The Power of Perceptions and Understanding: Changing How We Deliver Treatment and Recovery Services
The webcasts featured discussions among experts in the field of addiction treatment, research, and policy. Participants could earn free CME/CE credits for attending the one-hour webcasts. Access the webcasts.
About the Initiative: The Power of Perceptions and Understanding
Millions of people in the U.S. live with a substance use disorder. In 2016, there were 20.1 million people, or 7.5 percent, aged 12 or older in 2016 who had a substance use disorder in the past year. In addition, an estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults 18 or older reported having co-occurring disorders. This means that within the previous year, they experienced both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.
Health care providers are often the first contact for addressing their patient’s substance use disorder. There is ample evidence that those who have a substance use disorder often have feelings of shame that impede treatment-seeking. Therefore, it is essential health care providers understand that negative attitudes, beliefs and language can be barriers that prevent those in need from seeking services, or even sharing information, including being in recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, Recovery Research Institute, produced a series of four webcasts to educate healthcare professionals about the problems of discriminatory practices and inaccurate perceptions present in dealing with individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) and related conditions. The topics and panel discussions specifically addressed the harm caused by the negative perceptions, and the mitigating results of using discriminatory and prejudicial behaviors toward those who need care for substance use disorders as well as those living their lives in recovery.
- The Power of Language and Portrayals series of webcasts educated the news and entertainment media about the best terminology and language to use, as well as how to accurately portray individuals with substance use disorders.
- National Recovery Month increases awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and promotes recovery.
- Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders is SAMHSA's new fact sheet that provides guidance for choosing quality, effective treatment services.
- Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health reviews findings about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address it.
- Recovery Among Diverse Populations, Road to Recovery Television and Radio Program, September 2017 - discuss some of the different ways that people from diverse communities find their pathways to recovery and the various challenges they may face. The show will also review resources for understanding different cultural perspectives about behavioral health conditions and those designed to enhance the cultural consciousness of providers and organizations.
- The Carter Center Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health (PDF | 1.0 MB) helps with accurate, fair, and sensitive reporting and portrayals.
- Access the SAMHSA Blog to read about the importance of language