NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, recognizes the fundamental rights, dignity and worth of all people. The NAADAC/NCC AP Code of Ethics states, “Providers shall offer services that demonstrate appropriate respect for the fundamental rights, dignity and worth of all clients.” (Principle IV, Section IV-1 Respect). Inherent in these rights is personal autonomy over one’s body, including the right to make decisions about one’s own reproductive system and the right to decide whether or not to have a child. NAADAC condemns the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that effectively overturns Roe v. Wade and sees it as a violation of the fundamental rights for which we stand. We believe that every individual has the fundamental right to make decisions related to their own health and making those decisions is often necessary to preserve the dignity and worth of the individual.
In years past, persons with SUD and mental health disorders were forced into sterilization, lobotomies, and electric shock treatment. Since the days when these archaic laws were enforceable, NAADAC has fought for the rights of people with SUD and mental health disorders to receive fair and equitable evidence-based treatment for their disorders.
The impact of the Supreme Court decision will not be felt equally. Some individuals are fortunate to live in states where the laws will support their right to choose. Others will be in a position of privilege so that, even if they live in a state with an abortion ban, they will have the means to seek treatment elsewhere. Individuals with a substance use disorder, people of color, individuals who are economically disadvantaged, and individuals from marginalized communities will all be disproportionately harmed by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Individuals with a substance use disorder have a greater chance of experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, and under the new laws, many will have no choice but to continue with it. Yet many states have criminalized having an SUD while pregnant or seeking SUD treatment while pregnant. What choice are these pregnant women left with? Additionally, the existing healthcare system is failing to meet the current needs of individuals with SUD; how will it expand to meet the needs of pregnant individuals with an SUD as well as their children? Forcing pregnancies and the loss of bodily autonomy on individuals and individuals with SUD will result in increased rates of overdose, death, and incarceration, as well as the destabilization of families and communities.
NAADAC stands in support of every individual’s inalienable right to bodily autonomy and to make choices that affect their bodies, including accessing health care services. NAADAC will work to restore these rights. We hope that others will join us.