issues.

Set for Thursday Feb. 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Delray Beach Center for the Art’s Crest Theater, the event will be modeled after successful TED Talks and will include several talks from local, regional and national speakers.  Among them are Dr. Kevin Wandler, associate chief medical officer, Advanced Recovery System; Dr. D. John Dyben, director of older adult treatment services, Hanley Center; Marc Woods, code enforcement officer, city of Delray Beach; and Dr. Elaine Rotenberg, clinical director at the Alpert Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

The Visionary Speaker for the event will be Dr. Carl Hammerschlag, a master storyteller and internationally recognized author, physician, speaker and healer. He brings extensive knowledge regarding how communities can survive in rapidly changing cultures, the role community plays in healing and how a changed perspective is needed to gain ground in response to the swell of substance use disorder.

“We’re excited to have someone of Dr. Hammerschlag’s caliber as our keynote speaker,” Spencer said. “His vast knowledge and focus on a community’s role in healing resonate with our audience.”

The Presenting Visionary Sponsor for SUD Talks is Weiner Lynne & Thompson, P.A., attorneys at law.

To find out more about the SUD Talks, as well as about the speakers and available accommodations, visit www.sudtalks.org.

About the Delray Beach Drug Task Force
For more than 20 years, the Delray Beach Drug Task Force is dedicated to provide community leadership and education on issues related to and resulting from Substance Use Disorder. It maintains a network and provides a forum to discuss, advocate, and influence issues with regard to addiction and recovery. A 501 C 3 non-profit organization, the task force also influences issues with regard to public safety, prevention, and rehabilitation.


In the Media

Article: Delray Beach leaders seek to bring TED Talks concept to substance use problem-solvingAddiction Professional, Oct 20, 2015.

WPBF Interview: Event to raise awareness, education on substance use disorder. WPBF News, Jan 20, 2015.


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