Driving Community Solutions for the Opioid Crisis

Costa Mesa, CA-  Thursday, July 27 2017 at 11am – 1pm (PT)
Driving Community Solutions for the Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis has become America’s #1 public health emergency. Treatment professionals are in a position to influence everyday citizens and policy makers alike, but finding the right avenues can be a challenge. At the same time, treatment professionals can struggle with staying up-to-date on the latest developments in America’s prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic.
To address these needs, Addiction Professional magazine has organized a lunch’n’learn in Orange County to discuss how treatment professionals can better work together and become effective change agents for educating the public as well as helping to bring about a comprehensive prevention and broad-based treatment strategy.
Upon attending this course, participants will be able to:
  • Understand recent developments in the opioid crisis and its impact on the local community
  • Prepare discussion points to share with the community
  • Explore ways treatment professionals of all types can better work together to ensure a recovery-oriented system of care
One hour of continuing education credit will be available. 
Thought Leadership Partner
Panel Series Sponsor


Dr. Melinda Drake
Director of Outpatient Services for The Canyon at Santa Monica and Foundations Los Angeles.
Dr. Melinda Drake is the joint director of Foundations Los Angeles and The Canyon at Santa Monica. She joined as director of outpatient services at The Canyon at Santa Monica in 2013, but this talented treatment professional has more than 20 years of experience working with children and adolescents. She studied at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and Limestone College, both in South Carolina, and at the University of the Philippines. A lifelong learner, she earned a master’s degree in social work in 1997, followed by a doctorate in business administration in 2000 and then another master’s degree, this time in computer resources and information management, in 2003. Originally from the Philippines, Melinda’s work experience in the behavioral health field began with the Williamsburg County Department of Social Services. She also worked with co-occurring psychiatric and developmental disorders at Willowglen Academy, a residential facility in South Carolina. At Willowglen, she served as a clinician, then as a program director, a clinical director and, finally, as an executive director. After 21 years in South Carolina, Melinda accepted an offer to take over a program in Hawaii, where the kids she treated were dually diagnosed. In Melinda’s past work, substance abuse and mental health issues were usually treated by two separate departments; now, however, Melinda became more committed than ever to the co-occurring disorders treatment model. She immersed herself in the study of addiction, focusing on what works and what doesn’t in treatment settings. 
Melinda believes that The Canyon at Santa Monica is a refreshing and unique place to work. She is regularly energized by talking directly to the patients and hearing their perspectives. While work keeps Melinda busy, she also enjoys skiing, kayaking and fishing.
Tonmoy Sharma, MBBS; MSc
CEO, Sovereign Health

Tonmoy Sharma, CEO of Sovereign Health, has been recognized with numerous awards, honors and grants for his work in advancing mental health and its treatment in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. His background as a psychiatrist has provided him with unique insight into his management of facilities in the United States, Europe and India. He has been a prolific researcher and scientist, having authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and five books on schizophrenia and mental illness. Under his leadership, Sovereign Health has grown from a small facility in San Clemente to a national brand spanning five states and comprising nine fully functional facilities that treat addiction, mental illness and co-occurring disorders, brain wellness, and behavioral health programs for eating disorders. Under his leadership Sovereign Health has been on the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies for the third year running. Dr Sharma has been a member of several editorial boards, a peer reviewer for 14 international medical journals, and has served on various advisory boards governing the development of antipsychotics. As a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists London, Changing Minds Campaign, he helped lead a five-year initiative to combat the stigma of mental illness. He was recently elected as a Board Member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange County. He currently co-hosts KABC Los Angeles 790 AM’s In Your Right Mind, a cutting-edge, weekly radio show that covers various topics on the latest headlines in behavioral health. 

Maggiano's Little Italy
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

*There is a $25 registration fee, but all attendees will receive a $25 American Express gift card at the conclusion of the event.
Registration is required to attend; seating is limited.