Alcohol abuse caused more than 3 million deaths worldwide in 2016, according to the World Health Organization. Twenty-three and a half million Americans -- or approximately 1 in every 10 American over the age of 12, which is roughly equal to the population of Texas, are addicted to alcohol and drugs. However, only 11% of those with an addiction receive treatment. How can we make access to treatment more available and also broaden our definition of treatment? How do we define recovery? Two practitioners and one researcher share their work, especially around alcohol treatment and recovery, helping us to unpack this dense area of health and well-being.
The conversation includes:
Paul Gilbert conducts research to understand and address alcohol-related disparities. He is particularly interested in the ways that gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation shape drinking patterns, risk of alcohol use disorders, and use of treatment services. His current projects include an NIH-funded study to test an explanatory model of alcohol treatment disparities, a New Faculty Research Award from the College of Public Health to identify and describe the strategies people use to overcome alcohol problems when they don’t utilize treatment services, and an evaluation of Iowa’s social host liability law that’s supported by the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy. His next project will be a national study to understand how people define recovery and the strategies they use to change drinking behaviors, with comparisons between individuals who obtain treatment, those who use 12-step groups, and others who pursue independent change.
Marvin Hain has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and a Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa. He worked at the Iowa City Community Mental Health Center as Homeless Outreach Coordinator for one year and also at the Cedar Rapids Vet Center. As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), he has worked at the VA Medical Center in the Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program since 2002. He currently works at the Coralville VA Outpatient Clinic.
Steve Steine is a Research Associate at the College of Public Health. He has a Master's degree in substance abuse and counseling from the University of Iowa. He has worked in the addictions field for the past 22 years and is a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor.