6th Annual Tree of Addiction Conference

We are always adding new speakers so check back soon!



Keynote Speaker

Rita Noonan, PhD. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rita K. Noonan, PhD, is a sociologist and Branch Chief in CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention.  Dr. Noonan and her staff oversee the ~ $350M Overdose Prevention in States (OPIS) initiative, a combination of prevention, intervention, and public health surveillance programs to reduce opioid-related overdose across the United States and US Territories. Dr. Noonan works closely with several High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs), managing the public health component of ONDCP’s Overdose Response Strategy that links public health and public safety across 24 states.  She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship and a MacArthur Fellowship. She received her PhD from Indiana University.



Workshop Speakers

Marijuana Legalization and its Impact on Youth

Ijeoma Opara, PhD, LMSW, MPH

Due to recent support for the legalization of recreational marijuana across the nation, New Jersey is beginning to discuss the possibility of legalizing the drug. By legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey, youth who are already disproportionately affected by the use of the drug illegally, may continue to be impacted due to increased access and lowered perception of risk. According to recent data, marijuana use exceeds cigarette use among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students and is the most used illicit drug among adolescents in the nation. This alarming trend represents a shift that many health educators seek to reverse and address with the youth they serve. In this workshop, participants will explore social and legal trends in acceptance, discuss differences between medical and recreational marijuana, and discuss the differences between decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. This workshop will also provide effective strategies for responding to the misconception’s adolescents hold about marijuana especially in urban communities.