NEWS RELEASE:   JUNE 16, 2016

Health Disparities in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment — A Major Theme of Research for the Research Society on Alcoholism

RSAThe Research Society on Alcoholism (http://www.rsoa.org/) 39th annual conference June 25-29th in New Orleans will include for the first time an all-day scientific work group meeting to address health disparities and health equity issues in alcohol and substance use.

The health equities meeting is a collaboration between the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (www.pire.org) and the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (www.iup.edu/marti/). Leading scientists from across the country will: (1) review scientific research on disparities related to use and misuse of alcohol and other substances; (2) provide theoretical and methodological frameworks for research and prevention; (3) consider social-cultural contexts which represent challenges and opportunities for advancing the science of substance-related health disparities; and (4) demonstrate practical means to address health disparities using a Community-Based Participatory Research framework.

The scientists will consider social-structural determinants of substance use problems, such as socio-economic contexts and the role of stigma and trauma in health disparities. The presentations will highlight the vital role of community partnerships in the design and implementation of research. Presentations will include research on disparities experienced by African American, American Indian, Asian American, Latino, and LGBT communities. Discussions will foster sharing ideas and developing future research.

Race, ethnicity, sexual/gender identity all MATTER when it comes to understanding alcohol and other drug-related problems — such as abuse and dependence, cirrhosis and driving under the influence. The working group hopes to advance health disparities research at upcoming meetings of the Research Society on Alcoholism, and work toward a special issue journal publication to showcase and more broadly disseminate this work.

This Health Disparities research day will be held on June 25th, the first day of the RSA Scientific Meeting (JUNE 25-29, 2016) at the Hyatt Regency in NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.