Caption: TAAP Volunteer Coordinator Amelia Reed and La Hacienda Family Program Director Martin Garcia pose under the archway which greeted conference attendees.
A record-breaking 700-plus addiction treatment professionals, including La Hacienda staff, gathered August 15-18th in San Antonio for the 44th Texas Association of Addiction Professionals (TAAP) Conference on Addiction Studies.
This year’s conference theme was “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to TAAP’s Emerald City: A Land of Education, Networking, and Recovery.” Conference leaders – including La Hacienda Outpatient Services Administrator Sherri Layton, LCDC, CCS as the Scarecrow — dressed as Oz characters for the opening session.
During the conference, TAAP inducted Sherri into its Hall of Fame in recognition of her work and advocacy efforts. She is also the association’s president-elect and will become president next year.
Keynote Speakers Inform
Four keynote speakers addressed the conference on a variety of subjects related to addiction treatment.
Dr. Joseph Lee, M.D., of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, spoke on prevention and early intervention with adolescents.
Susan Cottrell, author, speaker and organizer of FreedHearts, talked about the particular needs of LGBTQI clients.
Psychotherapist, author and speaker Thom Rutledge addressed the conference on “Talking to Denial: Taking Advantage of Recovery’s Arch Enemy.”
Dale Quigley, the Deputy Coordinator of the National Marijuana Initiative, spoke about data gained from research in Colorado, where recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2012.
TAAP dedicated the conference to the memory of member Robert S. Miles, who passed away last November. He was credited with helping build the annual event to the nationally recognized gathering it has become.
Special topic sessions were scattered through the three days. At one, Sherri Layton and lobbyist Duane Gallagher brought participants up to date on state and national legislation affecting addiction treatment.
Opportunities to Learn
Counselors attending the conference earned continuing education credit hours toward state licensure and certification renewal by participating in workshops on a variety of subjects.
La Hacienda Continuing Care Coordinator Linda Bertel noted that the conference provides an excellent opportunity for the state’s addiction treatment counselors to network with, and learn from, each other.
Rachel Kessler, LCDC-I, a La Hacienda Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern attending her first TAAP conference, concurred.
“It was a great reminder of the vast variety of people and institutions which support individuals wanting to recover from addiction. I gained a new perspective on how to best help my patients,” said Rachel.
La Hacienda co-sponsored a golf tournament on the first day of the conference at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.
The 2019 TAAP Conference will be September 5-7th at the same location.