PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—Each year millions of people use opioids, amphetamines, and other addictive substances. But the inappropriate use of these drugs contributes to a national epidemic of misuse, addiction, and overdose.

ECRI Institute’s 23rd Annual Conference, “Health Systems and Addiction: The Use and Misuse of Legal Substances,” a free public service conference, is being held November 16-17, 2016, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The conference will frame issues to better understand the roles health systems, payers, clinicians, and policy makers should be playing to improve care and lessen harm.

The conference is appropriate for providers who specialize in addiction, but is primarily designed for health system executives, practitioners, researchers and policy makers who are seeking a greater understanding of substance use disorders and the role health systems play within acute-care and community-based care settings.

National thought leaders will bring evidence and insights on the scientific understanding of addiction, innovations to prevent misuse of legal substances, and initiatives to manage care and treat addiction in the healthcare delivery system.

More than 30 speakers and moderators from the public and private sectors are confirmed, including Patrick J. Kennedy, former U.S. Representative (D-RI) and founder of the Kennedy Forum; Nora Volkow, MD, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse; Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; David Shulkin, MD, Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs; Maureen O’Connor, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Ohio; and the CEOs of three major health systems. The final Capstone Session features Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin who will report on the progress and obstacles encountered since his January 2014 State of the State address on the drug epidemic in Vermont.

“Perspectives vary on how to address the human and financial dilemmas of both use and misuse of legal substances. The balance of the two is largely missing from the national discussion,” says Jeffrey C. Lerner, PhD, ECRI Institute’s president and chief executive officer. “Our conference is intended to tackle these complex and intertwined issues.”

ECRI Institute is convening this national conference with the intellectual contribution, support, and sponsorship of thought leaders from AcademyHealth, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Bipartisan Policy Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy, Kaiser Permanente, University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Penn Medicine, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Modern Healthcare is the Media Partner.

The conference has been approved for continuing education credits. Full details are posted on the website.

“Health Systems and Addiction: The Use and Misuse of Legal Substances” is a free public service conference. There is no registration fee, but advance registration is required, as space is limited. Press credentials are available by contacting Laurie Menyo, director of public relations, at ECRI Institute will offer live updates from the event on Twitter at #ECRI16.

For additional questions, please visit, or contact ECRI Institute by e-mail at or by phone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5310.


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About ECRI Institute

ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for nearly 50 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
(610) 825-6000, ext. 5310