14th ANNUAL METH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE CONFERENCE SUMMARY
The 14th Annual Meth & Substance Abuse Conference was held April 19th and 20th at the Ramkota Hotel in Casper, Wyoming. Approximately 220 attendees came to the conference and included counselors, educators, foster parents and law enforcement.
Conference Speakers included experts in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, addiction, recovery and law enforcement:
Mark Keep, M.D. ‐ Topic: “Addiction & Intervention” Dr. Mark Keep has been in healthcare for over 35 years, starting as a paramedic in California. He received his M.D. in 1988. In addition to internal medicine residency he also trained in heart transplant/heart failure during a three year cardiology fellowship. In 2008, his 7 year old daughter, Alissa, was killed in an automobile accident. This tragedy caused devastating emotional trauma and set off complex grief. His path to recovery from the death of his daughter and alcohol use led to much research on grief‐induced substance abuse and the medial ramifications of grief and loss. He is now a prolific speaker on the topic.
Devin Chase ‐ Topic: “Opiate and Methamphetamine Trends” Devin Chase retired as a police lieutenant from the Torrance Police Department in Southern California in 2014, after over 32 years in law enforcement. He had over ten years of narcotics experience working as an investigator, supervisor and commander. Devin has been teaching narcotic related topics since 1991 and is currently a staff instructor for the California Narcotic Officers’ Association. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States on various narcotics related topics for Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies and various conferences. In 2005, he was the recipient of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association Al Stewart California Narcotic Officer of the Year award.
Brad Reinhart ‐ Topic: “Overview of Drug Seizures in Wyoming” Brad was employed with the Casper Police Department from 2003 to 2014. During this time he received training and certifications in various areas. Sex crimes investigation, surveillance, SWAT school, Interview and Interrogation, Desert Snow interdiction, Drug Interdiction, DEA basic drug investigator, as well as many other too numerous to mention. In January, 2014, Brad began working for the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation as a Special Agent with the Central Enforcement Team in Casper. He has worked multiple officer‐involved shooting investigations, drug overdose cases, managed confidential informants with regard to drug trafficking organizations and, at times, served in an undercover capacity. In March 2016, Brad was assigned to the DEA as a task force officer.
Jason Riddle ‐ Topic: “Overview of Drug Seizures in Wyoming” Jason started with the Mills Police Department in 2009 and worked there until 2015. During his time there he received training and certifications in various areas. Sex crimes investigations, surveillance, SWAT school, Interview and Interrogation, Drug Interdiction, Drug Recognition Expert, Prescription Drug Abuse, as well as numerous homicide and crime scene schools, just to name a few. In March 2015, he began working for the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation as a Special Agent with the Central Enforcement Team in Casper. He has worked numerous cases involving the investigation of controlled substance violations and has assisted in phone intercept wire cases. He has managed confidential informants to further investigation of drug trafficking organizations and at times acted in an undercover capacity. Recently, he was assigned to the DEA Diversion task force to investigate the diversion of prescription medications.
Tracy Sparshott ‐ Topic: “Hidden in Plain View” Tracy served for 24 years with the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department. While with the department he spent time in uniform, Decentralized SWAT, Special Assignment Team, Narcotics and K‐9. He has been deputized as a U.S. Marshal and been assigned to the FBI, DEA, Customs and IRS. He has been involved in undercover operations that have taken him to Florida, New York, Connecticut, as well as California. Tracy is recognized as an expert in the field of Undercover Narcotic Investigations and Drug Interdiction, by District Courts as well as Circuit and U.S. Federal Court. His teaching credentials include Law Enforcement Academies throughout the U.S., including investigators from all branches of the U.S. Military, NEOA, and the International Chiefs of Police.
Tony Hoffman ‐ Topic: “Danger of Substance Abuse & Path to Recovery”
After paroling prison on December 13, 2008, Tony Hoffman started living out his dream, with his addiction behind him. Tony is a Former BMX Elite Pro and is currently ranked #2 in Masters Pro class. He is a 2016 Rio Olympic Games Coach, with Women’s BMX PRO, Brooke Crain, in his lineup. His story is full of redemption as he has seen some of the highest highs, and the lowest lows. Tony is the Founder and Director of The Freewheel Project, a non‐profit organization that mentors thousands of youth through action sports: BMX, skateboarding and after‐school programs. The Freewheel Project focuses on teaching kids leadership skills, and making healthy life choices, including substance abuse prevention, each year. In 2016 he also began writing his first book, titled, Coming Clean.
