Experts to address opioid crisis

04/18/2018 By Sue Cody

SEASIDE — With opioid addiction in the headlines, now is a great time to learn more about this complex issue by attending the third annual Northwest Opioid & Substance Use Summit, April 23-24, at the Seaside Convention Center, 415 First Ave. It is sponsored by the Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization (CCO).

Experts from around the region will cover topics such as pain, neurobiology, opioids, addiction, medication-supported recovery, understanding fibromyalgia, patient treatment, harm reduction, trauma-informed care, de-stigmatization of addiction, treatment, recovery, community action and advocacy. For details see

The keynote address is “From Homeless to CEO: A Drug Addict’s Story,” given by Alan Evans, CEO/executive director of Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers. His compelling story follows a course of living on the streets for 27 years, getting clean with the help of a law enforcement, then creating Helping Hands to extend assistance to other homeless people.

Alan Eveans head shot 2FB

Helping Hands offers wraparound services to anyone who is willing to be clean and sober, is not a sex offender and is willing to follow the rules. They create a step-by-step program for each individual with attainable goals. The program offers two meals a day, emergency services, housing and a long-term reentry program that includes classes and structured activities.

“If someone needs assistance, we’re going make sure they get it,” Evans says. With 11 facilities in Clatsop, Tillamook, Yamhill and Lincoln counties, Helping Hands assists around 2,000 people a year.

Fortunately, here on the coast the Columbia Pacific CCO, Clatsop Community Action, mental health and law enforcement all work together, Evans says.

The Opioid Summit runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23, with networking from 4 to 5 p.m.; and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 24. General registration is $45, which includes continental breakfast both days, lunch on April 23 and snacks.

Continuing Medical Education credits are available for physicians. The cost of registration with credits is $165.

For more information and to register, see