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THE ROAD FROM ADDICTION RECOVERY TO PRODUCTIVITY: ENDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE WITH ALCOHOL AND DRUG PROBLEMS

Authors


  • Roberta Garson Leis, M.P.A., M.Ed., is the program director for Join Together, based at Boston University School of Public Health. In this role, she has developed national alliances with national programs, linking them to local communities, and recently directed the National Policy Panels and Reports on “Ending Discrimination of People with Alcohol and Drug Problems” and “Blueprint for the States” on state policies to improve prevention and treatment. She is currently directing state advocacy initiatives in many states throughout the country. She managed the outreach and mobilization effort in the United States with two other partner organizations around the HBO ADDICTION series. She was also on the senior staff of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Fighting Back National Program Office, based at Join Together. She was instrumental in the establishment of the first Boston Drug Court, the first drug court in New England, and in the national drug court movement. She has served on many federal, regional, and state advisory boards including the board of the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals. She was also a mentor for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Development of Substance Abuse Leadership Program. Prior to coming to Join Together, she was the first executive director of the Massachusetts Governor's Alliance Against Drugs. She is a founder and board member of Wayside Youth and Family Support Network, an organization serving at-risk adolescents and their families in Massachusetts. In addition, she is a former local president of the League of Women Voters and a former teacher in Newton, MA. She has an M.P.A. from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, an M.Ed. from Tufts University, and a B.A. from Vassar College.

  • David L. Rosenbloom, Ph.D., is a professor of public health at Boston University where he directs Join Together, a program that helps communities throughout the country prevent and reduce alcohol and drug problems, and the Youth Alcohol Prevention Center. He is the principal investigator for the NIH/NIAAA Center for the Prevention of Alcohol Problems in Young People. He teaches health care management and strategy as adjunct lecturer at Brandeis University. He also served as the chair of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Board of Trustees. From 1999 to 2003 he was a member of the National Institute on Drug Abuse National Advisory Council. From 1975 to 1983, he was Commissioner of Health and Hospitals for the City of Boston. In that capacity he served as the city's public health officer and CEO of the city's public delivery system, including Boston City Hospital, twenty-two neighborhood health centers, and the emergency medical system. From 1984 to 1988 he was vice president, and then president, of the Health Data Institute, a private company that pioneered the clinical analysis of medical claims data and developed managed care tools and techniques used throughout the country today. In 1989, he co-founded Community Medical Alliance, an HMO for people with catastrophic illness. He was a co-founder and Chairman of QuitNet.com, the nation's largest smoking cessation service from 2000 to 2005. He grew up in Albany, New York. He received a B.A. from Colgate University in 1965 and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970. He is the author of numerous books and articles on political campaigns and finance, health care, and substance use problems.

s: roberta@jointogether.org; david@jointogether.org

Abstract

People with alcohol or other drug problems face discriminatory public and private policies that restrict their access to appropriate health care, employment, and public benefits, discouraging them from seeking treatment, robbing them of hope for recovery, and costing society millions of dollars. Join Together, a project of Boston University School of Public Health, formed a national policy panel in the spring of 2002 to address this discrimination. The panelists developed the two principles and ten recommendations contained in this report, relying principally upon the written and oral testimony they received. Join Together was assisted in this effort by the American Bar Association's (ABA) Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, which facilitated the panel's initial hearing at the ABA's Annual Meeting in August 2002.

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