The West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders is Elevating the Virtual Experience

Dee McGraw is joining Tim to discuss the upcoming West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders and how the event is evolving with the times to help connect addiction specialists and share what’s working in the field right now. Find out how you can…

Dee McGraw is joining Tim to discuss the upcoming West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders and how the event is evolving with the times to help connect addiction specialists and share what’s working in the field right now. Find out how you can register for the symposium and make the most of the conference by learning new treatment strategies and networking with like-minded people.

  • Dee has a BS in psychology from Vanderbilt University, an MSW from Grand Valley State University, and over 28 years of experience in the substance abuse disorder & prevention field.
  • Not being able to meet in person due to Covid-19 has been very challenging for addiction specialists.
  • C4 has been around for 33 years and was originally founded as a group discussion around the idea that addiction treatment services should be reimbursed and treated in ways that science has shown to be the most effective. They focus heavily on trying to spread the knowledge of the most effective ways to treat addiction.
  • C4 also provides a broad range of continuing education credits to behavior health professionals.
  • Dee is excited about connecting with people again during the next conference because they’ve done a lot to recreate the experience of an in-person event.
  • One of the benefits of the virtual platform for the West Coast Symposium of Addictive Disorders is the ability to allow people to connect and interact with others that have similar interests. This can help them find their tribe a bit easier than a typical conference.
  • Dee is not usually happy about being forced to change, but the current situation doesn’t leave much choice. Dee has had to learn a number of new things in order to help other people understand the new ways of connecting online.
  • The topics that are going to make the biggest impact in light of the pandemic have to do with mental health, self-care, and compassion fatigue. There is a lot of trauma response Dee is seeing due to the pandemic and the general situation in the US.
  • To get the biggest benefit from attending the conference you’ll have to figure out what your biggest ROI will be. For some that could take the form of networking and learning about what other people are offering and for others that could be the value they’ll receive in the educational workshops. Everybody should check out the exhibit hall at the very least.
  • For someone who’s going to the conference just to learn, Dee recommends looking at the agenda, figuring out what you can do in two days and searching for programs that interest you specifically. The system they’ve put in place allows you to search by keyword. The discussion board is also a great place to find out what other people are talking about and ask any questions you may have.
  • Each speaker has their own fan base and following and letting those people know that you are a part of the conference is a big help in raising their profile and letting people know what’s available to them.
  • The C4 group originally negotiated an 18-year contract with the hotel where they’ve been hosting the conference and hopefully they can return to an in-person event again in the near future. Everything is up in the air at the moment but Dee is expecting that future events will likely have a virtual component either way.
  • Dee has always been interested in the field of addiction and helping people. One of her earliest work experiences involved teaching people about themselves and alcohol and drugs. The knowledge was very transformational for people and made a major impact on Dee and what she saw as possible in helping people improve their lives.
  • The common denominator for people in recovery and those that serve them is the simple desire to help others. It’s very humbling to be around such joyous and wonderful people.
  • We all have a morning routine, whether or not we have designed it consciously. Dee decided at the beginning of the pandemic that she wanted to build some introspection into her life. She tries to get some exercise in the morning at least three times a week combined with a healthy smoothie which she sips on all morning as she answers her emails and plans the day.

Mentioned in this Episode:

  • West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders – wcsad.com
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