The Power of Perceptions and Understanding: Changing How We Deliver Treatment and Recovery Services

This four-part webcast series educates healthcare professionals about the importance of using approaches that are free of discriminatory attitudes and behaviors in treating individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) and related conditions, as well as patients living their lives in recovery.


The webcasts will feature discussions among experts in the field of addiction treatment, research, and policy. Participants can 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, is producing 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 will specifically address 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.

Webcasts are open to all, but are intended to educate health care providers at all levels, to include medical doctors, physician assistants, nurses, the public health field staff, addiction treatment professionals, as well as behavioral health support staff.

Participants can earn up to 4.0 free CME/CE credits – one credit for attending each of the four one-hour webcasts.

Mark your calendars: The webcasts will begin airing live in March 2018. They will be made available afterward on SAMHSA’s YouTube Channel.

Last Updated: 04/25/2018