Richard Delaney, Ph.D. Topic: “Understanding Social-Emotional Issues of Substance Exposed Children”‐ Dr. Rick Delaney is an internationally known clinical psychologist, speaker and consultant to foster, kinship, and adoptive parents and programs. He has given several hundred presentations throughout the United States, Canada and the Bermuda Islands. Dr. Delaney is currently the principal investigator of Foster Parent College, an on‐line resource for foster, kinship and adoptive parents. This site is endorsed by many child welfare agencies in the U.S. and Canada, and it is rated at the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse in Child Welfare.
Ben Cort ‐ Topic: “Effective Interventions when Dealing with Addicted Populations” Ben Cort’s passion for recovery, prevention and harm reduction comes from his own struggle with substance abuse. He is a Jr. Fellow at the University of Florida’s Drug Policy Institute, member of the Board of Directors of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), and serves on the Board of Directors for Denver based Stout Street Foundation. Sober since June 1996, Mr. Cort has been a part of the recovery community from a recipient to a provider to a nationally recognized spokesperson. He has a deep understanding of the issues and a personal motivation to see the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse minimized. Currently, Mr. Cort is Director of Professional Relations at the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR), part of the University of Colorado Health system. He has published multiple articles and position papers on the legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado.
Chief Jim Wetzel ‐ Topic: “Working with a Confidential Source” Casper Police Department Chief Jim Wetzel was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming. He attended Miami University and Oklahoma State University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Economics. Chief Wetzel joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1994, and the Casper Police Department in 1999. He maintained a dual career with the Police Department and the Marine Corps. He has served in several regular and special assignments within law enforcement including Patrol Officer, Narcotics Task Force Officer, Street Crimes Officer, Patrol Sergeant, and Detective Sergeant. Chief Wetzel achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps, and served in a variety of special operations assignments in the Marines and U.S. Special Operations community. Chief Wetzel’s dual work and leadership in both law enforcement and U.S. special operations exposed him to a wide array of collaborative and cross‐cultural organizational partnerships and operations, working to address unique organizational and societal needs and requirements across a spectrum of environments.
Mary Walker / David Willis – Topic: “Prescription Abuse and the WORx Program” Mary Walker is the Executive Director of the Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy. She graduated from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy and she practiced in retail and hospital pharmacy in Wyoming in several communities. She served as director of pharmacy at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for 20 years. The WY Board of Pharmacy has managed the prescription drug monitoring program (now called WORx) since it was created by the Wyoming legislature in 2003. David Wills is the WORx manager and also participated in the WY RX Abuse Stakeholders and the State Epidemiology work group (SEOW). David has a degree in business and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO DELBERT BOONE
Delbert spoke at the Meth Conference for two years. He was an immediate hit with the Meth Conference attendees. He had a way of connecting with people with his brutally honest recount of his journey with addiction. As a speaker at the conference in 2015, he couldn’t stop talking about how he loved to fly fish and that he was in the fly fishing capital of the world; but didn’t have time to go. Delbert was asked to return and speak at the Meth Conference in 2016. It was learned that he had been battling cancer and it was uncertain if he would be able to travel from New York to Wyoming to speak. Fortunately, he was able to make the journey, speak at the conference, and go fly fishing.
Delbert Boone lost his battle with cancer on June 17, 2016. He made a great impact with all of us at the Meth Conference and we extend our sincere appreciation to the Ugly Bug Fly Shop for sharing his passion for fly fishing and making his dream of catching trout in the best place in the world come true.
We would like to thank our Vendors for their participation in the conference and getting the latest information out to our attendees:
Central Wyo Counseling Center
Drug Testing Services of Natrona County
Mercer Family Resource Center
Merit Mobile Drug Testing
Wyoming Behavioral Institute
Prevention Management Organization
Wyo. Substance Abuse
BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse)
Suicide Prevention Natrona County
This Conference would not be possible without our generous Sponsors:
The McMurry Foundation
Casper Police Department
Central Wyoming Counseling Center
Mercer Family Resource Center
Wyoming Machinery Company
Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police (WASCOP)
Jonah Bank of Wyoming
Natrona County Sheriff’s Office
Natrona County Commissioners
United Way of Natrona County
Wyoming Behavioral Institute
Wyoming Meth Project
Drug Testing Services-Natrona County
First Interstate Bank
Greiner Motor Company
Lenhart, Mason & Associates
Natrona County Public Library
Randall Griffith, DDS
Merit Mobile Drug Testing