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Addiction Treatment Leadership to Convene as the Country Reaches Historic Addiction and Overdose Death Rate

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Healthcare Access and Equity Advocates Patrick Kennedy and Resmaa Menakem Headline the Meeting

Addiction treatment program operators will convene in Denver, CO on December 7, 2021, for a three-day meeting and education session to address the country’s two National Health Care Emergencies: Addiction and COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, which has exacerbated an already crisis level of addiction, it will be the first gathering of the group in two- and one-half years. The conference will examine the delivery of substance use disorder within three domains: quality of care, social determinants of health, and the role of leadership.

A conference faculty of 45 national experts and hundreds of treatment program leaders will join former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI), Founder of the Kennedy Forum dedicated to transforming the healthcare system to create equity and parity for mental health and substance use disorder. The Forum aims to achieve health equity by advancing evidence-based practices, policies, and programming for the treatment of mental health and addiction. Joining Mr. Kennedy will be Resmaa Menakem, New York Times best-selling author of My Grandmother’s Hands and a Senior Fellow at The Meadows Institute. Mr. Menakem will speak to the issues of racial inequity, racialized trauma, and achieving systemic movement toward anti-racism in healthcare.  

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), founded in 1978, serves as the national professional society and trade association of addiction treatment operators. The three-day gathering will be the 42nd Annual Addiction Treatment Leadership Conference of the organization called A Searching and Fearless Inventory: Accountability in Quality, Leadership, and Racial Equity. It comes at a time when the country has reached historic crisis rates of addiction with over 25 million people in need of care, and overdose deaths approaching 300 human lives lost per day. In response to the addiction crisis and profound racial disparities in access to care, NAATP launched its treatment efficacy research foundation during the pandemic which will be presented to leadership as the foundation for sustained addiction treatment system success.

NAATP CEO Marvin Ventrell said, “Historic moments compel us to take stock, to examine who we are, what we do, and how well we do it. NAATP National 2021 will be such a moment. Our country’s entire population, those who suffer from the disease of addiction, and our addiction treatment professionals, have been traumatized by an environment of illness and conflict. It is imperative that our addiction leadership come together to examine our work in this environment. Isolation and disunity feed addiction, and healthy community breeds recovery and wellness. Our objective with NAATP National 2021 is to create pathways to healthy community for both our professional workers and the patients they serve.”

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