Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #246

How to Leverage Behavioral and Pharmacological Sciences to Impact the Opioid Crisis

Sunday, May 26, 2019
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich D
Area: SCI; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: William Stoops, Ph.D.
Chair: William Stoops (University of Kentucky)
SHARON WALSH (University of Kentucky)
Dr. Sharon Walsh is a Professor of Behavioral Science and Psychiatry, and Director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Walsh's clinical research has focused on pharmacological issues in opioid and cocaine dependence. She has conducted pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies of licit and illicit opioids and opioid treatment agents, including buprenorphine, methadone and LAAM. She has conducted abuse liability evaluations of opioid compounds in humans. She has evaluated potential pharmacotherapies for efficacy and safety in the treatment of cocaine dependence employing both inpatient drug interaction studies and outpatient clinical trials. Her work has been supported through continuous funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse along with funding from private foundations and industry. She has provided expert advice to the FDA, NIH, legal representatives and the pharmaceutical industry.

This presentation will provide an overview of the origins of the present opioid crisis, now in its second decade, in the United States. This year alone it is estimated that approximately 50,000 lives will be lost to opioid overdose with innumerable others suffering other consequences of the disorder. Effective interventions must span the continuum from prevention (both through education and improved opioid prescribing practices), expansion of evidence-based treatment and increasing additional harm reduction approaches to decrease the health risks associated with opioid use and injection drug use. The basis for the use of pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid use disorder are grounded in the principles of behavioral pharmacology, and the empirical evidence for the efficacy of our pharmacological armamentarium will be reviewed. The utility of additional behavioral approaches to augment the effectiveness of pharmacotherapeutics will be discussed. Finally, innovative programs that are having significant impact on the crisis will be discussed.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: PENDING



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