Brownbag Talk Series

SATRN holds lunchtime brownbag meetings twice per month, offering a chance for our members to connect and learn from each other on a regular basis. Each brown bag meeting features a talk by a member of our network or a guest speaker. These are often research presentations, integrating and analyzing scientific evidence on a topic related to substance use disorder and/or mechanisms of addiction. Other talks may provide training on a methodological approach; invite feedback on a new research idea; or communicate the experience and perspective of practitioners in the field.

All SATRN affiliates are invited and encouraged to attend! Information on upcoming talks are advertised in the SATRN newsletter, as well as on this site. To be added to the list to receive email and Outlook invitations for each meeting and/or the newsletter mailing list, please email 

Upcoming Talks

Our Brownbag Talk series is on a break for the winter. We will be back in Spring 2023 with more insightful presentations and discussions from researchers and community partners. If you are interested in presenting in Spring 2023 please email or

Past Talks

Beth Meyerson Ph.D. & Danielle Russell, M.S.

November 14, 2022

Nothing much changed: Patient experience of federal flexibilities for methadone and buprenorphine during COVID, Arizona 2022

In March 2020, federal regulators allowed flexibilities to facilitate access to methadone and buprenorphine while decreasing risk of COVID exposure. This presentation shares findings from statewide interviews with people on methadone and buprenorphine during COVID in Arizona. Findings indicate that despite federal policy intent to assure treatment access and COVID protections, Arizonans on methadone or buprenorphine did not experience many of these benefits. In fact, they reported being placed at risk for COVID exposure by their providers. Read more about their research here. Watch the full talk and discussion here


Merilee Fowler & Clarissa Nelson

October 31, 2022

The Yavapai Reentry Project: Providing Support, Restoration and Hope

Justice-involved individuals face significant risk related to substance use disorder upon release from incarceration and reentry into society. The Yavapai County Reentry (YRP) project was formed in 2012 to provide support to individuals returning home to Yavapai County from prison. This grassroot effort had no set funding, but relied on passionate volunteers wanting to make a difference in their community. This presentation will discuss rates of incarceration in Arizona, the core elements of YRP, and the role of volunteer "Community Coaches" who assist clients in meeting their goals. The presentation will also describe expansion of community reentry projects to other counties in Arizona through State Opioid Response funds, as well as opportunities for additional communities to join the reentry project. Watch Merilee & Clarissa's talk here. 


Marisa Domino, Ph.D.

October 17, 2022

Measurement-Based Care: Behavioral Health Providers' Use and Attitudes

Despite robust evidence for efficacy of measurement-based care (MBC) in behavioral health care, studies suggest that there is limited adoption of MBC in practice. We report analysis of a survey of behavioral health care providers on utilization of MBC, beliefs about MBC, and barriers to its adoption. We find that less than half of BHCPs reported using MBC with at least half of their patients and low perceived clinical utility of MBC was strongly associated with lower MBC use.


Scott Leischow Ph.D

October 3, 2022

Medication-Assisted Smoking Cessation Treatment: Recent Research on Cytisine

Smoking remains a leading cause of preventable disease and mortality, and new approaches to help more smokers quit is a public health priority. The most effective treatment currently available is the combination of the medication varenicline with behavioral support. All states provide access to free behavioral support via quitlines, but the most common form of varenicline, Chantix, has been pulled from the market because of concerns about its ingredients. The FDA is provided an emergency authorization for a generic form of varenicline to be imported from Canada, but it is not clear how long that approval will exist. Varenicline was approved in the US more than 15 years ago, and there have been no new smoking cessation medications approved since then. However, Cytisine - a naturally occurring substance with a chemical structure similar to varenicline – is a viable alternative medication and has been shown to be as effective as varenicline in helping smokers quit with minimal side effects. Cytisine also has the possibility to be a more affordable option as varenicline is very expensive for those without health insurance. Cytisine is approved and available in multiple countries, but not yet in the US. Additional research is needed in the US before it can be submitted to the FDA as a potential new medication for smoking cessation, and that research is underway.


