Responding to the Opioid Crisis: National and Local Approaches


Responding to the Opioid Crisis: National and Local Approaches

Court Type: 
Drug Court
Training Format: 
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Responding to the Opioid Crisis: National and Local Approaches
Wednesday, January 17, 2018; 2pm EST

With America’s opioid crisis continuing to rampage throughout the country, no state has been spared. As heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil continue to infect our communities, what steps can treatment courts take to combat this scourge? Join NDCRC for a webinar that will examine federal and local solutions to the crisis.

This webinar will cover:

  • Overview of BJA initiatives to address the opioid crisis
  • Opioid overdose prevention in New Jersey
  • Responding to opioid overdoses
  • Description of the Buffalo Opioid Intervention Court

Policy experts will provide an overview of current Bureau of Justice Assistance initiatives to address the opioid crisis and representatives of local jurisdictions will discuss creating programs and leveraging resources. New Jersey treatment coordinators will discuss opioid overdose symptoms, responses, and prevention measures being taken in their state. Leaders of the recently implemented Buffalo Opioid Intervention Court – a court docket specializing in stabilizing individuals with an opioid specific substance use disorder – will also present on this new program and the effect it has had on their community.

Moderated by:

Steve Collins, Senior Program Associate, Justice Programs Office

Steve Collins is a Senior Program Associate at American University’s Justice Programs Office. He currently manages the office’s National Drug Court Resource Center project and previously worked on the Adult Drug Court Technical Assistance project.


Greg Torain, Policy Advisor, BJA

Greg Torain currently serves as the Drug Court Policy Advisor for the BJA. Prior to working at BJA, Mr. Torain worked at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) in multiple roles including as a Public Health Advisor within SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse and Treatment, where he provided government oversight to a portfolio of 50 specialty court grantees. Mr. Torain also has experience as a behavioral health clinician within the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services Drug Court Program in Baltimore City.

Tim Jeffries, Senior Policy Advisor, BJA

Tim Jeffries serves as the Senior Policy Advisor for Drug Policy for BJA. He recently worked to establish the first Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program – a training and technical assistance collaborative – in response to the nation’s emerging drug trends. As Senior Policy Advisor and drug treatment subject matter expert, Mr. Jeffries guides BJA’s training and technical assistance on a broad range of policy issues following the sequential intercept model.

Emil Affsa, Statewide TASC Coordinator, New Jersey

Emil Affsa serves as Statewide TASC (Treatment Assessment Services for the Courts) Coordinator for the Judiciary of the State of New Jersey. He is responsible for the clinical supervision, credentialing, and clinical oversight of the substance abuse evaluators working in the courts throughout New Jersey. Emil has extensive experience working in both mental health and addictions treatment, including multiple levels of care and treatment modalities.

Jayne Cavanaugh, Statewide TASC Coordinator, New Jersey

Jayne Cavanaugh serves as Statewide TASC (Treatment Assessment Services for the Courts) Coordinator for the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts and is an approved instructor for the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey. Ms. Cavanaugh has been employed as a clinician in the addictions field since 1983 and has worked for the New Jersey Drug Court since 2007.

Hon. Craig Hannah, Buffalo City Court, New York

Hon. Craig Hannah currently presides over the Adolescent Diversion and Opiate Intervention Parts to which he was appointed in January 2017. Judge Hannah also serves as the Supervising Judge over the Tonawanda and North Tonawanda City Courts. In addition to his work on the bench, Judge Hannah is an Adjunct Professor at the State University at Buffalo Law School where he lectures on trial advocacy and procedure.

Jeff Smith, Project Director, 8th Judicial District, New York

Jeff Smith is the Project Director for the 8th Judicial District. He has been the Project Director and/or Coordinator for multiple courts within the 8th District since 1996. Currently, Mr. Smith is assisting with the development and operation of all problem-solving courts within the 8th District. He continues to be a member of several planning initiatives within NYS and the 8th District, including the planning and implementation for the Opiate Intervention Court in the City of Buffalo.

National Drug Court Resource Center