Watch Now: Join our discussion on trauma, opioid addiction and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic

·2 min read

The Kansas City Star invites you to a virtual panel discussion to learn more about the linkage between trauma and addiction.

Our “Opioid, Stimulant and Trauma Forum” at 11 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Aug. 18, will also focus on educating the public about the underlying causes of substance abuse disorders, as well as highlighting recovery and prevention strategies to specifically address the harmful use of opioids and stimulants.

There is a renewed urgency among public health officials to address the nation’s addiction epidemic, especially after the CDC released data in July highlighting a troubling rise in the number of overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panelists will represent diverse perspectives on the topics of addiction and mental illness.

Joining the forum:

  • Dr. Douglas Burgess, addiction psychiatry specialist at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City

  • Jamie Boyle, CEO of a sober living facility called Welcome House KC

  • Miles Aley, DEA assistant special agent in charge of the division covering Kansas and Missouri

  • Pam Greenberg, president of a nonprofit focused on addiction education called Addiction Is Real

More panelists might be announced in the coming weeks.

The forum, at 11 a.m. Aug. 18, will be moderated by Maxwell Adler, addiction and engagement reporter at The Kansas City Star.

Submit your questions for the panelists and RSVP here.

The event is part of The Star’s efforts to inform and engage people around topics important to the health and progress of our community.


Miles Aley
Miles Aley

Miles Aley, assistant special agent in charge: Miles Aley is the head of the Kansas City District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division. His responsibilities include overseeing DEA offices and activities in the Western District of Missouri. ASAC Aley has worked for the DEA since 2003.

Jamie Boyle
Jamie Boyle

Jamie Boyle, president and CEO of Welcome House KC: Jamie Boyle, a former resident of the Welcome House, joined the Welcome House leadership team in February 2014. In addition to the experience of his own personal recovery, he brings professional experience in the areas of health care, information technology and management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas and a master’s of business administration from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Pam Greenberg
Pam Greenberg

Pam Greenberg, president of Addiction Is Real: Pam Greenberg is an independent health-care consultant who lives in St. Louis. Since the death of her son, Justin, due to an accidental overdose of heroin in 2015, she has aimed to educate parents, teachers and the community on this issue. Greenberg says she wants others to know that the three most dangerous words a parent can think or say are “Not my child!”

Dr Douglas Burgess
Dr Douglas Burgess

Dr. Douglas Burgess, medical director of Outpatient Psychiatric Services at Truman Medical Center: Douglas Burgess is a psychiatrist in Kansas City specializing in addiction. He received his medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and has been practicing psychiatry for 11 years. He is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Medicine.

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