Across the country, individuals, families, and communities are dealing with trauma and loss that is compounding a history of trauma. We acknowledge that the pain and suffering felt in our communities is real, and, like you, are experiencing renewed and legitimate anger, grief, frustration, and sorrow. We stand against the injustices in our society.
NAADAC's mission is to lead, unify and empower addiction focused professionals to achieve excellence through education, advocacy, knowledge, standards of practice, ethics, professional development and research. We will never achieve this until there is universal acknowledgment that Black lives matter.
The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others as a result of systemic, institutional racism provides a stark call to action. Implicit bias and racial disparities are present across the health care spectrum, resulting in disproportionately poorer outcomes for communities of color. These shortcomings needlessly cost Black lives.
We must provide better addiction treatment and care of individuals in minority populations. Quality treatment provided by nationally certified counselors must be made available to every person who needs it.
We must also make more room for African Americans within the addiction profession. From workforce development to improved support for those already within our profession, we need to do better.
NAADAC has long supported and been involved with minority-focused initiatives, such as the Minority Fellowship Program and partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), but this is not enough. In the days since George Floyd’s murder, we have been listening to what you, our constituents, and the members of our communities, particularly the Black members of our communities, have been saying and thinking about how we can effectuate change. As a first step, we are hosting a Virtual Town Hall following today’s webinar, Substance Use Disorder in the African American Community, to learn how we can best support our members and constituents in the African American community and provide tools and resources for clinicians to support those they serve.
We are forming a new NAADAC committee focused on critical issues in the Black community and donating all proceeds generated from our upcoming webinar series on cultural sensitivity to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to support Black students seeking an addiction-focused degree.
We acknowledge that more work is needed. We are committed to doing the work. We are listening.
To learn more, get involved with NAADAC’s efforts, or provide comments on how addiction professionals or NAADAC can best respond to and support our members and their clients during this time, please email [email protected]. We want to hear from you.