Prescription drug abuse the topic of free event March 24 at UT Health San Antonio’s Laredo Regional Campus


LAREDO (March 14, 2018) ― The community is invited to learn about the challenges of prescription drug abuse at a special event on Saturday, March 24, at UT Health San Antonio’s Laredo Regional Campus, 1937 E. Bustamante St.

The free event will begin at 8 a.m. with healthy tips, hands-on demonstrations and general health information provided by community partners.

At 10:30 a.m., Jennifer Sharpe Potter, Ph.D., M.P.H., will give a presentation, “A Tough Pill to Swallow: The Challenge of Prescription Drug Abuse.” Dr. Potter is an associate professor of psychiatry and associate dean for research in the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio.

Dr. Potter‘s primary research is co-occurring chronic pain and substance use disorders. Her current research focuses on pain, prescription monitoring programs and opioid use disorders in civilian and military populations.

The event is part of the annual “Stay Healthier Longer” series presented each spring by the Laredo Regional Campus, led by Regional Dean Gladys Keene, M.D. “Each year we search for a really relevant health topic. You’ve seen opioid addiction in the news practically every day, and the president considers this to be a national health emergency,” Dr. Keene said.

Dr. Potter is a national expert on opioid abuse. She served as the project director for a national clinical trial called the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse’ Clinical Trial Network. This is the largest multisite clinical trial ever conducted to examine treatment of prescription opioid dependence in individuals with and without chronic pain. A three-year follow-up study is underway.

She joined UT Health San Antonio from Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., where she was an instructor and research director in the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Dr. Potter completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship and research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University Georgia and Master of Public Health in behavioral science from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

For more information, visit or call (956) 523-7473.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, with missions of teaching, research and healing, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities and is now called UT Health San Antonio™. UT Health’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 33,000 alumni who are advancing their fields throughout the world. With seven campuses in San Antonio and Laredo, UT Health San Antonio has a FY 2018 revenue operating budget of $838.4 million and is the primary driver of its community’s $37 billion biomedical and health care industry. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit


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