NJC Set to Host “Drugs in America Today” Panel Discussion

RENO, Nev. – An overview of the opioid epidemic in the United States will be presented by drug addiction experts in a free, public panel discussion in Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 10. The panel discussion, Drugs in America Today, is sponsored by The National Judicial College (NJC).

More than 47,000 people died from overdose in 2014, including 28,647 deaths related to opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 2000. In Nevada, 545 people died from drug overdose in 2014 according to the CDCP.

The Drugs in America Today panel discussion will be held at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa from 5:30 to 7 p.m. PST. Admission to the panel is free; however, space is limited to the first 150 participants.

The panel discussion will focus on the neurology of addiction, how courts view opioid addiction, what legal and medical experts are learning about opioids, what family and friends need to know and what the future holds for this issue. Panelists include:

  • Stacie Mathewson, Founder, CEO & President, Transforming Youth Recovery

Founder of The Stacie Mathewson Foundation, Mathewson is focused exclusively on promoting addiction awareness, recovery, prevention and education at the local, state and national level.

  • Melissa Piasecki, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Dr. Piasecki is the Executive Associate Dean, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychiatry at University of Nevada School of Medicine.

  • Sara Gordon, Esq., William S. Boyd School of Law.

Professor Gordon’s research focuses on mental health law, law and psychology, and decision making. She teaches evidence, mental health law and legal writing courses.

  • Bob Forrest, Recovery Advocate, Activist, Certified Addiction Specialist.

A long-time colleague of Dr. Drew Pinsky, Forrest has appeared on the television shows Celebrity Rehab and Sober House. Forrest has helped countless addicts get sober and find their purpose.

  • Stephanie Woodard, Division of Public and Behavioral Health for the State of Nevada

Dr. Woodard works towards policy and practice development that address behavioral health at a population level and develops systems of care that support the implementation of best practices for the delivery of effective behavioral services.

The panel discussion takes its name from What Judges Need to Know: Drugs in America Today, an NJC course that will be held in Las Vegas on Oct. 10-12. Nearly 40 judges – including more than 20 from around Nevada – have enrolled for the three-day course.

The public can reserve their seat at the panel discussion by contacting Jeanne Hill of the NJC at (775) 327-8257 or hill@judges.org.

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About the NJC: The National Judicial College has been the nation’s leading provider of judicial education since 1963, drawing participants from every state and from over 150 countries. The NJC offers more than 100 judicial education programs annually onsite, online, and across the nation in support of its mission: education – innovation – advancing justice. Located on the campus of UNR, the NJC boasts a 90,000-square-foot facility that houses an auditorium, classrooms, and a model courtroom. For more information, visit judges.org.

Sponsored by the Senator William J. Raggio Endowment at The National Judicial College

About the Endowment: Senator Raggio was a distinguished Nevada statesman, leader and friend. Senator Raggio played a key role in bringing the NJC from Colorado to Reno in 1964 and secured financial support for the NJC during his long tenure in office. As a Republican member of the Nevada Senate, he represented Washoe County’s third district from 1972 until his retirement in 2011, making him the longest-serving member in the history of the State Senate. This fund preserves Senator Raggio’s legacy accomplishments in perpetuity.


Brady Johnson
Marketing & Communications Manager
Office: (775) 327-8253

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