April Smith

April Smith

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April Wilson Smith, MPH, is a PhD student in Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Her research focuses on harm reduction approaches to people who use substances when they enter the healthcare system.

April's other interest in healthcare is interprofessional education and teamwork. Her work with the Jefferson Center for InterProfessional Education won the 2016 James B. Erdmann PhD award for Excellence in Interprofessional Education. She is currently building a large, multidisciplinary coalition to create an interprofessional education module for healthcare professionals in best practices for the care of people who use drugs when they present in the acute care setting.

April is a Certified SMART Recovery facilitator and founded the first SMART Recovery meeting in the Philadelphia city limits. She is also co-founder of the only Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support meeting in Philadelphia.

April recently accepted a position as Harm Reduction Epidemiologist with Families for Sensible Drug Policy, which is a non-profit dedicated to helping families advocate for drug policies that save drug users' lives and keep families together and healthy.  Co-founder and President, Barry Lessin, is also a Pro Talk columnist

April graduated from Yale University in 1996. She was a union organizer for healthcare workers for 18 years before going back to school for her Master of Public Health, and spent ten years as Director of Organizing for Pennsylvania's largest nurses' union. She lives in West Philadelphia with her beautiful black cat, Loviefluffy.

Latest Contributions to Rehabs.com

The First Slip, or the First Sip?

The First Slip, or the First Sip?

December 13th, 2019 April Smith 5 minute read
So you’re home from rehab, doing what you think you’re supposed to do, staying off whatever landed you in rehab, all the while juggling family, friends, work, school, kids, parents, pets, plants… it can get overwhelming. It is overwhelming!...
Don’t Act Weird: When Your Loved One Comes Home From Rehab

Don’t Act Weird: When Your Loved One Comes Home From Rehab

November 4th, 2019 April Smith 5 minute read
Families and friends are often confused about how to act when a loved one comes home from treatment.  Should family and friends avoid drinking around them?  Should parents restrict a teenager’s activities, effectively grounding him or her? I would...
Do You Need Meetings to Recover? 

Do You Need Meetings to Recover? 

November 4th, 2019 April Smith 4 minute read
Get to a Meeting! When someone suspects (or when their family suspects) that they have a substance problem, the first thing they usually hear is: “Get to a meeting!” So they look up Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous (even...
Trauma-Informed?  Questions You Should Ask

Trauma-Informed?  Questions You Should Ask

November 4th, 2019 April Smith 5 minute read
It seems like every treatment facility has “trauma-informed care” listed in big letters on its website these days.  But what does that mean?  Is it a safer place for people who have been through traumatic experiences?  What questions can...
Trauma and Recovery: It’s Not What You Think It Is

Trauma and Recovery: It’s Not What You Think It Is

November 4th, 2019 April Smith 5 minute read
Media depictions of trauma often show clients coached to dig deep into their memories, cry, scream, or otherwise somehow “get it out.”  The experience looks horribly painful, but is supposed to be cathartic, meaning it lets you have a...
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