Law school to present opioid awareness program

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s Criminal Law Society and Sports and Entertainment Law Society, together with Newport Academy, will host “Chasing Hope: An Opioid Awareness Program” on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the law school’s Auburn Hills campus.

The program will feature “Chasing Hope — Student Edition,” a 40-minute documentary presenting key facts about abuse and addiction, including consequences such as incarceration, violence and death. The film focuses on the onset of addiction in youth, since over 90 percent of people struggling with addiction began using substances before the age of 18.

Sharon Almonrode, of Miller Law Firm, represents Oakland County in its litigation against nine opioid manufacturers and distributors.

She will begin the program with a discussion on “The Opioid Litigation: Why, What, Status.”

The Oakland County lawsuit is one of more than 2300 opioid lawsuits pending before U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, Northern District of Ohio.

Giuliana Allevato, WMU-Cooley law student and president of the Criminal Law Society in Auburn Hills, will moderate a panel discussion on “Working to End the Opioid Epidemic.”

Panelists include: Angela Spino Bogota, community and school programs coordinator for the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities; Wayne County 23rd District Court Chief Judge Geno Salomone, vice president of Downriver Families Against Narcotics; and Dr. Carl Christensen, addiction medicine specialist and medical director for Dawn Farm and the Michigan Health Professional Recovery Program.

Others are: Lauren Rousseau, WMU-Cooley professor and president of Northwest Wayne Families Against Narcotics; Christina Nicholas, director of substance abuse, Prevention and Treatment Services at the Oakland Community Health Network; and Dawn Taylor, executive director of Spring Green Educational Foundation and producer of “Chasing Hope.”

The program will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. in room 145 of the WMU-Cooley Auburn Hills campus,  2630 Featherstone Road. Seating is limited.

Registration can be completed at