Oct 16 2018
Oct 16 2018: 1:00pm–4:15pm

Humane Treatment for Those Who Suffer from Substance Use Disorders

Medical Education, Mental Health and Behavioral Health

Bradley Conference is designed to provide education for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, certified counselors, speech/language and occupational therapists, teachers, milieu associates, and other professionals who work with children, adolescents or adults. Topics address different behavioral health populations and treatment modalities and are intended to provide practical, state-of-the-art information.

Bradley Hospital’s clinical expertise, internationally renowned research, and academic affiliation with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University make the hospital a unique resource in all areas of behavioral health care. We have designed a wide range of learning experiences to provide the training that behavioral health care professionals need to stay at the forefront of their fields.

All sessions in this series will be held at Bradley Hospital at 1011 Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence, Rhode Island unless otherwise noted.


Donna McCarten White, RN, PhD, CNS CADAC is a consultant addiction specialist for the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a public health hospital for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dr. White is the former chief operating officer and nurse executive at Worcester State Hospital, and the director of nurses, the director of chemical dependency services and the dual diagnosis program at Pembroke Psychiatric Hospital. 

Dr. White is a graduate of Boston City Hospital School of Nursing and earned a BSN from Curry College in 1985. She completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts/Boston, is a licensed drug and alcohol counselor with an additional certification in advanced drug and alcohol counseling, is certified in chemical dependency and addictions nursing, and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a clinical nurse specialist in public health nursing. 

Dr. White is the 2006 recipient of the Peer Assistance Award from the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) and was recently inducted as a board-certified fellow at the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. In 2007, she was the first recipient of the Fong-Bressler Award for Outstanding Preceptorship in the graduate nursing program for the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) awarded her the Addictions Nursing Award in 2009. In October, 2010, she was recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the award of Champion of Public Health. In May, 2011, she was awarded the Nancy Valentine Leadership Award from the New England Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and in 2013, she was voted Mentor of the Year by the International Nurses Society on Addiction.

In 2014, Dr. White was given the Heart of Nursing Award from the University of Massachusetts/Boston Sigma Theta Tau Chapter. Donna is the author of an addictions competency-based program in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Hospital, where she now consults. She has many publications to her credit and recently co-authored a chapter on addictions nursing in a psychiatric textbook. In addition, she was part of a video production addressing suicide in adolescents in Massachusetts. In 2015, she was inducted as a fellow in the International Nurses Society on Addictions. In 2017, she was given the Lifetime Excellence Award from C4 Foundation, specializing in addictions work. She is the recipient of many community awards and nominations.

Dr. White is the statewide chairperson of the Massachusetts Nurses Association addictions council, and oversees the peer assistant program for nurses seeking help in recovery. She is certified by the Green Cross Foundation as an educator and therapist in compassion fatigue concerns and is a specialist in addictive disorders, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization in healthcare professionals. Dr. White is a member of the International Trauma Specialists, and a clinical instructor for Boston Area Colleges of Nursing graduate nurse practitioner programs and community health clinical work baccalaureate programs, and is a visiting scholar for local colleges.

Dr. White provided oversight for the clinical practicums of counseling students and consults to department chairs for all medical/professional clinical experience rotations at the Shattuck Hospital. She has lectured at many facilities and agencies and is a recognized leader in the field of addictions.


To present a healthcare perspective on the issue of drug use while examining the prevalence of drugs in the society we live in. Research presented will demonstrate how stigma and biased attitudes affect all populations and in th is area of healthcare. In addition, poor understanding of substance abuse issues by healthcare providers can increase the biopsychosocial risks in affected individuals.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the drug culture, health risks and problems that encompass drug use in our society.
  2. Discuss heritability of substance use disorder/addictive disorders.
  3. Identify commonly used substances, drug language, music, clothing and lifestyle and familial changes.
  4. Describe how drug testing (urine drug screening) is a support to recovery.
  5. Identify what patterns of abuse are and what drug paraphernalia looks like.
  6. Describe how the stigma of being a person suffering from a substance use disorder/addictive disorder can impede access to humane treatment.
  7. State general requirements for referral to treatment for an addictive disorder.


  • Target audience: Psychologists, physicians, social workers and other interested health care professionals
  •  For information regarding education credits, please contact Liz DeFreitas at 401-606-5752.
  • Instructional Level: Intermediate
  • Beverages and light snacks will be offered

Registration Information

  • Program fee: $59
  • Online registration closes on Monday, October 15
  • Register online
  • Phone registration: Please call the department of behavioral education at 401-606-5752.
  • For refund/cancellation information please email bradleyconferencesup@lifespan.org or call Liz DeFreitas at 401-606-5752.

Register online

To request reasonable accommodation for a disability, please contact the Rhode Island Hospital Continuing Medical Education office at 401-444-4260.

Accreditation: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation criteria and policies of the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital.  Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by the Rhode Island Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.   

Credit Designation: Rhode Island Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 13.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CEUs for this event have been approved by the National Board for Social Work (NASWRI), designating this live activity for a maximum of 13.5 continuing education credits for certified counselors, marriage and family therapists. NASW Authorization #: RI-7057.