The National Association for Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) desires to be a voice for justice and change in the addiction treatment industry. To work toward this goal in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI), the Association recognized a need for self-exploration and education, both internally and across its membership. In 2020, NAATP engaged a DEI Advisory Committee to discuss the impact of systemic racism and other forms of discrimination on addiction treatment and recovery. This Committee now consists of 26 behavioral health leaders, researchers, and clinicians from organizations across the country, many of whom have been addressing DEI in the field for decades. This Committee identified a need to invite addiction and recovery professionals into this work collaboratively, encouraging them to assess their readiness and capacity for driving change in addiction healthcare equity, inclusion, and belonging among their staff, clientele, and communities.
In consultation with this Committee, NAATP developed the DEI Best Practices in Addiction Treatment Model and Assessment Tool which provides a framework, based on the Stages of Change model, to support leaders in the addictions field throughout this journey. The Stages of Change model (also called the Transtheoretical Model, developed by Prochaska & DiClemente in the 1970s) is familiar to most recovery professionals as a roadmap for nonjudgmentally assessing and motivating positive change in people’s lives. Applying this model to DEI allows organizations to use familiar language to assess where they are on the continuum of equity-focused action, develop awareness of areas for improvement, and identify action steps.
NAATP’s Assessment Tool describes organizational characteristics at different points on the stage of change continuum for nine different dimensions of DEI work, such as Organizational Commitment, Policies & Procedures, Training, Clinical Care, and Community. Ratings from leadership teams provide a baseline and an opportunity to recognize strengths and opportunities for growth, without judgment that can be inherent in assessment of the complexities of an organization’s DEI journey.
NAATP has developed additional resources to describe the tool’s intent and use and to invite providers to engage their leadership staff in self-assessment. NAATP welcomes members to provide the following resources to all members of leadership within their organizations:
- The informational webinar, “Where Do We Go From Here? Moving From Awareness to Action with DEI”
- A blog describing how to use the Tool
- An online survey where individual leaders at member organizations can submit their assessment ratings anonymously to NAATP. NAATP will provide a confidential summary of scores to each member organization that participates, and will invite select members to participate in a panel discussion at NAATP National 2022 in San Diego, May 7-9. To be considered for inclusion in the 2022 conference panel, the deadline for completion of the survey is April 22, 2022.
NAATP welcomes feedback from providers about their experiences with this tool and their journeys to improve addiction healthcare equity, inclusion, and belonging.