Conference Highlights Latest Substance Abuse Treatment

Alfredo Garcia
Alfredo Garcia

Las Vegas, N.M —  The New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work Community Clinical Treatment Program will present a Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Conference in Albuquerque May 16 — 18, highlighting the latest treatment methods.

The conference, which will be an annual event, will be at the Sandia Resort and Casino. Registration is underway, with a 10 percent discount for those who register by March 16.

The conference is a collaboration with the Bernalillo County Department of Substance Abuse Programs and the Gulf Coast Addiction Technology Transfer Center in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas, Austin.

“This conference will focus on cutting-edge approaches to substance abuse treatment that are tailored individually for the client,” said Alfredo Garcia, dean of the Highlands University School of Social Work. “There’s no one single treatment approach for substance abuse, and multiple modalities in combination have proven to be most effective.”

Garcia said the conference features high-caliber national, state and local speakers.

The conference provides general, cultural and ethics CEUs for social workers and counselors. Other mental health providers may check with their accrediting board for CEU acceptance.

“Substance abuse is one of the major causes of family dysfunction and tears families apart,” Garcia said. “Conservatively, 70 percent of social problems can be attributed to substance abuse of illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, and abuse of legal drugs like alcohol and prescription drugs.”

Garcia said that everyone is affected by substance abuse whether they live in an urban area or rural area.

“With this conference, we’re making a special effort to reach out to rural communities to get their participation and perspective,” Garcia said. “We’re offering a 10 percent conference discount to practitioners from rural areas.”

Some topics for the conference include:

Using AcuDetox, the five-point ear acupuncture protocol for recovery.

Best practices of natural healing and spirituality.

Curanderismo, a traditional holistic and spiritual healing practice used primarily in Mexico, New Mexico, and other areas of the American southwest.

Using the Alcohol and Severity Index (ASI).

Implementing evidence-based practices, including supervising staff.

Building cultural and linguistic competence.

Promoting awareness of motivational incentives.

Ethical issues in public safety and macro administration.

The conference cost varies according to how many days a participant attends. The one-day early bird conference on May 16 is $60; the full conference registration for May 17 — 18 is $180; one-day attendance on May 17 or May 18 is $75.

Registration information for the conference is online at more details, contact Lou Ann Romero at 505.454.3087 or

Some scholarships are available for the conference. For details, contact J. Rocky Romero at 505.260.6190 or

The Sandia Resort & Casino will also give hotel discounts to those who name the social work conference when registering. The School of Social Work is also compiling information about other hotel options for conference participants.