Maxwell Leung Ph.D

September 19, 2022

Environmental Contaminants in Cannabis: Hidden Health Hazards to Recreational Users and Medical Patients

Dr. Maxwell Leung is an Assistant Professor at the Pharmacology and Toxicology program at ASU West Campus. His talk addressed the many potential environmental contaminants which can be found in cannabis, including pesticides and microbes. Each poses potential health risks – alone and/or in interaction with cannabis – with effects being studied in labs today. Because cannabis is illegal under federal law, there are no national-level regulations. Due to different contaminant restrictions across states, a batch of cannabis could pass health regulations in one state but not another. For those who use cannabis as part of treatment for a variety of illnesses, particularly those who are immune-compromised, the lack of information and regulation around contaminants is a serious concern. Further research and information is needed to inform effective health and safety regulations for cannabis. Click here to read more about Maxwell's research. 

Haley Coles

April 11, 2022

Harm Reduction Saves Lives

Harm reduction embodies the radical principle of accepting that drug use exists in our society. In this talk, Haley Coles will discuss the past, present, and future of harm reduction in Arizona, and how researchers can support these community-based initiatives.

Access a recording of the talk here.

Sabrina Oesterle, Ph.D. & Danielle Pandika, Ph.D.

March 14, 2022

Young adult opioid misuse indicates a general tendency toward substance use and is strongly predicted by general substance use risk

This study uses recent data from the Community Youth Development Study and structural equation modeling to demonstrate that young adult opioid misuse mostly reflects a general tendency to use substances. In addition, risk pathways to opioid misuse are mostly shared with those for other commonly used substances (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana). These findings suggest that expanded implementation of existing substance use prevention programs may be an effective strategy for combating the opioid crisis in young adult populations.

Access the presentation slides here: 



Will Corbin, Ph.D.

February 21, 2022

Early treatment predictors of Medication Assisted Treatment outcomes for Opioid Use Disorder

This presentation will describe a collaboration between the ASU BARCA Lab and Community Medical Services (CMS) to examine early treatment predictors of Medication Assisted Treatment outcomes for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder. Specifically, our focus was on consistency of early dosing and size of initial dose. We hypothesized that more consistent dosing and a larger initial dose would be associated with better MAT outcomes. We also examined whether treatment outcomes differed for clinics with blocked dosing (specified time windows for daily dosing) versus those without blocked dosing. We hypothesized that clinics with blocked dosing (which specify the same time window for dosing each day) would have better outcomes than those without blocked dosing. We will discuss the process of establishing our collaborative project and provide preliminary results.  

Access a recording of the talk here.



Shanda Breed

January 24, 2022

The Probation Journey

Changing lives starts with changing us and our system. Probation partners want to be part of the solution, rather than the recidivism revolving doors. This talk and discussion will address the role of substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and policy in that aim.

Access a recording of the talk here.



Raminta Daniulaityte, P.hD.

November 15, 2021  

“They say it’s fentanyl, but they honestly look like Perc 30s:” Lay experiences with the increasing street availability of counterfeit pills containing non-pharmaceutical fentanyl 

The worsening of the overdose crisis in the U.S. has been linked to the continuing proliferation of non-pharmaceutical fentanyl, fentanyl analogs and other novel synthetic opioids (NSO). The new wave of NSO spread in the U.S. is fueled by an increased presence of counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and other NSOs. This qualitative study aims to detail and contextualize attitudes and experiences with the counterfeit pain pill use among people who use illicit opioids (PWUO) in Arizona.

Access the presentation slides here: 


Scott Leischow, Ph.D.

September 9, 2021

Can E-cigarettes Help Smokers Quit:  Exploring the Science, Policy and Future Research Directions

Helping smokers quit remains one of the top public health challenges, in part because addiction to nicotine via combustible tobacco is intractable and few smokers who try to quit on any one occasion are successful.  The most effective treatment is behavioral support combined with the either varenicline or two types of nicotine replacement used together. No new medication has been approved by the FDA for smoking cessation since 2006, and the need for improved treatment is great.  Since e-cigarettes have been on the market, many smokers have used them to make quit attempts, which is controversial since they have not been formally tested and approved by the FDA for that purpose.  Multiple studies have explored the relationship between e-cigarettes and smoking cessation, but the definitive studies have not been completed.  This presentation will present and discuss the rationale, existing data, and research needs to provide smokers with the information they need to make an informed choice when they decide to quit smoking.

Access the presentation slides here: