James Langabeer, PhD (Professor of Emergency Medicine and Public Health and Director of HEROES) will moderate a panel of participants (including peer coach Jessica Yeager and counselor/research scientist Andrea Yatsco, PhD) from the Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System (HEROES) in a discussion around the opioid epidemic in Houston. The HEROES program focuses on innovation, outreach, and community collaboration. The panel will discuss the use of first responders (police and fire department) in assertive outreach to high-risk opioid users, and how this has been linked to emergency ‘same-day’ induction of MAT followed by ongoing behavioral counseling and peer support. The HEROES program is the only program that in the country combining telemedicine, outreach, community paramedic, emergency physicians specializing in addiction, professional counseling, and peer recovery support. It has been covered extensively by the national and local media for its innovation.
Michael McDaniel began his law enforcement career in 1983 as a police officer with the City of Houston Police Department after graduating from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In 1987, he accepted a position as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and was assigned to the Houston DEA office for twelve years, working domestic and international drug investigations with a particular emphasis in undercover operations and Title III wire intercepts. In 1997, he was promoted to the Special Operations Division (SOD) in Lorton, Virginia as a Staff Coordinator in the Southwest Border Section. In 2000, McDaniel was transferred to a Group Supervisor position in the San Antonio, Texas DEA office where he supervised DEA’s San Antonio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) enforcement group. In 2007, he was promoted to Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA Las Cruces, New Mexico Resident office, where he was responsible for DEA enforcement operations and the New Mexico Southwest Border operations in Southern New Mexico. In December 2008, McDaniel was promoted to an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) position over DEA Houston HIDTA at the Houston DEA office.
In September of 2011, Michael McDaniel retired from DEA to accept a position as the Houston HIDTA Director. HIDTA is a federally funded grant program operating under the direction of the Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). This program mandates the collaboration of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working alongside each other by using federal funds to establish and maintain multiagency drug task forces to facilitate more comprehensive and successful investigative efforts targeting international drug trafficking organizations.
Lori Vann, M.A., LPCS, is a highly experienced clinical counselor who has been practicing for 20 years and provides professional, ethical, and non-judgmental counseling services. She believes that therapy should focus on identifying the core issues as to “why people do the things that they do” and not solely focus on the behavior, which is a symptom of the core issues.
Lori offers individual & family counseling, group therapy for self-injury, professional business consulting services for mental health professionals, media commentary regarding psychological issues, seminars, training programs, & Texas LPC Intern Supervision.
Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, is the executive director of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. She previously served as the executive director of Danya Institute and the Central East Addiction Technology Transfer Center. Prior to this she was the program director for Volunteers of America-Western Washington, serving homeless populations and dealing with the co-occurrence of poverty and substance abuse issues.
She has also written training components and manuals about working with adolescents, adults, and seniors; school intervention; involuntary commitment; community mobilization; intensive outpatient treatment and continuing care; the foundations of addiction practice; medication-assisted recovery; impaired driver programs; employee assistance programs; and gang intervention and treatment.