Plenary & Lunch Presentation Speakers
Opening Plenary & Lunch Presentation Speaker – Monday, October 26th
Brandon Lee is an American journalist and has been recognized with multiple Emmy awards for his tireless reporting on the opioid crisis. He has done in-depth reporting on the rise of heroin use and its connection to prescription pain meds. Because of Brandon’s reporting, Arizona lawmakers changed laws to make it legal to hand out clean needles to addicts in order to prevent the spread of HIV and Hep C.
His new memoir, Mascara Boy, is now available to purchase. It’s a powerful story about Brandon’s battle with addiction. As a young boy who was sexually assaulted, Brandon eventually escaped the pain by turning to sex & drugs. He died in a coma after two overdoses and was brought back to life. He shares with readers how he found recovery. Now, with nearly a decade of sustained recovery, Brandon’s mission is to put a face to addiction as a way to fight stigma so other individuals who live with substance use disorders and/or other process addictions can feel safe asking for help. Brandon has had multiple TV appearances, and he was a former host of the Morning Show on the CBS affiliate in Atlanta. Brandon is now an anchor for the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona. You can see many of his TV appearances here.
Middle Plenary – Tuesday, October 27th
Mr. Parrino has been involved in the delivery of health care and substance abuse treatment since 1974. He received both a Baccalaureate in Psychology (1974) and a Masters in Health Policy, Planning and Administration (1982) from New York University.
Mr. Parrino served as the Director of the Gramercy Park Medical Group, an outpatient methadone treatment program, from 1980 to 1994. He also served as President of the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI).
Mr. Parrino served as the Chair of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Consensus Panel for State Methadone Treatment Guidelines, the first Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) published for national distribution. Currently, Mr. Parrino is the President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) and continues to be responsible for the development and implementation of the Association’s organizing initiatives. He also serves as the Vice President of the World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (WFTOD).
Lunch Presentation Speaker – Tuesday, October 27th
Avery Nix is a person in long term recovery. What that means to him is that he is a proud father to his 7-year-old daughter, son who is almost 2 years old, and a loving fiancée who shares similar visions in life together. He serves at several different capacities for his local community and state as a whole, but his heart and soul rests in advocating for people in self-discovery and seeking long term recovery.
He grew up in Clermont, Georgia, just north of Gainesville, and attended a local school to that area, North Hall High School. Avery played football, wrestled, and ran track. He acquired many followers during his time in high school, impacting his surroundings from the very beginning. This began laying the groundwork for his journey to personal recovery and his career in the field of addiction recovery as well. Avery finds himself advocating a lot for high school athletes, that struggle with substance use disorder. He has spoken on many different platforms, both nationally and locally. From WebMD to local newspapers, and recorded on a podcast series about the nature of addiction and processes of recovery. Avery also arranges an annual recovery event to recognize all pathways to recovery. It’s a tournament-style flag football event.
Avery has 5 years in continuous recovery. In that time, he has helped pilot and launch peer recovery coaching in the emergency departments of Northeast Ga Medical Center, working with the GA Council on Substance Abuse. As of Late September 2018, he took a position working with adolescents as the Director of Marketing and Clinical Outreach for Eagle Overlook Recovery for Adolescents. He continues to have a vision to spread as much hope and awareness as possible for those in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use disorder and mental illness. Supporting them with the help they need is a priority.
2450 Galleria Pkwy
Atlanta, GA 30339