The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently offered a deeply valuable and totally free Virtual conference, developing understandings and challenging stigmas around the use of substances, particularly in the Pacific Islands. The Second Guam Conference on Substance Use Disorders among Pacific Islanders is organized by The Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP), a program within The Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA a constituent part of its Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP).
From September 21st – 22nd, 2021’s ISAP conference gave a platform to important issues related to substance use disorders (SUD), providing education and strategy for future care and prevention. The conference coincided with National Recovery Month, a national observance meant to empower and celebrate people in recovery’s current and future transition into a positive, healthy lifestyle.
Co-sponsored by Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center and Pacific Southwest ATTC, a key message of the Conference was that SUD is an illness rather than a choice, with distinct causes and ideologies behind its existence. The conference is a place where organizers and speakers can share methods of accommodating Indigenous values and experiences when tackling substance use, with SUD presenting issues for many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The Virtual format of the conference allowed these issues to be properly amplified, transcending COVID-19 restrictions to spread awareness on emerging concerns – such as substance use among young people - and bring the latest guidance in substance use services to a global audience. Sessions offered included: ‘Becoming Trauma Informed’, ‘Practicing Sustainable Well-Being’, and ‘Sustaining Prevention', illustrating the roles of trauma and sociocultural issues within SUD.
Through the use of All In The Loop’s custom virtual web-based platform, attendees could easily navigate the Conference and its content, with a skilled Live Team able to push presentations and footage, edit information and design the platform as was appropriate for their needs. An array of interactive digital features such as Live Streams, a Q+A feature, and Live Polling via Chat helped to diversify discussion and data, achieving better overall insight.
All In The Loop were honored to support UCLA’s crucial Conference and create a space where strategies for the wellbeing of those affected by substance use can be improved. Attendees can continue to learn and receive knowledge gained at the Conference through recorded sessions, available through All In The Loop as a central resource.