Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
July 19, 2017

Julie Naughton, Public Information Officer, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-1695 or (cell) 402-405-7202, 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Summit in August

Goal is to expand use of MAT for substance use disorders, including opioid addiction

LINCOLN— The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is teaming up with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) and the Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) to hold an Aug. 18 summit addressing the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders, including opioid addiction. 

“Our goal is to promote and expand the use of MAT as a scientifically proven, effective treatment option accessible to Nebraskans,” said Sheri Dawson, RN, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at DHHS. “People can and do recover and treatment outcomes have been shown to be improved through the use of MAT.”

The Summit will be held at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine Street in Omaha from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 18. Registration is $30 and closes Friday, Aug. 11.

It will explore medication-assisted treatment as a tool to prevent opioid and other overdoses and sustain recovery. MAT combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders, most often for alcohol and opioids.

Participants will learn about the neurobiology of substance use disorders, how MAT affects the brain and the behav¬ior of clients or patients who have substance use disorders, and how the use of naloxone is being used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

“Mid-America ATTC has co-sponsored other Summits in the region on the use of medications in assisting persons in recovery from substance use disorders,” said Pat Stilen, LCSW, director of Mid-America ATTC,  based at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and serves Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. “Outcomes from all events have been very positive: State agencies have gained momentum in moving MAT forward, behavioral health providers have a greater understanding how MAT can be used alongside counseling clients; court and criminal justice personnel learn about the need to keep clients on such medications if they are already prescribed for them or promoting their use if not; and prescribers become aware of the need to increase their knowledge and skills in this area.”

DHHS’s Amy Reynoldson and Renee Faber will provide updates on Nebraska’s Prescrip¬tion Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grants. Persons using medications to support their recovery from substance use disorders will share their experiences. The Summit will close with a panel discussion about Nebraska’s next steps in expanding the use of MAT for persons with substance use disorders.

Speakers include Edwin A. Salsitz, MD, DFASAM, specialist in addiction medicine and pulmonary disease, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, New York City; Ned Presnall, LCSW, executive director, Clayton Behavioral, St. Louis, and Rachel Winograd, PhD, assistant research professor, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, University of Missouri-St. Louis. A perspectives panel will include state leaders, court personnel and others.

Continuing education credits will also be available.  For more information, visit

The following day, Aug. 19, the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder course will be made available to physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who wish to obtain a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine in office-based treatment of opioid use disorders. The course consists of four hours of online instruction to be followed by four hours of live learning held at the Maurer Center for Public Health in Omaha.  Training fees are provided by Mid-America ATTC. For more information, contact ASAM Education Staff at 301.656.3920 or



8:00–8:30 Check-in

8:30–8:45 Welcome & Announcements

8:45–10:15 Understanding Substance Use Disorders from the Inside Out

10:15–10:30 Break

10:30–12:00 The Effectiveness and Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

12:00–1:00 Working Lunch (provided)

1:00–2:30 The Application of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Use Disorders & Persons in Recovery

2:30–2:45 Break

2:45–3:45 The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Using Naloxone

3:45–4:45 Perspectives Panel

4:45–5:00 Wrap-up Comments / Mid-America ATTC Evaluation