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Jochebed Amaral, Class of 2018, presents research at the Summit for Opiate Solutions hosted by Psychology faculty members.
May 10, 2018


Academics | Student Success

The College's Plymouth campus recently hosted a summit addressing possible solutions to the opiate crisis, with Psychology faculty members Dr. Ann Marie Leonard-Zabel and Dr. Kenneth Texeira leading the event. 
Students in Dr. Texeira's Experimental Psychology course presented research about fighting the opioid epidemic and addressing substance abuse. Research projects ranged in topic from exploring methadone maintenance treatment to Portugal's response to drugs in society, to the history of the opioid crisis. For one student, her research was deeply personal because she has lost loved ones to opioid addiction.    

During the summit presentation, Dr. Texeira shared recent data about the impact Drug Story Theater has on middle and high school students. Drug Story Theater takes teenagers in the early stages of recovery from drugs and alcohol, teaches them improvisational theater, and engages them in psychodrama to explore their personal stories. Participants then perform shows to adolescents so the treatment of one becomes the prevention of many. 

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Leonard-Zabel, who presented her research about how opioids seize the brain by hijacking the system, bringing it to a state of addiction. She reviewed the neurocognitive deficits of opioid disorder, and shared models of assessment used for developing treatments. In her address, she encouraged the audience to have compassion and understanding for those struggling with addiction and shared possible interventions to help them regain their lives. 

Photo: Jochebed Amaral, Class of 2018, presents research at the Summit for Opiate Solutions.