Hugo J. Barrera, Director of South Florida HIDTA, among group of esteemed stakeholders guiding conference agenda

MALVERN, PA (September 12, 2018) – Amid calls for action from clinical professionals, law enforcement officials, and other stakeholders to address the growing national stimulant epidemic, HMP, a leading healthcare event and education company, today announced the Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary, will hold its inaugural National Cocaine, Meth, & Stimulant Summit November 12-14, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In addition to the opioid crisis, abuse of stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and even prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin is surging across the country, fed by cheap, potent, and plentiful supplies. The “twin epidemics” continue to overwhelm law enforcement and treatment providers. The 2018 Summit will bring together more than 200 stakeholders comprising treatment providers and public health, law enforcement and government officials to develop practical, real-world solutions to address the ongoing crisis.“Everyone is focused on opioids, but the U.S. is now facing a very significant stimulant epidemic,” said Doug Edwards, Director, Institute for the Advancement of Behavioral Healthcare (IABHC). “The launch of the National Cocaine, Meth, & Stimulant Summit aims to bring the conversation on stimulants to the forefront by convening stakeholders from many different areas who are engaged in finding solutions. It’s our goal to provide best-in-class education on the topic and offer a forum for meaningful, actionable dialogue to combat the crisis.”

Comprised of leaders with demonstrated experience in the field, the Advisory Board most notably includes Hugo J. Barrera, Director of the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). Barrera brings a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience to the board, including valuable perspective from serving on the front lines of the stimulant epidemic. A native of Cuba, Barrera became a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in 1983 after nearly seven years as a homicide detective for the Miami Police Department. In March 2016, Barrera became director of the South Florida HIDTA. Over the past three years, the South Florida HIDTA has seized an average of $713 million worth of illicit drugs per year from regional and international drug trafficking orgaAttendees of the 2018 National Cocaine, Meth, & Stimulant Summit will be able to earn up to 20 CE credits including 3 Ethics/Domestic Violence credits.nizations. 

Other members of the board are: John Dyben, HHSc, MCAP, CMHP, ICAD, Chief Clinical Officer, Origins Behavioral Healthcare; John Eadie, MPA, Coordinator, Public Health and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and National Emerging Threat Initiative, A National HIDTA Initiative; and Jim Hall, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities Nova Southeastern University.

Attendees of the 2018 National Cocaine, Meth, & Stimulant Summit will be able to earn up to 20 CE credits including 3 Ethics/Domestic Violence credits.

For more information about the Summit visit For media inquiries or press registration contact Kelly McCurdy at

About HMP

HMP is the force behind Healthcare Made Practical – and is a multichannel leader in healthcare events and education, with a mission to improve patient care. The company produces accredited medical education events and clinically relevant, evidence-based content for the global healthcare community across a range of therapeutic areas. Its brands include Consultant360, the year-round, award-winning platform relied upon by primary care providers and other specialists; Psych Congress, the largest independent mental health meeting in the U.S.; EMS World Expo, North America’s largest EMT and paramedic event; and the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC), the largest wound care meeting in the world. For more information, visit

About the Institute for Behavioral Healthcare 

The Institute is the leading provider of education for front-line clinicians, mental health and substance use treatment center executives, public health professionals, and law enforcement officials. Its portfolio includes three well-respected events: the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, the largest gathering of federal, state and local professionals focused on addressing prescription drug abuse; the National Conference on Alcohol & Addiction Disorders; and the National Cocaine, Meth & Stimulant Summit, as well as award-winning print and digital brands Addiction Professional and Behavioral Healthcare Executive. The Institute also leads discussion among policy makers, prevention and public health officials, law enforcement personnel, and community advocates. For more information visit