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Traumatic Brain Injury & SUD: Part 1 Implications of Brain Injury & Addiction

The occurrence of the combined problem of TBI and Substance Use Disorder is common and presents major complications in the usual course of rehabilitation. Physical, cognitive, and emotional issues related to this combination of disorders require an acute understanding of brain function, cognitive assessment, and various modifications to the usual rehabilitation approach. Understanding the prevalence and scope of the issue of TBI and SUD will be reviewed along with a full description of the processes of assessment, treatment, and long-term care of people with this complex disorder.


Learning Objectives:

Review the scope of the SUD problem in the US

Review the scope of the TBI problem in the US

Review neurobiological systems relevant to working with people experiencing TBI and SUD

Review assessment procedures

Describe specific treatment planning components

Describe typical treatment modifications needed in treating TBI and SUD


Presenter Information

Dr. Sparadeo began his career as the Director of the Mayor’s Task Force on Substance Abuse in the City of Providence, R.I. and he was also the Director of Substance Abuse Services for the Providence Mental Health Center at that same time. After creating a system of clinical services for the City of Providence he was appointed as CEO of Talbot House. Talbot House was the largest residential substance abuse treatment facility in New England. Dr. Sparadeo then completed his doctoral studies with a residency at the Boston V.A. Medical Center followed by a 2-year fellowship at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital (RIH). The focus of his clinical training was neuropsychology and chronic pain. He completed his fellowship and was appointed to the Brown University School of Medicine faculty and the Rhode Island Hospital medical staff in the position of Director of Rehabilitation Psychology. Dr. Sparadeo trained numerous interns and fellows at Brown University. As Director of Rehabilitation Psychology, Dr. Sparadeo created the first comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation program for survivors of traumatic brain injury. After 8 years in his position at RIH Dr. Sparadeo was appointed National Director of Substance Abuse and TBI rehabilitation services at New Medico Health Systems in Boston, Massachusetts. He created inpatient substance abuse treatment programs in 8 rehabilitation facilities throughout the U.S. He returned to RIH and Brown University to become the director of the Concussion Care Center in the Emergency Department at RIH. He was also the chief clinical consultant to the Trauma Center and Stepdown Unit, and he was the co-director of the Interdisciplinary Spine Center in the Neurosurgery Department at RIH for 5 years before opening a private practice specializing in the neuropsychological assessment, pain assessment and pain management. He developed a specialized substance abuse treatment program for people with both TBI and substance abuse. Eventually, he developed a specialized treatment program for people with chronic pain and opiate addiction. Over the many years of his career Dr. Sparadeo has been a consultant to many agencies and healthcare programs throughout the U.S. He has also served on numerous boards of directors. He was the founder and president of the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island. He was also the Chairman of the Governor’s Permanent Advisory Commission on TBI. He was also a member of the national committee on substance abuse and disability at SAMHSA in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Dr. Sparadeo has been a consultant and chief trainer on a federally funded grant at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Dr. Sparadeo’s career has also included the publication of many scientific papers and book chapters, and he has been on the faculty of Salve Regina University graduate program in Rehabilitation Counseling where he teaches the Neuroscience of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness, Psychopharmacology for Counselors and the Neuroscience of Opioid Abuse.


Traumatic Brain Injury and SUD Part 1 Implications of Brain Injury Addiction

This training is a collaboration between Mid-America ATTC, Mountain Plains ATTC, and NASHIA.