Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2023, 1:45-2:30pm EST
Speaker: Joel Dworkin, HAMSA Program Manager, JF&CS Atlanta
The Jewish principle of pikuach Nefesh demands that we throw almost all rules aside in the pursuit of saving life. We will examine practical ways to do just that around substance use, from teaching kids to drink responsibly to dispensing Narcan to reverse an overdose. This session will include a formal Narcan training for all attendees.
In 2008, Joel Dworkin entered an inpatient treatment center and then a wilderness therapy program for heroin addiction. It not only ended his drug use but fed his interest in working in the outdoor education and recovery fields. He worked at Camp Ramah of the Rockies for five years, helping them start a program for campers to learn about addiction and recovery. That sparked a chance for him to help start BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy in Colorado, a program for Jewish young adults struggling with mental health challenges. He continued to work with Jewish camps until moving to Chicago. While in Chicago he completed a long overdue bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University and worked as the Youth Programs Manager for Brooklyn Boulders climbing gym. He currently manages HAMSA (Helping Atlantans Manage Substance Abuse), which educates the greater Atlanta community about substance use disorder and harm reduction and provides support, treatment resources, and strategies for those seeking help and in recovery.