Racism and Substance Addiction: A Message from our CEO, Creighton Drury

    As an organization committed to progress and equity, we condemn systemic prejudice, racism and violence in all its forms. We believe that recognizing the impact of white privilege is integral to building equitable addiction and public health policies for all. And we pledge to take action through our work.

    Here at Center on Addiction, our hearts are breaking as we, along with Americans across the country, grapple with racial inequality and how we will heal as a nation. The chilling murder of George Floyd, along with other events in recent weeks, has yet again cast light on the racism and injustices that continue to exist in our country.

    Our organization works to create parity in the way our nation addresses addiction. We stand against our country’s treatment of addiction as a criminal justice matter, which has a disproportionate and devastating impact on communities of color. We stand for policies to treat addiction as a public health issue, so that people with substance use disorders receive treatment, not jail sentences. Moving forward, we are committed to doing more to ensure that we are serving families and communities of color, listening to and lifting up voices of Black and brown people, taking part in introspection, and advocating for the structural changes that must take place.

    In light of these recent events, I’m participating with our Center on Addiction team, a community of people inspiringly committed to social justice, so that together we can shape how our organization’s work will promote a future of healing. I look forward, in the weeks ahead, to describing how we will more closely link our ongoing work to specific strategies that can help us 1) enhance diversity and inclusion recommendations for our own staffing and culture, and 2) implement wider program and policy initiatives that can positively help those touched by addiction in communities of color.

    Along with my colleagues at Center on Addiction, I am personally committed to ensuring we are trusted partners in working toward solutions, and I look forward to sharing updates on our efforts by September.

    This statement was edited for clarity on June 12, 2020.

    By Creighton Drury, CEO
    June 2020
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