2022 UVU Conference on Addiction Friday March 18, 2022 – Hybrid Conference


Opening Keynote 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.


Kristina Wandzilak, and Constance Curry

Kristina and Constance are the authors of The Lost Years; Surviving a Mothers and Daughters Worst Nightmare. The Lost Years is a brutally honest and gritty story of Kristina’s dramatic descent into addiction and her mother’s desperate attempt to save her. Told from the parallel perspectives of mother and daughter, it is a moving account of one family’s journey into addiction and ultimately recovery. The Lost Years is an incredibly inspiring story of healing and hope. Together they will recount their personal journey, and what they have learned along the way. 

Morning Concurrent Sessions 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. 

Sexual Messaging as Trauma in Addictions Treatment: A Dialogical Approach with Matt Draper and Brett Breton

One of the primary sources of trauma that psychologists encounter during addiction treatment is childhood sexual abuse reported by their clients in adulthood. What is less commonly discussed or understood are the covert messages that evoke sexual trauma as well. These covert social constructions about sexual feeling, identity, and behavior can underlie and exacerbate traumatic experiences and trauma responses around sexual phenomena for these clients. In this workshop, Dr. Draper and Dr. Breton will share a series of case studies and examples on how psychologists may utilize dialogical approaches to help find an authentic resolution.

*This session may be of particular interest to experienced practitioners.

Electronics: The New Drug - How to Digitally Detox with Dr. Christy Kane, PsyD, CMHC

With modern electronics, we can plug in at any time allowing access to the internet, social media, and more, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Join Dr. Kane as she delves into the neurology of the brain with her cutting-edge research in a downto-earth conversation. You’ll learn how electronics impact our thinking and actually change our physical brains (particularly the brains of our teenagers). Discover strategies for improving brain function, addressing behavioral addictions, and non-shame-based treatment. Electronics may be the new drug, but with Dr.Kane’s help you’ll learn what you can do to digitally detox—because electronics aren’t going away.

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

Chrisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention for Drug and Alcohol Counselors with Richard Nance

For the past few years, Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing has required all behavioral health license applicants and renewals to have 2 hours of specific training on crisis intervention and suicide prevention. This presentation provides one hour of that requirement. Join Richard Nance as he outlines suicide rates for different populations and genders, explains the differences between suicide risk for those abusing substances and those who don’t and discusses evidence-based screening, assessment and interventions.

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

"Can You Hear Me Now?"  Telehealth Mental Health Therapy Since COVID with Dr. Teri Nicole Sawyer, LCSW, CFLE, CTMH

Since March 2020, the delivery of the mental health treatment has changed to many seeking therapy help. Before COVID, concerns of effectiveness and confidentiality were really in question and two years, how they have been addressed. What do we now know and how has telehealth changed treatment as we know it? Come learn about best practices to have ethical on-line treatment that helps others on the path of recovery.

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.


Plenary Session 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.



NRAM at Twenty Years - Listening to the Vioces Who helped make history with William Stauffer

This presentation is based on historic documents and personal interviews with people who helped organize and attended the historic recovery summit held in Saint Paul Minnesota in October 2001. The summit has widely been considered the start of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement (NRAM). The movement has begun to elevate voices of the recovery and to change public perceptions about addiction. Attendees will learn about the common themes that brought and kept the recovery community together over the last two decades as well as thoughts to consider as we move into the next generation. Lean about the formation of the NRAM, and the forces that brought it together; Looking back twenty years on, what did it accomplish and how did it accomplish those goals; and What can history tell us about how to achieve our collective goals moving forward? 

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.



Lunch, Exhibit Fair, and Student Poster Presentations 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Efficacy of Utilizing Qigong in Addiction Treatment and Recovery with Dr. Angelea Panos, PhD, LMSW, LMFT and Sarah Elizabeth Garza-Levitt, MSW, CSW, E-RYT, C-IAYT, C-MQI

Addiction affects health and well-being. Furthermore, addiction is often accompanied by trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss and potential health issues and consequences. Qigong as a therapeutic tool has utility to address complex symptoms and communicate across diverse populations to positively impact health and well-being. A growing evidence base indicates that Qigong can improve both regulation and resilience of the nervous system, affecting physical, physiological, and psychological health. Qigong has been shown to be effective in addressing chronic pain, smoking cessation, and heroin withdrawal. It has been shown to be effective in preventing relapse in substance abuse. Join Dr. Panos and Sara as they introduce this tool, and discuss the evidence behind its use to support recovery

*This session is appropriate for all audiences. 

Grief and Addiction with Tiffany Berg Coughran

Addiction reaps havoc in the lives of all impacted. Addiction is a dream crusher and too often, robs the addict and those who love them. Addiction steals time, joy, and often life itself. Grief and trauma are ongoing experiences on the roller coaster of addiction. For the addict, there may be loss of housing, loss of sovereignty, and loss of relationships through disenfranchisement from the community. For those who love the addict, grief and mourning go hand-in-hand with the emotional, financial and physical support offered. Learn the 8 areas of trauma and how to identify emotional loss, as well as key steps to healing. 

