Makin’ It Happen Team at the New England Summer School for Addiction Studies in Worchester, MA 

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Featured, Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency Essentials | 0 comments

Last week, the Makin’ It Happen team had the incredible opportunity to attend the New England Summer School for Addiction Studies in Worcester, Massachusetts. This four-day event, held both virtually and in person, was an enriching experience that significantly enhanced the team’s understanding and skills in prevention studies. The conference was a vibrant gathering of professionals dedicated to tackling mental health and prevention through innovative and evidence-based approaches. 

The conference brought together a diverse group of individuals, including treatment providers, prevention workers, and researchers, all united by a common goal: to advance the continuum of care and improve outcomes for those affected by mental health and substance use disorders. The combination of in-person interactions and virtual participation ensured that the event was accessible to a wide audience, fostering an inclusive environment for learning and collaboration. Makin’ It Happen was proud to have six team members attending this year. 

Each day of the conference began with morning plenaries, where team members had the privilege of listening to and engaging with leading experts in the field. These sessions covered a broad spectrum of topics across the continuum of care, from harm reduction strategies to understanding and addressing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The insights gained from these plenaries were invaluable, offering fresh perspectives and new approaches that the team could integrate into their work. 

The afternoons were dedicated to intensive, 6-hour classes that participants selected based on their interests and professional needs. These classes were a deep dive into specific areas of addiction studies, providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of the latest data trends and research findings. Whether it was exploring the nuances of prevention programs or learning about the latest interventions in treatment and recovery, these classes equipped the team with the knowledge and tools needed to enhance their practice. 

One of the most rewarding aspects of the conference was the opportunity for networking. Throughout the event, team members connected with representatives from other organizations across New England, sharing experiences, challenges, and successes. These interactions not only broadened their professional networks but also sparked collaborative ideas and potential partnerships that could amplify their impact in the community. 

The conference also underscored the importance of ongoing learning and professional development. In a field that is constantly evolving, staying informed about the latest research and best practices is crucial. By committing to this continuous learning journey, Makin’ It Happen ensures that it remains at the forefront of prevention, providing the highest level of support to the community. 

In addition to the structured sessions, the in-person team took full advantage of the informal learning opportunities available throughout the event. Conversations over coffee, discussions during breaks, and impromptu meetings with speakers and fellow attendees added another layer of richness to the experience. These moments of connection and exchange were just as valuable as the formal sessions, offering real-world insights and practical advice that could be applied immediately. 

As the conference drew to a close, the team reflected on the wealth of knowledge and inspiration they had gained. They returned to their work with renewed energy and a deeper understanding of the complexities of addiction and the multifaceted approaches needed to address it. The lessons learned and the connections made during the New England Summer School for Addiction Studies will undoubtedly influence their work for years to come. 

Looking ahead, Makin’ It Happen is excited to implement the strategies and ideas garnered from the conference. The team is committed to applying these insights to their prevention programs, ensuring that they are evidence-based, culturally sensitive, and tailored to meet the unique needs of the community. By doing so, they hope to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve, helping to build a healthier, more resilient community. 

Attending the New England Summer School for Addiction Studies was a transformative experience for the Makin’ It Happen team. Makin’ It Happen would like to thank Adcare Educational Institute for organizing the 55th annual conference, NHADACA, and Worchester State University for hosting.