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President’s Column

SoAP Box: 
President's Column

Fall 2019

Linda Carter Sobell, PhD, ABPP

How Old Is Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology)?

A few months ago our division reached a milestone—1,000 members. As I thought about this, I wondered how long SoAP has existed. Even though I have been a member of Division 50 since its inception, I  was not able to answer that question. Therefore, as I started to draft my first presidential column I thought I would school myself in our Division’s history. Upon finding that SoAP in some form or fashion has been around for almost 50 years, and given that it has many new members, I thought it would be helpful to provide a brief timeline of key milestones over the years.

History, Membership Benefits, and the Success of Division 50

  • 1975: Almost 50 years ago a small group of psychologists formed the Society of Psychologists in Substance Abuse “to promote human welfare through encouragement of scientific and professional activities and communication among psychologists and others working in in the areas of substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors.”
  • Early 1980s: Name changed to Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors
  • Mid-1980s: We had 600 members.
  • February 1993: Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors (SPAB) approved as a candidate division of the APA (later renamed Society of Addiction Psychology; SoAP)
  • Publications:
    • Late 70s: Informal newsletter sent to members
    • 1981- 1992: 1st scientific journal, the Bulletin of SPAB; retitled in 1987 Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (PAB)
    • 1990: A division newsletter, now known as The Addiction Newsletter (TAN), started
    • 1992: PAB published and distributed by APA’s special press
    • 2005: PAB became an official APA journal
  • Finances: The financial position of SoAP is excellent because past Division officers and budget committees have provided the division with excellent fiscal advice
  • Collaborative Perspectives On Addiction (CPA) annual meeting was initiated in 2012 and has become a hallmark feature of our Division
    • What is CPA? An addiction small boutique friendly, psychology-focused conference that fosters professional networking and offers sessions for clinicians and researchers. Very importantly, CPA supports the ‘career pipeline’, with programming specifically aimed at early career psychologists with an interest in addiction
    • We invite you to attend CAP this year: April 2nd-4th in San Diego where the theme will be: Substance Use and Addictive Behaviors across the Lifespan.

Benefits of SoAP Membership

The Addictions Newsletter: This quarterly newsletter updates you on addiction research and practice, and SoAP activities

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: An APA peer-reviewed journal

SoAP listserv: Your connection for issues in addictions, APA updates, information or advice from members, and posting or finding job opportunities

Webinars: Webinars for CE and learn about recent advances in addictions

Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction Mid-Year Annual Meeting

Grant Opportunities: SoAP supports graduate student and early career psychologist research through an annual grant program

Maintained two seats on APA Council of Representatives (COR): For several years our members have given our division enough votes to have one additional COR representative (divisions are only one COR representative; COR and the Board of Directors are the two main governance bodies of APA).

As I drafted this last benefit, I was reminded that starting November 1st through December 16th APA will be sending all members their annual apportionment ballot. This ballot determines the composition of the APA Council of Representatives every year; it is where our members have given us enough votes to have two Division 50 representatives on Council for several years

In summary, I would like to send out a BIG SHOUT OUT to all members who have supported SoAP for close to almost 50 years. Collectively, you all have helped make Division 50 a strong APA division!

Let me close by asking each of you to take the time to cast your vote in the upcoming apportionment election determining the Council of Representatives membership. Our division needs to be at the table! Every member has 10 votes to allocate. Please allocate 10 or as many votes as you can to Division 50. Help us maintain our voice in APA governance: VOTE 10 for 50.

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