The Pennsylvania Department of Health is partnering with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania to offer a high level training course on the intersection between brain injury and opioid addiction and treatment. We know that people who have an opioid use disorder are more likely to sustain an anoxic brain injury as a result of their opioid misuse, due to decreased respiration and prolonged periods of lack of oxygen to the brain, and that people who have sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are more likely to misuse substances because of cognitive impairments from their brain injury. In fact, individuals with TBI are 11 times more likely to die of overdose than those without a TBI. By treating brain injury and substance misuse as co-occurring disorders, clinicians and survivors have the best opportunity to create successful interventions for change.
This live training course is being offered free-of-charge to six substance abuse providers throughout the Commonwealth. The course, titled Brain Injury and Opioids, will assist those working with substance use disorders to better understand cognitive deficits, and how these cognitive impairments interact with treatment for brain injury and treatment of opioid misuse and addiction. Please see this fact sheet for the course outline. This high-level course is geared towards Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Addictions Counselors. The 8-hour course is designed to be provided at the service provider’s location as a series of four 2-hour trainings for small groups of 25 staff at a time, and will be available between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020.