Barnes Presents on Recovery Friendly Workplace Certification

On May 28, Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal and Senior Advisor to the National Recovery Friendly Workplace Institute (the Institute), presented the first-ever national Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) certification program. The Institute, an initiative of the non-profit Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation, is dedicated to equipping employers to become recovery supportive workplaces. This presentation provided the Institute’s definition of a “Recovery Friendly Workplace,” aiming to create uniformity in the RFW space, and detailed the criteria for becoming a nationally certified recovery friendly employer in 2024.

The 2024 RFW certification emphasizes key areas that foster a supportive workplace environment: culture, hiring, retention and advancement, benefits, and education and awareness. The certification process involves submitting an application, undergoing eligibility verification, and a final review. Once certified, organizations benefit from the use of the RFW logo, online listings, joint news releases, digital marketing support, and participation in the Institute's Certified RFW Council. RFW Certification serves as an emblem of distinction for employers that create a supportive environment for their employees and helps attract and retain top talent.

Watch the presentation here.

Learn more about the Institute and 2024 RFW certification here.

Barnes Serves as Editor to Special Journal Edition on Opioid Law and Policy

The Journal of Opioid Management (JOM) released a special edition dedicated to exploring legal and regulatory aspects of pain management and opioid misuse. Notably, Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, served as the issue’s special editor to ensure the substantive relevance, timeliness, and quality of the content. This special edition, titled “Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Approaches to Alleviating Opioid Use Disorder and Opioid-Related Poisonings,” presents peer-reviewed research, analysis, and actionable policy recommendations to advance individually appropriate pain management, the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder, and the strategies to reduce the harms associated with opioid misuse.
Olivia Backhaus, Esq., Associate Attorney at Sequel Legal, co-authored an article examining three recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court and the potential for a new interpretation of provisions in the Controlled Substances Act that affect prescribers of controlled medications. Ms. Backhaus also served as a reviewer for the JOM issue.
Daniel C. McClughen, Esq., another Principal Attorney at Sequel, also supported the publication as a reviewer.

Learn more here.

View the special edition here.

Barnes to Speak at 2023 Rx Summit

Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, will speak and moderate in-person at the 2023 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, April 10-13. Barnes will participate in the following educational programs:

April 10: Moderating the “Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Large-Scale Stigma Reduction Campaigns” session, which will focus on how to reduce stigma associated with SUD, specifically examining how stakeholders at many levels across Pennsylvania collaborated to design, implement, and evaluate the nation’s first innovative, evidenced-based statewide SUD stigma reduction campaign, Life Unites Us. 

April 11: Moderating the “Digital Therapeutics: What They Are and How to Integrate Them in Addiction Treatment Workflows” session, which will discuss the emerging role of digital therapeutics (DTx) in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs), including co-implementation alongside telehealth solutions, to help address the barriers to effective delivery of neurobehavioral care.

April 12: Presenting the “All Hands, All Branches: Expanding Advocacy to the Judicial Branch” session, which will describe firsthand how participants can help deploy the judicial branch to yield SUD-related policy change. Speakers will make actionable recommendations for how Rx Summit participants can expand their advocacy into the judicial branch. 

Learn more about the 2023 Rx Summit.

Barnes to Speak at Drug Policy Webinar

Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, will speak at the upcoming webinar “Change Is Law: A Federal Drug Policy Update”, hosted by The Center for U.S. Policy and Community Impact NC. Below is a description of the webinar:

Change Is Law: A Federal Drug Policy Update
March 29, 2023, 10 AM – 11 AM ET

The federal government’s COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration will end on May 11, 2023. The drug poisoning PHE, first declared in 2017, is certain to be extended, as more than 100,500 fatal drug poisonings occurred in the U.S. in the 12 months ending in September 2022.

In response to the drug poisoning crisis and in relation to the end of the COVID-19 PHE, federal drug policy changes are occurring rapidly. These changes will affect substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction.

During this free, one-hour webinar, drug policy professionals will address:

  • Which COVID-19 PHE regulatory flexibilities will be made permanent, and which will be rolled back;
  • How upcoming changes may impact SUD, prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction;
  • A new law facilitating research on cannabinoids;
  • The elimination of the DATA 2000 waiver requirement for prescribers of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD);
  • New rules improving access to methadone for OUD; and
  • A recent report providing a glimmer of hope that substance misuse may be in decline.

The session will conclude with a Q&A.

This webinar is intended for people with a moderate or higher understanding of SUD prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction policies and practices.

Register here.


Barnes to Speak at Rx Summit

Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, will speak and moderate in-person at the 2022 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, April 18-20. Barnes will participate in the following educational programs:

April 18: Opioid Settlement: Protecting and Optimizing Proceeds. Barnes will moderate and speak during this session, which will provide an overview of the efforts being taken by state and local governments to ensure that opioid litigation proceeds will help prevent or treat substance use disorders and their adverse outcomes, and support recovery. Speakers will discuss the Model Opioid Litigation Proceeds Act, which community leaders and policymakers can use to advocate for the adoption of state laws to ensure that opioid litigation proceeds are used to prevent and respond to drug poisonings, treat substance use disorders, and support recovery. The Model Opioid Litigation Proceeds Act was researched and drafted by the Legislative Analysis and Policy Association in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown Law Center, the Center for U.S. Policy, and Brown and Weinraub, and with the input of subject matter experts and peer reviewers.

April 19: Data to Action: How ATLAS® and Quality Metrics Support Transformation of the Addiction Treatment System. Barnes will moderate this session, which will examine the ways that data has changed views of substance use disorder treatment, and how that change affects the lives of people with substance use disorders.

April 20: Tennessee Recovery Navigators: Connecting Patients to Treatment From Hospital Emergency Departments. Barnes will moderate this session, which will discuss innovative ways patients in Tennessee are accessing critical treatments for substance use disorders from hospital emergency departments.

Learn more about the 2022 Rx Summit.