For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Barbara Ann White, MA, Mental Health Division, (510) 981-5218

CITY OF BERKELEY CO-SPONSORS BERKELEY ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROVIDERS (BASAP) FREE CONFERENCE

Berkeley, California (Thursday, March 05, 2009) - The City of Berkeley is co-sponsoring Berkeley Alcohol and Substance Abuse Providers (BASAP) fourth biennial Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) conference. The conference title is "Bridging the Gap Between Primary Care and Substance Abuse Treatment" and the theme is "Healthy Recovery, Healthy Lives." 

BASAP is a group of local community organizations and City programs. It began in 1999 and is sponsored by the City of Berkeley’s Health and Human Services Department, Mental Health Division. The conference is Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at the University of California Berkeley, Clark Kerr Campus.   

Other conference sponsors include: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, Berkeley Mental Health and Public Health Divisions, Berkeley Police Department, Kaiser Permanente, LifeLong Medical Care, UC Berkeley and Berkeley Alcohol and Substance Abuse Providers. 

The keynote speaker is Richard Kopanda, M.A., Deputy Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

It is well-known that individuals that suffer from AOD disorders also experience high rates of physical illness.  It is the goal of this conference to bridge the gap between the two systems and establish effective collaborative approaches to improve the quality of life for those experiencing alcohol and other drugs disorders.

Since 2003 BASAP has hosted three conferences: "Alcohol and Drugs, A National Challenge, Berkeley’s Response," "Creating Positive Solutions to Address Alcohol and Other Drug Problems with Community Support," and "Improving Competency: Best Practices in the Field of Alcohol and Other Drugs." These conferences have brought hundreds of participants from six northern California counties together with state, county, and local public officials.

Conference sponsors are committed to educating the community about AOD disorders, promoting healthy lifestyles, eliminating preventable diseases, and improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities that are negatively impacted by alcohol and other drugs.

If you would like to register to attend this free conference, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health Division at (510) 981-5218.

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