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‘Uncomfortable’ is not Enough: Integrating Antiracism within Addiction Treatment

AUGUST 13, 2020

Sara Matsuzaka, PhD, LCSW
Fordham University
Graduate School of Social Service

About the Presentation: Racism in the U.S. contributes to health, mental health, and substance misuse disparities among People of Color (POC) compared with White people. Despite entering into addiction treatment with a greater severity of substance misuse and related consequences, POC experience more barriers to treatment engagement, completion, and satisfaction than their White counterparts. As addiction treatment providers function within the context of multiple interlocking institutions embedded in racist policies, addiction treatment must interrogate its positioning on racism. This presentation articulates a need to implement an antiracist framework for addiction treatment. It aims to provide specific recommendations for institutions, clinicians, and scholars associated with the addiction treatment field to move beyond discomfort and into antiracist action.

About the Presenter: Dr. Sara Matsuzaka is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University, a Master of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Sciences. As a clinician, she has worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health treatment settings. As an academic, her research examines the relationships between multi-level manifestations of power and oppression, intersectionality, and social inequities among diverse LGBTQ+ populations.