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The Addiction Psychologist Podcast

Dr. Noah Emery and Samuel Acuff interview researchers, clinicians, and policymakers in the field of addiction psychology with the hopes of enhancing recovery. New episodes the second Monday of every month, with some added content in between. The podcast can also be accessed through Apple podcasts and Spotify. Official podcast of the Society for Addiction Psychology.

Cassie Boness - Diagnostic Issues in Alcohol Use Disorder

posted: Monday, November 30, 2020 - 06:20

Alcohol use is a burden on the healthcare system and is among the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. There are eleven possible Alcohol use Disorder (AUD) symptoms and only two are required, resulting in a wide range of possible combinations of symptoms and thus widely divergent profiles of individuals with AUD. Further,  not all of the AUD symptoms are equally severe, and two individuals with two symptoms each may have completely different levels of severity. Despite these issues, many of our research and clinical decisions are made based on AUD clinical cutoffs. Cassie Boness talks about her work in understanding the diagnostic issues with AUD, including how she has used cognitive interviewing to better understand how people are understanding the symptoms of AUD. Cassie Boness is an intern at Western Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

Dr. Ayana Jordan - Racism and Substance Use in America

posted: Monday, November 9, 2020 - 08:29

Racial disparities in prevalence rates of harmful substance use can largely be attributed to social determinants of health, which are perpetuated by racist policies that have been implemented over the past century. The clearest example can be found in the policies related to Nixon's War on Drugs, which criminalized drug use, increased drug enforcement forces across the nation, and specifically targeted Black communities. More generally, the definition of addiction and its recovery has been determined by white scientists, religious figures, and politicians without regard to the Black community or other groups. Dr. Ayana Jordan discusses racist drug policy and the problems facing individuals in the Black community who struggle with addiction. She then discusses her work that seeks to eliminate disparities: first, by creating scaffolding for those going through white-centric treatment; and second, by creating treatments designed for Black individuals. Dr. Ayana Jordan is an Assistant Professor and the Associate Residency Program Director in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. She is also an Addiction Psychiatrist and Attending Physician at Connecticut Mental Health Center.

Keanan Joyner - Increasing Representation for BIPOC Scholars

posted: Monday, November 2, 2020 - 08:35

The academy systematically excludes members of certain groups, leading to underrepresentation of those who identify as of Black, indigenous, and people of color. Keanan Joyner discusses the leaky pipeline and provides specific actionable steps that can help increase representation in your academic department. Keanan Joyner is a doctoral student at Florida State University and a Ford Fellow.

Keanan Joyner - Alternative Rewards and Multiple Methods

posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 - 09:56

Some research demonstrates that rats will self-administer dangerously high levels of drugs under certain schedules of reinforcement. However, much of this research has been done under conditions of depravity, in which the rat does not have any access to alternatives. Humans almost always make choices between a menu of options, suggesting a different, more dynamic choice context with competing reinforcers. Keanan discusses his work in this area, in addition to the importance of confirming self-report findings by using multimethod approaches, such as psychophysiology. Keanan Joyner is a doctoral student at Florida State University and a Ford Fellow. 

Dr. Katie Witkiewitz - Non-abstinent Recovery

posted: Monday, October 12, 2020 - 08:37

Most definitions of recovery from addiction require abstinence from the problem substance. Dr. Katie Witkiewitz discusses the limitations of abstinence-based models of recovery and describe why non-abstinent models may have a positive public health impact. Namely, Katie's research suggests that many people regain functioning in interpersonal, occupational, and health domains without achieving full abstinence, and that these definitions actually prevent people from seeking treatment. Katie outlines the benefits of incorporating non-abstinent recovery options alongside the dominant abstinent model, and also shares NIAAA's preliminary definition of recovery from alcohol. Dr. Katie Witkiewitz is the Regent's Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. She is also a Scientist at the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse & Addictions (CASAA), and the Technology Committee Chair for the Society of Addiction Psychology.

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