Austin TAAP Annual Symposium Schedule

8:00 - 8:15 AM CDT

Introduction and Welcome

8:15 - 9:15 AM CDT
The Science of Spirituality

The Science of Spirituality

Dr. James Boone, M.D.

Learning objectives:

Understanding of the reward pathways in addiction and the effects of drugs and alcohol on the prefrontal cortical structures. Understanding the neurobiology of healthy decision making, emotional homeostasis, and judgement and the prefrontal cortex. An understanding of the neuroscience behind the benefits of prayer and meditation and spirituality. An appreciation of the core principles in 12 step recovery and their enhancement of neural recovery and wellness.



Brief review on the neurobiology of addiction. Review of the different prefrontal cortical structures as it relates to executive functioning and top down control. Series of studies documenting via functional MRI, infared spectroscopy, and SPECT scanning the benefits of prayer, meditation, and mindfulness. Review of different portions of 12 step recovery and their benefits on prefrontal cortical recovery and wellness

9:15 - 9:30 AM CDT

Break and Booths are open

9:30 - 10:30 AM CDT
Diversity in Addiction Treatment

Diversity in Addiction Treatment

Brittney Lollis Tolar, LCSW, LCDC, CDWF-C

Brittney Lollis Tolar will utilize conversation, open discussion, and case studies to educate participants on the topic of diversity in treatment. Attendees will be invited to participate and engage in an open discussion around race, addiction, stereotypes, and resources. This will be accomplished by reviewing case studies, outcomes of treatment, and the continuum of care. Participants will broaden their understanding of racial disparities in the treatment setting, explore stereotypes and narratives around BIPOC, and realize the lack of resources in BIPOC communities for the treatment of substance use disorders and mental health services.



10:30 - 10:45 AM CDT

Break and Booths are open

10:45 – 11:45 AM CDT
Substance Use Disorder in the DSM-5

Substance Use Disorder in the DSM-5

Candace Kimbrough, LPC, LCDC

You will become familiar with:

Using assessment tools with the new DSM-V Criteria in order to help clinicians:

  • assess and treat clients on every level of the SUD spectrum
  • assess clients past and current substance use patterns
  • develop case plans, treatment goals, and measurable outcomes based on the new DSM-V criteria needed for agency use, private practice, and grant reporting

Understanding our clients:

  • meeting them where they are in their recovery (multiple relapse, first time offender, primary support system dynamics, socio-economic issues specific to your client to help tailor your assessment, with life issues factored into measurables.
  • finding the best tool for your client and agency resources/limitations
  • everyone needs measurables (client, treatment team, funders, insurance, legal system) in order to determine if the work is working and what is not

During the Presentation:

  • Use three assessment tools using three different client examples and walk through the assessment process using current DSM-V criteria as a working example:
    • which tool to use with what client
    • who are stakeholders in accurate measurables and reporting for these clients
  • will provide a "cheat sheet" participants can keep outlining changes from DSM-IV to DSM-V as a quick reference with an easy to understand explanation of new DSM qualifiers.

Provided to Participants:

  • 10 examples of different assessment tools with explanation and guidance on developing a treatment plan and measurables; "cheat sheet" participants can keep outlining changes from DSM-IV to DSM-V as a quick reference with an easy to understand explanation of new DSM qualifiers; copy of presentation
  • Also encouraged contact for creating an online staffing Q/A group for all interested, as well as encouragement for participants to reach out to presenters.

11:45 – 1:00 PM CDT

Lunch and Booths are open

1:00 – 2:00 PM CDT
Cannabis Legalization vs. Mass Incarceration – an Evolving Syndemic Relationship

Cannabis Legalization vs. Mass Incarceration – an Evolving Syndemic Relationship

Dr. Kevin T. McCauley, M.D.

Course Description:

The national attitude towards marijuana has changed considerably since 1980 when presidential candidate Ronald Reagan called it “probably the most dangerous drug in the United States today.” Today it probably isn’t, and the shift of opinion towards and legal status of cannabis may accompany an end to the U.S. Drug War. Both have public health implications and may interact in a syndemic manner. This lecture will explore the history and present state of cannabis laws, the pharmacology of cannabinoids, current evidence regarding harms and benefits of various cannabis products for both adults and adolescents, and the impact of cannabis legalization on the entwined public health threats of addiction and mass incarceration.


Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the current evidence behind the medical utility and risk of THC and CBD use,including psychosis
  • Describe the effects of cannabis use on the development of the brain and of chronic disease.
  • Describe the actual and potential public health harms and benefits of cannabis criminalization, decriminalization, and legalization