About Us

Christina E. Jones, MD

Candidate for Region VII Director

Biography and Statement

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1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

After losing a close friend to suicide after his multiple unsuccessful attempts at recovery from opiate dependency I became interested in the field of Addiction Medicine. I received my DATA 2000 waiver in 2009. Although I did not begin treating substance use disorder immediately, my interest and quest for knowledge grew. I have attended the annual conferences and attended the ASAM Board Review conference. I have been a strong supporter of ASAM mission and admission criteria. I have implemented ASAM level of care criteria in all my practice endeavors.

In fact, I helped the inpatient facility I recently worked at to obtain CARF certification within the 2 years I was there. When I started as the Medical Director the Medical Policy and Procedure was 2 pages front and back! Definitely a challenge. Surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges was to get the staff out of the “old way of abstinence only” thinking. I came from working in the Northeast for 10 years where all the facilities I worked at were CARF certified. I knew I was in for hard work when they had never heard of CARF. We went from 8 to a 25 bed CARF accredited facility.

I brought Vivitrol treatment to the Delaware Correctional Facilities. I then initiated the creation of the pre-release program with Vivitrol and continuing care at outpatient treatment centers in Hartford County Maryland. I have also been an advocate of initiation of MAT in the prison systems. When I began working at Northeast Treatment Center, which is a medical detox for underserved population in Delaware, I coordinated with Alkermes (the manufacturer of Vivitrol) to provide to appropriate patients no matter their financial situation.

I have a special interest in the treatment of chronic pain in patients with Substance Use Disorder. It is a challenging but rewarding area of addiction medicine. I have given multiple educational lectures on this subject to medical and non-medical arenas. I challenge the stigma associated with dependency.

I have been working with American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry as a consultant for the Opiate Response Network (formerly STR-TA). I have assisted on 3 projects in the state of Louisiana. These projects help promote education and treatment of opiate dependency. (1. On initiation of Buprenorphine in the ER setting at LSU-Baton Rouge 2. Educating the physicians in the LSU Family Medicine Residency program and assisting the implementation of using Buprenorphine for outpatient medical detox and dependency at a VA clinic 3. Creating a community awareness event in West Baton Rouge Parish)

I feel as though my passion for advancement of treatment for addiction has spurred others to go into this amazing field of study. It touches me when a prior patient that wants to be a peer specialist or a tech that now want to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor asks me to write a recommendation and tells me I encouraged them to do so. This is just a few examples of what drives me to continue my path despite the harsh reality this job brings with it. And to continue to be a champion for treatment!

2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

My election as Regional Director would benefit ASAM in many ways. I am a leader, innovator, advocate and educator dedicated to the advancement of substance dependency treatment. That coupled with my passion would make me an asset to ASAM.

I am extremely proficient in creating and implementing policies and procedures so that a high standard of care is delivered to all patients. I have been on numerous Quality Improvement teams and know the workings of such projects. I have been a consultant for multiple projects in the field of addiction and I enjoy networking with peers and gaining knowledge from one another.

I am personable and work well with others on various levels. I am also dedicated to finding ways to provide substance dependency treatment to underserved populations and rural areas.

I don’t mind putting in extra time, conference calls, weekend hours, etc. to help foster my region’s representation in ASAM activities. I personally know of many addiction providers including nurse practitioners that do not know the impact ASAM has on national policy and legislative initiatives. I want to encourage providers to become a member of ASAM. This way they can become a part of the “bigger picture” in this field.

I would encourage more small meetings; possibly teleconferences for convenience and improved attendance for regional ASAM chapters. I believe this is one way to share our knowledge and experience that can only strengthen the chapter. This will lead to improved treatment for the patients which is what this is all about, right? I am a strong leader with a long history of supervisory positions. I am attuned to the necessities this position will require. I can take multiple points of view and relay them in a concise manner.

As the Regional Director I will do my best to represent and propagate the interests of my region to the Society. I am committed to the Society’s mission. Having a strong national representation is key to continuing the efforts that ASAM has already made.

Biographical Sketch

I was born in rural Louisiana and attended Tulane Undergraduate and School of Medicine. Attended preliminary year at University of Florida and completed a 2 year research fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery before deciding on a career in Internal Medicine.

After being a victim of hurricane Katrina and then a month later hurricane Rita, I decided to move to Delaware to complete my Internal Medicine training. My interest in addiction medicine blossomed there and I became a DATA waived physician in 2016 and I moved back to my hometown to help my community in the treatment of the opiate epidemic.

I have a mission to dispel the stigma of dependency and to improve treatment to all individuals regardless of their economic situation.