The association’s new strategic plan—Leading the Way to Recovery—outlines an ambitious set of priorities
By Marvin Ventrell, JD
CEO of National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)
NAATP is pleased to release Leading the Way to Recovery, the association’s strategic plan for effective industry service and leadership through the year 2025. We do so with gratitude and a deep sense of responsibility to the field of addiction treatment. Our field is entering a new era, and our plan reflects an understanding that the future is uncertain, requiring us to be adaptable. At the same time, we know that we have an opportunity to influence and guide our country’s response to addiction. Our plan balances these conditions.
The strategic plan describes the association’s mission, vision, values, goals and objectives, together with measurable outcomes. It is the product of extensive internal and external research, data collection, study, reflection, discussion, debate and synthesis. It is our effort to describe the why and how of our work to ensure the success of our members while promoting best practices and access. In the end, we have a simple but aspirational vision for the future: recovery for all.
Any effective strategy considers the environmental context in which operations occur. For years, that context has been dominated by alarmingly high rates of substance use disorders (SUDs) beyond the system’s capacity to treat. Compared with other diseases, addiction is largely untreated, with as many as 90% of sufferers not receiving care.
Many factors contribute to this disparity, but three in particular stand as primary roadblocks:
- Stigma—negative societal attitudes about addiction, internalized shame and policies limiting care
- Science—a lack of a sufficient body of scientific evidence demonstrating treatment efficacy
- Access—a lack of consistent and equitable third-party payer coverage and compensation exacerbated by social determinants of access
The plan considers these concerns with an additional and historic reality: the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected everyone, and its traumatic ripple effect continues to impact all components of our lives, from physical and mental health to the workforce, to the national and world economies. In particular, the pandemic worsened the already-present mental health and addiction crisis, increasing the percentage of individuals with SUD and the acuity of illness.
As we launch this next phase of operations, we recognize that our work has never been more vital, and we do so having built a strong foundation. Despite the pandemic, NAATP thrived in recent years in terms of its value proposition as measured through program delivery, influence, member enrollment and fiscal health. Leading the Way to Recovery builds on the success of NAATP’s history and in particular the accomplishments of the association’s two most recent plans, the defining hallmarks of which are:
- The establishment of a collective professional society of addiction treatments providers grounded in a common value system of transparency, ethics, professionalism and accountability
- The promotion of high-quality service through measurable operational core competencies
- The launch of an industrywide inventory of diversity, equity and inclusivity, together with a model of growth
- The creation of a national outcomes and measures research foundation dedicated to scientific data collection, analysis and education
The mission of the association as defined by this plan is to provide leadership, advocacy, training and member support services to ensure the equitable availability and highest quality of addiction treatment.
Top photo: Josh Hild