Integration of Health Equity into Addiction, Recovery & Diversity

Health equity is defined as a state where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Health inequality exists in all facets of healthcare; we need look no farther than the coronavirus pandemic to see this. Health inequality is also present in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders. We will begin by outlining substance use health disparities in different populations, and understanding the factors that contribute to them. In order to achieve health equity, helpers must optimize the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, learn, and age (American Public Health Association). This includes addressing factors that influence health, including employment, housing, education, health care, public safety, and food access. We must also name racism as a force in determining how these social determinants are distributed. Therefore, in order to support individuals from marginalized populations with substance use disorders, it is important to understand the historical context within which this support occurs. We will outline historical patterns in help seeking, mistreatment within the medical system, and engagement with members from the dominant group to understand the current mistrust of systems and people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how best to support the health and growth of the populations you serve.
  • Understand concepts of cultural competence and cultural humility in substance use disorder treatment.
  • Gain strategies for improving awareness, knowledge, and skills will be outlined, within the context of evidence based practice.

Meet the Presenter: Dr. Jorja Jamison

Dr. Jorja Jamison, PhD, LP is an Associate Professor & Faculty Coordinator at Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, as well as a practicing Licensed Psychologist in a rural community named Forest Lake, which is just north of St. Paul, Minnesota.


Community Member: $10 (no CEUs)

Professional: $20 (2 CEUs)

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