Students for Sensible Drug Policy is thrilled to welcome Vilmarie Narloch, Psy.D. (’09) as our new Drug Education Manager. In this role, Vilmarie will oversee the development and implementation of the SSDP Peer Education Program, which will certify SSDP members to deliver our Just Say Know drug education program to their peers. Additionally, she will keep staff and the network educated on the current state of research and treatment issues with regard to substance use disorders and mental health.
Vilmarie is passionate about reforming drug education in the U.S. and abroad, and has dedicated years of study on the topic for her dissertation. She is taking on this position at SSDP because as an organization driven by students with exceptional knowledge about drug policy and other drug use related issues, SSDP is uniquely positioned and qualified to be developing a drug education program. Vilmarie aims to aid in the connection of policy and practice by helping our network understand the impact of policy on access to treatment and care while utilizing the latest research.
Vilmarie first became involved in SSDP when she joined the Roosevelt University chapter in the fall of 2009. By winter of that academic year, she was elected secretary of the chapter, and the following year was elected co-president which she filled until graduating in 2015. Under her leadership, the Roosevelt University chapter won the Outstanding Chapter Award at the 2012 International Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference in Denver, CO, and the Saving Lives Award during the 2012 Overdose Awareness Day event for the chapter’s efforts in passing the Illinois Good Samaritan Law. She was also awarded the Roosevelt University Torch award for student leadership in 2012 for her role in SSDP. As a chapter leader, she organized and hosted several successful events including conferences, rallies, educational events, and memorials. Additionally, with the support of her chapter, she developed a Good Samaritan policy that was adopted by the university.
Vilmarie earned her M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint. Mary’s University of Minnesota, and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. During her time at Roosevelt, she was a graduate research assistant with Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy. Her work at ICDP included research support, report co-authorship, and event planning and coordination. Vilmarie’s interests in drug education, access to treatment, and harm reduction policy and practice have led her to numerous projects, including the provision of counseling and harm reduction services to students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and DePaul University, serving as a member of the Chicago Consortium on College Alcohol Harm Reduction, a predoctoral internship in the Adult Behavioral Services department in a local public health department, and a postdoctoral fellowship in a small private agency, where she provided therapy for individuals, couples, families, and groups in addition to supervising interns. Vilmarie has also been an adjunct instructor teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and substance use disorder treatment. She has dedicated her studies and clinical work to advance Harm Reduction as the standard of practice for substance use disorders. Vilmarie’s dissertation, titled, “What Youth Want: Developing a Drug Education Curriculum Based on Youth Guidance and Evidence-Based Principles,” inspired her to continue to advocate for effective drug education on a professional level, which led to her current position at SSDP. Additionally, Vilmarie’s next personal career goal is to become trained to deliver psychedelic psychotherapy, which she considers to be the future of psychological practice.
We are thrilled to have Vilmarie on the team!