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APA Annual Convention

DC Monuments

50 Years of Harm Reduction: Past, Present and Future

August 6 - 9, 2020

Washington DC

The Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP) welcomes you to the 2020 APA Convention in Washington DC, August 6-9, 2020. This is a time of great upheaval in the field. Population-based data have indicated that many of our existing and efficacious treatments are not reaching or engaging the vast majority of people with substance use disorder in this country. There are also big questions about how to best move forward with substance-use research, treatment and policy to address public health crises involving opioids, methamphetamines, cannabis and vaping (among others) that sometimes divide the field. And ongoing marginalization of people who use substances, particularly in Communities of Color, rural areas and socioeconomically depressed communities, are an additional and disturbing manifestation of growing health disparities in the US.

However, these challenges offer opportunities for addiction psychologists to light a path with scientific and clinical advances that can address these topics and help alleviate substance-related harm for people who use substances, their families and their communities. 

Thir year we will highlight the Division 50 President’s theme of “50 Years of Harm Reduction: Past, Present and Future.” Harm reduction refers to compassionate and pragmatic approaches that aim to reduce substance-related harm and improve quality of life for people who use substances, their families and their communities.  In keeping with this theme, we encourage submission of programming that:

  • Operationalizes, documents and/or evaluates substance-related harm;
  • Addresses socioeconomic, racial and ethnic disparities in the experience of substance-related harm;
  • Introduces community- and individual-level strengths that can support harm reduction;
  • Emphasizes natural recovery and self-change; and
  • Centers harm-reduction programming, interventions and treatments.

We are also looking forward to receiving submissions from members who are doing cutting-edge work on various topics across the field, including those emphasizing priorities of APA’s 2020 President and Past President. These priorities include contributions of students and early career folks, diversity and inclusion, collaboration across divisions and disciplines, and “Deep Poverty.”

Convention Proposal Submission details

  • The submission portal is now open:
  • The deadline for CE workshops is 11/12/19 and for Division submissions is 12/2/19.
  • Submissions should be relevant to the division’s researchers and clinicians, demonstrate a commitment to diversity, and be positioned to disseminate cutting-edge information to psychologists from other APA division.
  • Proposals for symposia, poster presentations, data blitz, discussion sessions, and skill-building sessions will be considered. Individual paper presentations will not be considered.
  • All symposium/discussion submitters are strongly encouraged to apply for Continuing Education review when submitting.
  • The division offers numerous merit-based travel awards for students and early career psychologists. If your submitted abstract is accepted, you can contact Hannah Carlon to be considered (
  • Further details and the submission portal can be found at
  • Please contact 2020 Program Chair, Dr. Susan Collins (, with questions.



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