NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, has released a position statement drafted by NAADAC’s Critical Issues in the Black Community (CIBC) Committee discussing the unique and complex disparities relating to substance use and addiction within Black populations across the United States. NAADAC periodically releases position statements detailing NAADAC’s stance on specific issues, and this paper will be part of a multi-part series exploring the many critical issues facing the treatment of Black individuals living with substance use disorders.
NAADAC represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support and education.
NAADAC recognizes that significant gaps exist in the provision of equitable services and treatment outcomes for people in the Black community with substance use and behavioral addiction disorders, which create disparities in healthcare access and service delivery. Similarly, there are immense deficits in training, recruitment, and other workforce opportunities for Black addiction-focused and allied mental health professionals.
Various practices by addiction treatment professionals and organizations have additionally caused the overlooking of the unique experiences and needs of the Black community regarding substance use, treatment, prevention, and recovery support. Through the creation of NAADAC’s CIBC Committee, we are advocating for our political leaders, addiction, behavioral, and medical health professionals to listen, learn about, and assume an active role in mitigating these inequities. Specifically, NAADAC is advocating for (1) the building of a stronger Black addiction professional workforce, (2) addressing white privilege in the addiction profession, and (3) reforming drug laws.
Enacting these changes will begin to address and mitigate the disparities in treatment experienced in the Black community. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, can seek treatment and support with the goal of long-term recovery.
To read the full position paper, please click here or visit www.naadac.org/position-statements-issue-briefs.