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

The Ethics of the Therapeutic Relationship with Jeffrey Quamme

Research has shown that the professional’s most effective tool in eliciting client change is the therapeutic relationship (Duncan, Miller, Hubble & Wampold, 2010). Despite its status as the linchpin of change, and with opportunities to continually improve the relationship through continuing education and supervision, there is little to guide ethical practice related directly to the therapeutic relationship. In fact, a search for more information provides little (or no) information on the ethics of the therapeutic relationship in SUD/COD treatment and recovery. Koch & Cratsley (2021) produced a document on the history and ethics of the therapeutic relationship in general clinical settings, but the uniqueness of the SUD treatment dynamic (where many former service recipients enter the field as professionals) remains unaddressed. This session takes into account the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship in SUD settings and applies the over-arching ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, justice and nonmaleficence. Specific examples are used to identify both ethically sound practices and those which may present more of an ethical slippery slope. Developing and building the therapeutic relationship are discussed through the ethical lens

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

Impaired Processing Treatment, A Comprehensive Care Modality for Co-occurring Disorders with Dr. Gray Otis

Clients who have substance use or process addictions present with co-occurring disorders that also relate to health and relationship stressors. “Impaired Processing Treatment, A Comprehensive Care Modality” is a therapeutic approach that offers a systematic and integrative treatment approach to resolve complex client issues. Learn how to achieve successful outcomes through this comprehensive methodology. Join Dr. Otis as he offers an overall framework to comprehensively assess, diagnose, and treat co-occurring disorders as well as addressing the complexities of integrated behavioral healthcare. 

*This session will be of particular interest to those with some professional experience.



Using a Recovery Toolbox To Better Connect With Clients and Provide Practical, Daily Sobriety Tools for Relapse Prevention Success – Ann Weight, CMHC (SC 213AB)

Latest research shows that the clinician’s ability to help the client create a personal treatment connection results in higher success rates for making positive change. An important and effective tool for developing such a connection is the Wellness Toolbox. Often our clients have been through several treatment experiences, yet are unable to recall many specific strategies for sobriety once they leave the office. The toolbox has the personalized ideas, methods, and reminders most effective for maintaining one’s own wellness, readily available for quick reference. Several possible methods of toolbox modalities will be shared to give variety for individual styles (including youth), effective for any type of behavioral addiction, along with a summary handout. This presentation will not be a “death by PowerPoint” presentation but will include a lively discussion and interesting clips and examples to keep the interest level high. An opportunity for attendees to experience hands-on interaction with their own toolboxes will also be presented.

Brain Balance: Restoring Damaged Neurotransmitter Connections – Melissa Warner (SC 206 ABC)

The ability to be fully alive, engaged and productive occurs naturally when the brain has enough of the nutrients necessary to manufacture all of the neurotransmitters needed to communicate every message of life. Thus, healing the physiological imbalances in the addictive brain should be an integral part of treatment for addiction. The safest and most effective way to restore cognitive health and to help heal the addictive brain is by implementing a specific nutrient-rich diet and nutritional supplementation program. Melissa will review the nutritional principles that will provide the body and mind with the fuel needed for optimum performance.

Closing Keynote 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Koren Zailckas

Koren Zailckas is an internationally bestselling writer and has contributed to The Guardian, U.S. News & World Report, Glamour, Jane, and Seventeen magazine. Koren is the author of the iconic memoir SMASHED, followed by other offerings, The Drama Teacher, and Mother, Mother. Addressing the problem of underage drinking, Koren Zailckas brings to light scientific evidence on how alcohol affects the still-developing teenage brain. She informs audiences of how the younger the age one starts drinking alcohol, the more likely that person is to become addicted. Most compelling, however, is her personal story - the description of her downward spiral, and the experiences that she wishes she had never had. Zailckas shares powerful passages from her book. This unforgettable presentation is sure to leave a lasting impression

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

Pre-Recorded Sessions

Naloxone Basic Training with Dr. Jennifer Plumb

This session will provide basic naloxone training for community members. Dr. Plumb will discuss how to recognize an opioid overdose, as well as when and how to use a naloxone rescue kit to rescue someone from an opioid overdose (pain pills, heroin, fentanyl). 

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

Money Management and Recovery Capitol with Hinckley Jones-Sanpei, PhD and Richard Nance, LCSW

This presentation is based on research published by the presenters on the need for financial and money management education among clients treated in a publicly funded SUD treatment program. Many individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) have difficulty managing their personal finances. Research, conducted from 2017 to 2019, found that over 50% of individuals in SUD treatment do not have access to bank accounts, although almost all of them make regular monthly payments such as rent, child support, court fees, etc. Over three fourths of clients reported that money  management was an important part of their recovery. Creating appropriate financial capacity building interventions for individuals in treatment for SUDs is essential to their recovery and re-engagement in the mainstream economy.

*This session will be of particular interest to addiction professionals.

Recovery Coaching: An Essential Part of the Full Continuum of Services with Dick Dillon

Recovery Coaching is gaining a strong foothold as an essential part of the full continuum of services designed to prevent and treat substance use disorders. More than ever, experts recognize the potential for a fully functional recoveryoriented system of care to be the real solution to the addiction disorder pandemic. The missing links have been where the problems start (or even before they start), as well as the far side of acute treatment, in the years that follow problem recognition and treatment. Recovery coaching is a valid intervention on both ends of the treatment spectrum. The presenter will discuss the history and evolution of recovery coaching, how it is becoming a mainstream piece in the big picture, and where we will go from here

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.

Always Dared by Distraction: Struggling with Addiction and ADHD with Cheri DeMoss MA, LCPC, CAADC, NCADCII, MAC, NCRS

Many of those struggling with addiction are also struggling with ADHD. They have gone their whole lives believing the shame and blame put on them by those who don’t recognize or understand the uniquely different behaviors and thought process of those with ADHD. Much like a struggling addict, the ADHD person’s brain is always dared by distraction – constantly seeking new ideas, thoughts, experiences. They come up with new solution to problems, creative innovation to something tried and true without any of this being seen for what it is. This session is designed to outline the unique strengths, challenges, and distinctive intelligence of those with ADHD and substance addiction. We will focus on how to help this type of client remove the shame and blame and replace it with effective coping skills and strategies

*This session is appropriate for all audiences.