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AMERSA People & Passion Podcast

AMERSA People & Passion Podcast – Sponsored by the ATTC Network Coordinating Office

 is proud to announce a new podcast exploring the world of substance use education, research, care and policy! AMERSA People & Passion is a 10-episode series sponsored by the ATTC Network and hosted by executive director Doreen Baeder, featuring subject matter experts across a variety of topics, as well as special guests detailing their experiences as AMERSA members.

Episode 1

Screening and Brief Intervention, AMERSA, and What You Should Do

In this podcast Rich Saitz, former AMERSA President, is interviewed by mentee (initially), colleague and friend Nic Bertholet, and we find out about whether screening and brief intervention are effective, and what the controversy is. We learn about the evidence, what research should still be done, what we should teach, what we should do in practice, and how it has loomed large at AMERSA. We also hear about how great it is to be very involved with AMERSA through Rich’s experience with the organization, the value of colleagues met and friends made there, and by thinking about what other areas of research, education and care AMERSA plays big roles in.


  • Richard Saitz, MD, MPH 
  • Nicolas Bertholet, MD, MSc

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Episode 2

Stigma – The Not So Silent Killer

The use of alcohol and other drugs is rising in the United States in the setting of Covid-19. In the 12-month period ending in May 2020, more than 80,000 people in the U.S. lost their lives to a drug overdose, the highest number ever recorded in a single year. Substance use and addiction affect millions of people across the nation as healthcare systems work to create innovative solutions related to prevention, early identification, treatment and recovery. One major barrier to accomplishing this monumental goal is the stigma experienced by people with substance use disorders. Stigma creates feelings of shame, limits access to care, and ultimately contributes to challenging and life-threatening cycles of addiction. While we know how to define stigma and how it impacts individuals and families, how we eliminate stigma specifically in healthcare settings to improve care and outcomes is poorly understood. In this podcast, we will describe the many barriers stigma forces on people with substance use disorders and how healthcare can support people with substance use disorders.


  • Cheyenne Johnson, MPH, RN, CCRP
  • Deborah S. Finnel, DNS, CARN-AP, FAAN
  • Richard Bottner, DHA, PA-C

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Episode 3

Barriers to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: Why Aren't Pharmacists Stocking Buprenorphine?

Patients with opioid use disorder must be able to obtain prescribed buprenorphine from a pharmacy promptly to reduce risk for a recurrence of use and subsequent morbidity and mortality. However, phone-based secret shopper surveys indicate many pharmacies do not consistently maintain an adequate stock of buprenorphine and qualitative surveys show some pharmacists refuse to dispense it altogether. The underlying reasons for this problem are complex and will require innovative collaborations between pharmacists, buprenorphine prescribers, policymakers, and other healthcare team members.


  • Jeffrey P. Bratberg, PharmD
  • Lucas G. Hill, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP
  • Lindsey J. Loera, PharmD

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Episode 4

A Path for Substance Use Disorder Content in the Education Setting

Join AMERSA and ATTC in celebrating a journey through AMERSA time with Marianne Marcus. This podcast summarizes Dr. Marianne Marcus’ career as a nurse educator and researcher, and the role AMERSA played in developing her understanding of substance use disorders. Her career included sequential faculty positions in Herman H. Lehman College and Columbia University in New York and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston ,Texas. A serendipitous opportunity to open a primary care clinic in a residential substance use treatment facility led her to increase substance use content in nursing curricula and research. She sought out the support of like-minded health care faculty through her involvement with AMERSA.


  • Marianne Marcus, EdD, RN

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Episode 5

Are Peer Counselors the Missing Link in Addiction Care

This episode of the AMERSA People & Passion podcast highlights peers in an acute care setting engaging with vulnerable patients suffering from active substance use disorder, with a focus on the intersection of lived experience, evidence-based treatment, and harm reduction strategies. Discussion centers around the safe space a peer creates in an environment that is traditionally unwelcoming toward populations encountering substance use disorders. Peers are the conduit to potentially change the trajectory of engagement during an emergency room visit.


