Dana Murphy-Parker, MS, PMHNP-BC, assistant lecturer in the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing and director of the school's Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, has been elected as secretary, a position on the Executive Board of the International Nurses Society on Addictions (www.IntNSA.org). Dana was previously a member of the board and was unanimously elected as secretary at the IntNSA Board meeting on Sunday, October 24, 2010 in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
The board meeting was held in conjunction with the 34th Annual Conference with the theme, “Learning from each other: A global perspective on addictions”. Members from all over the globe gathered to gain knowledge from each other, and to network and collaborate regarding substance related disorders. Murphy-Parker was also a member of the planning committee for this year’s conference, and she states, “It was just a marvelous and energizing conference in which all of us felt an esprit de corps with each other, and such an appreciation of the number of nurses working around the globe to help those people, families and communities which suffer from addictive disorders."
As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Murphy-Parker has been interested in and worked with populations who have co-occurring disorders, i.e. mental health disorders and substance related disorders occurring together. “It is imperative”, Murphy-Parker states, “that we understand alcohol and drug related disorders as a neurobiological/brain disorder which is very complex. It is a multi-determined disorder requiring many different components of care. These include interpersonal therapies, pharmacotherapies, self-help organizations, and the model for self-management of this chronic disorder. Also, psycho-education helps as well as the support of family and friends."
As a Board Member of IntNSA, Murphy-Parker also serves on a task force originated by a grant governed by the American Society on Pain Management Nurses (ASPMN). The task force is composed of health care professionals from various national organizations and is examining REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) for recommendations to the FDA. The FDA is to require a REMS mandate, sometime in 2011, for pharmaceutical companies which manufacture prescription opioid medications for chronic pain. Disturbing statistics from 1999-2006 show that overdoses and unintentional deaths from these medications have tripled during this time period. Murphy-Parker hopes to have better history-taking and assessments for risk factors, and better monitoring of the addictive power of these medications for the chronic pain populations. The 35th Annual IntNSA Conference will be held jointly with ASPMN, September 7-11, 2011, in Tucson,Arizona.