Partners Health Summit Addresses Struggles of Opioid Addiction

Hickory, NC, October 14, 2016—Almost 400 citizens learned ways to combat the largest drug epidemic plaguing our country—opioid and prescription drug overuse—during the most recent Partners Health Summit, the Struggles of Opioid Addiction, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center on Friday, October 14. The summit brought the general public and addiction and recovery specialists together to explore addiction and understand prevention, treatment, and recovery for those living with addiction.

Struggles of Opioid Addiction rntrance hall
Two visitors enter the registration and breakfast lobby for Partners Health Summit: Struggles of Opioid Addiction, on Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC.
Partners Health Summit: Struggles of Opioid Keynote Speaker
Dr. Mel Pohl delivers the keynote presentation on chronic pain and the opioid epidemic at Partners Health Summit: Struggles of Opioid Addiction, on Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC.

The free summit offered nine presentations focused on treating chronic pain without opioids, how legislation impacts the epidemic, treatments for addiction, teens and addiction prevention, and how to care for those in recovery.

“The main thing I liked was there were people from all walks of life,” said Alicia Bryant, Catawba County DSS Social Worker. “It was comfortable, and all the trainings were at a level people could understand no matter what their skill level.”

Dr. Mel Pohl, Board Certified Family Practitioner, Vice President of Medical Affairs, and the Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center, provided the keynote address.  His presentation, “Treating Chronic Pain in the Midst of the Opioid Epidemic,” reviewed how chronic pain treatments have led to a severe epidemic of prescription drug and heroin use, addiction, and overdose.

Participants were also able to connect with support professionals from the area and join the Recovery Rally to celebrate the hard work and dedication needed to sustain recovery. The rally incorporated inspirational speakers and personal recovery stories to create a safe and supportive environment to rally around those fighting opioid addiction.

“People do it to share,” said Douglas Lail about his art subjects. “They need to give others their experiences and stories; their hope and recovery.”

Douglas Lail, a visual artist from Asheville, NC displayed the recovery art exhibit, “Hello, My Name Is…,” at the summit. The “Hello My Name Is…” project is a not-for-profit community outreach program sponsored by the Asheville Area Arts Council. The project builds awareness that people do achieve and sustain recovery from alcohol, drugs, mental health, and other life challenges. Not only does recovery change the life of the individual, it also has a positive impact on the individual’s family, our community, as well as society as a whole.

For more information about Partners Health Summit, visit