A Unique Opportunity for Dr. Kim and SCH to Collaborate with Judges and Lawyers in Family Court On Drugs, Alcohol and Parenting

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MAY 12, 2017 – TOPIC – Medical Marijuana and Beyond

The Landscape of Illegal, Prescription Substances and Abuse in 2017

Related to Family Law Cases

SCH is honored to announce that Kimberly Dennis, MD, Founder and Medical Director of SCH, will be participating as a panelist on the topic of drugs and addiction in family law cases.  The nexus between broken families and addiction is one that we see every day at SunCloud, and the victims who need and deserve more support than anyone are often the innocent children who are stuck in the middle.  With as much progress as the legal system has made in recent years in recognizing the need for compassion for these diseases over punishment for “poor choices”, the fact of the matter is judges and lawyers still need a lot of support in navigating these sometimes-murky waters full of ignorance, lack of education, stigma, shame, deception, uncertainty, risk and fear.

US family law courts see millions of families every year dealing with the messy and often highly emotional reality of divorce.  As compassionate as judges want to be when trying to make the best decision for a family, the reality is many of them simply do not understand or have the education to make informed decisions, particularly when drugs and alcohol are involved.  They are not to blame.  Even the most well trained clinicians don’t always know what is right and wrong when dealing with addiction and other self-destructive behaviors turned to as people are generally trying to deal with pain and loss.  Things like how to assess what truly is in the best interest of the child when drugs are involved, what constitutes genuine and sustainable recovery, how to read and interpret a drug panel test or whether or not to trust what a litigant’s legal advocate is arguing for their client are all areas where judges need support.  Most lawyers could benefit from much the same; when to trust their client, who may be suffering from the disease of addiction, how to balance the best interest of their client with the best interest of their client’s children and most importantly how to help their clients seek the help they need without fear that the court system will punish those who humbly and genuinely seek the help they need.

This is where Dr. Kim comes in.  This is truly a remarkable and unique opportunity to make a huge difference in a community that needs and most impressively wants the help.  As a parent, a woman in recovery and an experienced psychiatrist who has successfully treated thousands of people suffering from various forms of addiction, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage with a community which has so much power with people who have lost so much power.

Other panelists include The Hon. Jeanne Cleveland Bernstein, The Hon. David Haracz, The Hon. Maritza Martinez, The Hon. Mark Lopez , Marsha Fisher Esq. James Palmisano noted attorney, John Wroblewski litigator and child representative, Special Agent in Charge Dennis Wichern an Agent James Jones.

Fact: According to the American Psychological Association, between 40-50% of married couples in the United States end in divorce, and that rate is even higher for subsequent (second) marriages.

Fact: According to many reliable surveys including the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, divorce is the second most stressful life event behind “death of a spouse” and above other traumatic events such as imprisonment, dismissal from work and personal injury or illness. Divorce is particularly stressful and traumatic for the innocent children of divorce.

Fact:  Early childhood trauma has been shown through many well-established studies to increase ones chances of becoming dependent on alcohol and drugs later in life.

Fact:  The number one cause of divorce is infidelity. Drinking or drug ranks third.

Fact:   Though most will never see the inside of a court house, the reality is millions of people every year find themselves inside the walls of Family Court dealing with these very issues.  Major decisions are made inside of these walls which can have long lasting consequences for families and our society in general.

SAVE THE DATE! MAY 12, 2017 – TOPIC – Medical Marijuana and Beyond – The Landscape of Illegal, Prescription Substances and Abuse in 2017

Related to Family Law Cases

LEDDED LTD. and its panel of experts will examine the above issues in a Seminar on May 12, 2017. The panel will consist of Judges, Guardians for Minor Children, Attorneys who represent the parents and a nationally recognized Psychiatrist who has successfully treated thousands of people in her career for various forms of addictions. The three-hour seminar will go into depths on many topics related to Substances Abuse. First the discussion centers on the issue of Schedule I drugs, and the effects they have on parenting. Second, the issue of Abuse of Prescription Drugs, benzodiazepines, opioids, steroids, and other substances, including Drinking Alcohol and its interactions with prescription drugs. Good parenting, and the effects of prescribed drugs from birth defects, peer pressure and recreational drug use, as well as Under the Influence driving are all topics to be explored. Medical Marijuana is in a pilot test in Illinois, scheduled to end in 2020. Since 2015, Medical Marijuana has been used as a defense in substance abuse cases related to Child visitation and custody. The law has specific criteria and often those are overlooked by attorneys representing a litigant with or without a legal prescription. That is of major concerns where Best interest of the Child needs to be applied. At the same time, on a national basis, an opioid crisis and other excessive use of Schedule I and II drugs (classified by the National Drug Enforcement Agency of the Federal Department of Justice) have been identified. The panel will discuss and consider the issues related to abuse of prescribed drugs

Prepare your questions, this is the seminar you will not want to miss.  Whether you are a judge, a litigator, children’s lawyer, or an evaluator under the new statute, you will want to participate in this event.

As always, not for profits, government agency representatives and retired counsel are invited at reduced rates.  Early bird rates from February 20 – April 1 will apply.

Please contact Nancy Mynard at [email protected]  or 312-493-0260 for more information and enrollment

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