XENIA — Attendees at Greene County’s second community drug forum will hear from one of the state’s leading experts on the topic of drug addiction, Thursday, Sept. 24. Dr. Brad Lander, a psychologist and clinical director at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center will present “Understanding Addiction: Squirrel Logic,” a talk on how addiction affects the brain.
“When you look at human behavior, everything is directed by the brain, but the brain works chemically,” Lander said in an interview Monday. “It’s not mechanical. If you change the chemistry of the brain, you’re going to change someone’s perception, their thoughts, their desires, emotions. Everything is changed by that.”
Lander said that an addict’s behavior makes “perfect sense” when one understands what is going on in their brain.
“If we can understand that, then it also tells us what we can do about it,” he said. “If you start basically messing with the chemistry of the brain, then it tell us things are good that aren’t good, and it tells us things that are bad that are actually good for us, [that] totally gives us a very, very warped view of what’s going on.”
Lander said his presentation will be at a very understandable level.
A resource area will also be available for attendees. Representatives from several local organizations related to addiction and recovery services will be on hand.
The event’s resource area will open at 5:30 p.m. Lander’s presentation will run from 6-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and the resource area will be available after the talk until 8 p.m. The event will take place at Fairborn High School, 900 E. Dayton Yellow Springs Road. The event is free and open to the public.
The first community drug forum, which was held in August of 2014, sparked the creation of the Greene County Community Drug Coalition in subsequent months. The group meets monthly to look for ways to create drug addiction awareness while also searching for local solutions to the issue.
“Awareness is a continuous job: keeping the community aware of the problem as well as educating them about the problem,” coalition spokeswoman Roselin Runnels said. “The first forum gave people a lot of additional information about the problem in Greene County. This year we want to give them some specific information from an expert about the science behind addictions so hopefully they can understand it better and give them access to a variety of resources as well.”
As part of the event, the Fairborn Police Department will accept unneeded prescription drugs for disposal.
Dr. Brad Lander