Addiction, Recovery and the Oregon Justice System – Medical Alley Association

Addiction, Recovery and the Oregon Justice System

PORTLAND, Oregon (Nov. 19, 2020) – The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Alano Club of Portland are collaborating on a new virtual event series aimed at expanding understanding of addiction, treatment and recovery within the state’s justice system. 

The two nonprofits, with support from generous donors and presenting sponsor CareOregon, will kick off “Addiction, Recovery and the Oregon Justice System” with a lunch-and-learn on Friday, Nov. 20, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Subsequent sessions will be held at the same time on Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. Legal professionals who attend can earn up to four “Access to Justice” Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits, authorized by the Oregon State Bar. 

“We’re very excited about this public-private partnership and the opportunity to facilitate a valuable learning experience for judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers, medical providers, and people who have experienced addiction, recovery and the justice system themselves,” said Portland attorney Ann Highet, who is a trustee for both Hazelden Betty Ford and the Alano Club of Portland. 

“In our work, many of us encounter people who are affected by addiction, but we don’t get many opportunities to come together and learn about the disease, what it’s like for people to move through the stages of recovery, and the programs and services available to support recovery in our communities,” Highet added. “We also don’t get many opportunities to hear suggestions and ideas from people who have firsthand experience with addiction and our justice system about the help they received or needed to support their recoveries. Addiction affects all parts of our community, and this series offers a chance to talk about these issues and learn from each other.”

Hazelden Betty Ford’s Stephen Delisi, MD, said the series is part of his organization’s broader efforts to destigmatize addiction and expand access to care, and will provide a model that can be replicated in other states.

“The more we collectively understand about the chronic disease of addiction and the multiple pathways to treatment and recovery, and the more we see what recovery makes possible and how it reveals people’s potential, the more equipped we’ll be to prioritize hope, help and healthcare when people who are sick become entangled in the justice system,” Delisi said. 

Presenters and facilitators over the four sessions will include: 

  • Clackamas County Circuit Judge Ann Lininger
  • Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bloch, chair of the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission
  • Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson
  • Defense attorney Shannon Wilson
  • Stephen Delisi, MD, medical director for Hazelden Betty Ford’s Professional Education Continuum Solutions team
  • Mae Lee Browning, legislative director of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Heidi Wallace, executive director of Hazelden Betty Ford’s Northwest Region
  • Jeremiah Rigsby, chief of staff for CareOregon
  • State Rep. Tawna Sanchez, District 43 (North and Northeast Portland)
  • State Rep. Janeen Sollman, District 30 (Hillsboro)
  • Karen Kern, Mercedes Elizalde, and Freda Ceaser from Central City Concern
  • Brent Canode, executive director of the Alano Club of Portland
  • Monta Knudson, executive director of Bridges to Change
  • Mae Lee Browning, legislative director for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Janie Marsh Gullickson, executive director of the Mental Health and Addiction Association of Oregon
  • Hugo Gonzalez Venegas, attorney and diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator for the Oregon State Bar
  • Billy Anfield, advocacy coordinator for Central City Concern’s Flip the Script team 

Learn more and register at

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and co-occurring mental health treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide, with expansive on-site and telehealth solutions and a network of collaborators throughout health care. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction. Learn more at and on Twitter @hazldnbettyford

About the Alano Club of Portland

The Alano Club of Portland has been a leading source of recovery support in its community for more than 60 years. In addition to over 100 weekly mutual aid support meetings, the Alano Club offers other recovery resources, such as weekly recovery yoga and mindful meditation classes; monthly seminars on topics like brain chemistry and addiction, and relationships and recovery; and regular workshops on topics ranging from recovery advocacy to mindful-based relapse prevention. The Alano Club also hosts large-scale sober social events, like its Recovery Art Walk, Recovery Talent Show and holiday community dinners.

About CareOregon

CareOregon is a nonprofit community benefit organization involved in health plan services, reforms and innovations since 1994. We currently serve more than 450,000 Oregon Health Plan/Medicaid and Medicare members. By listening to our members and exploring innovative solutions with our providers and communities, we help Oregonians prevent illness and live better lives. Every day, we strengthen our communities by making health care work for everyone. That’s the CareOregon Effect.

Keep your finger on the pulse of Medical Alley from anywhere with the ALLEY NEWSLETTER