Auburn University & Alabama Department of Mental Health Teaming Up to Host the Opioid Training Institute

For Health Care Professionals & Community Leaders

Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy and the Alabama Department of Mental Health have joined forces in the battle against opioids, creating the Opioid Training Institute.

In 2017, there were 422 overdose deaths involving either prescription or illicit drugs in Alabama, an average of more than one per day, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The Opioid Training Institute addresses this crisis in a series of 16 one-day, free training programs spanning the state from May through September. The programs are divided evenly with eight aimed at health care professionals, such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists and veterinarians; and eight focused on community members, such as educators, social workers, guidance counselors, behavioral health specialists, counselors, faith-based community leaders, state and local leaders and law enforcement.

The opioid epidemic is one that knows no neighborhood, class or age and impacts every sector of the state, including health care, education, business and local government. Opioids are a class of drugs that includes heroin, as well as prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl. These drugs work by binding to the body’s opioid receptors in the reward center of the brain, diminishing pain as well as producing feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

Because of the variety of uses, one could come into contact with opioids from street drugs to prescription drugs. The problem is one that affects all socioeconomic statuses. It is for this reason that such a broad spectrum of people, from health care to law enforcement to leaders in the community, are needed to fight the problem.

The programs begin May 20-21 with sessions for community members in Birmingham. Other stops around the state include Mobile/Baldwin County, Huntsville, Cullman, Montgomery, Auburn, Dothan, Troy and Tuscaloosa.

All sessions are free and preregistration is preferred. Speakers at the events include those from health care, law enforcement, government agencies and others. For health care professionals, continuing education credit is available.

For more information and registration, visit

Opioid Training Institute Dates and Locations

Community Members

May 20-21: Birmingham, Hilton at UAB

July 23: Huntsville, Jackson Center

July 24: Cullman, Cullman Civic Center

July 29: Montgomery, Hilton Garden Inn at EastChase

July 30: Opelika, Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort and Spa at Grand National

Aug. 1: Dothan, Windmill Station

Aug. 2: Mobile, The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa


Health Care Professionals

June 18-19: Mobile/Baldwin County, The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa

June 26-27: Huntsville, Jackson Center

Sept. 11: Troy, Sportsplex

Sept. 12: Opelika, Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort and Spa at Grand National

Sept. 18: Tuscaloosa, Bryant Conference Center

Sept. 19: Birmingham, Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel

Courtesy: Auburn University

Categories: Alabama News