  • Paul Bowman
  • Colleen LaBelle, MSN, RN-BC, CARN
  • Nicole O’Donnell

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Episode 6

Leveraging Media and Medicine to Reduce Stigma and Improve Access to Addiction Treatment

The COVID-19 pandemic is distinct from other catastrophic events because of massive population exposure to ongoing trauma. Illness, death, loss, grief, job- and food-insecurity have led to increased substance use, return to use/relapse, overdose and death. In the face of widespread misinformation, accurate and engaging health messaging matters NOW more than ever. Health messaging should target stigma of SUD, myths about MAT/MOUD and stress reduction (without using alcohol/drugs) and other pandemic-related health issues. We also know that physician and other healthcare professionals' voices matter: amid the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have a high level of trust in their doctors. Media - traditional and social - are effective ways to educate and empower the public about key issues about SUD/addiction.


  • Stefan G. Kertesz, MD, MSc
  • Lipi Roy, MD, MPH

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Episode 7

Palliative Care: Bridging the Gap for Addiction Treatment in People with Serious Illness

Substance Use Disorders are common in people with serious illness and contribute immensely to suffering and poor quality of life. People with addiction and serious illness are an underserved population with unmet and complex medical and psychosocial needs. In this episode, Palliative care clinicians will discuss the overlap between both fields, educational initiatives, patient cases, and innovative models of collaboration to bridge the gap.


  • Julie W. Childers, MD
  • Katie Fitzgerald Jones, BSN, MSN, APN
  • Janet Ho, MD, MPH

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Episode 8

Key Conversations: Dismantling Racism Against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Across the Substance Use Continuum

The Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA) released a solidarity statement and a position paper articulating racism’s deadly effects on persons who use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. This cascade of negative effects, compounded with the social determinants of health results in higher rates of incarceration, increased risk of overdose, fewer employment options, multi-generational poverty and economic disadvantages for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC).

The AMERSA Board of Directors (BOD) proposes an initial set of strategies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion using a framework that speaks to four key AMERSA experiences: engagement, education, mentorship, and leadership. Please join Dr. Holly Hagle, Marlene Martin, and Miriam Komaromy in this podcast for a discussion on how AMERSA commits to promoting equity and inclusion to dismantle the individual, institutional, and structural racism that has pervaded the United States for centuries. Through these actions we stand in solidarity with BIPoC and all persons who use substances across the spectrum of harm reduction, prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery; committing to promoting equity and inclusion. The AMERSA BOD cannot achieve this alone. We invite our members to join us in building an inclusive, multidisciplinary professional society equitable for all. Please visit us at


  • Holly Hagle, Ph.D.
  • Marlene Martin, MD
  • Miriam Komaromy, MD, DFASAM, FACP

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Episode 9

History of AMERSA with Sid Schnoll

Sid Schnoll, one of the founders of AMERSA, discusses with Paula Lum the origin of the organization out of the Career Teacher Program of the early 1970s. The desire by the federal government to cultivate experts in substance use disorders into health professional schools has resulted in a vibrant, growing organization that helps health educators provide cutting-edge information to their students.


  • Sidney H. Schnoll, MD, PhD
  • Paula J. Lum, MD, MPH

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Episode 10

Initiating Medications for Opioid Use Disorder—There’s an App for That?!?

To support the utilization of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), the Office Based Addiction Treatment Training and Technical Assistance (OBAT TTA) team will be releasing a mobile application that will guide healthcare providers through the initiation of buprenorphine and naltrexone for OUD (including injectable buprenorphine) and pain management for patients on these medications via interactive clinical algorithms. This is one of the only apps of its kind for addiction care. This podcast will interview key members leading the development of the app to learn more about its development, what gaps it is addressing, and feedback on initial utilization and impact.

Web Access to the App:
Find the app in the Apple Store and on Google Play


  • Elizabeth M. Oliva, PhD
  • Andrea Caputo, DNP, FNP-BC, CARN-AP
  • Annie Potter, MSN, MPH, NP, CARN-AP

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