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Four Student Pharmacists Selected To Attend APhA Alcohol And Drug Dependencies Conference

Four Duquesne University student pharmacists were selected to attend the 4th annual American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies at the University of Utah from May 30-June 3. The Institute provided education, personal development, networking, and an exchange of ideas related to the disease of addiction.

School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Mary Mihalyo accompanied first professional year (PY1) students Erica Reinhardt, Alexandra Scanlan, Andrea Walters and Camryn Vecera on the trip.

The Institute's website states that it is intended to help participants to redefine their views on the disease of addiction and serve as a catalyst to help increase the awareness of health and social problems related to alcoholism and other drug dependencies. It assists individuals in finding treatment, supports them in ongoing recovery, and facilitates reentry into pharmacy practice or pharmacy education.

Institute programming provides attendees with the latest methods and techniques for working effectively towards this purpose. The Institute also strives to provide a perspective for those who would like to understand addiction even if they have not experienced it themselves. Education is planned for those who are developing or who are currently active in state-level pharmacist recovery programs; for state and national pharmacy association executives; for state board of pharmacy officials; for pharmacists in managerial positions; for college faculty and administrators; for student pharmacists; for leaders in firms or organizations that employ pharmacists; for pharmacy technicians; for pharmacist-related employee assistance program personnel; and for individuals who are concerned about alcoholism and other drug dependencies among their colleagues.

"The APHA institute allowed me to dive deeply into understanding the disease of addiction," said Mihalyo.  "I came away with deep respect for both those afflicted and those who dedicate their professional lives to caring for patients with substance use disorder."

Mihalyo added "there are thousands of underserved communities across the country attempting to do what they can to provide access to treatment for patients with substance abuse disorder. The responsibility of the pharmacy profession extends well beyond the provision of medications such as naloxone. Since attending the APHA institute, I have realized that there is no reason whatsoever why (community) pharmacists can't be much more involved in direct patient care, providing an environment to allow both behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance abuse. Community pharmacies with appropriate interdisciplinary collaboration could certainly be care centers and improve much needed access."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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