American Sociological Association

Section on Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco

From the Chair

From the Chair, Winter 2017

Happy belated new year! The past four months have been an interesting time for scientists in light of the recent swearing in of President Trump, who has already issued numerous executive orders and confirmed several highly controversial cabinet nominees despite his short time in office. Many of these executive orders relate directly to the ASA’s 2017 timely conference theme of “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe.” In response to the Immigrant Ban, the ASA has participated in a written statement along with other scholarly associations highlighting the need for a free exchange of ideas to advance scientific progress, which will be disrupted by the ban. I hope you will take a moment to read the letter to President Trump if you have not already done so: https://mcmprodaaas.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/Multisociety%20Letter%20on%20Immigration%201-31-2017.pdf.

The next few years will likely be a time of legal and health care policy changes related to drugs of abuse. For example, there has been a push towards dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, which has played a significant role in providing mandated coverage for the treatment of substance use disorders. An ACA repeal could threaten the health and economic wellbeing of numerous Americans. If the ACA is repealed, there is currently no clear replacement plan. Members of the scientific community are concerned about scientific acceptance by the new administration and science-based policy initiatives, as well as funding streams for science. Thus, organizers have assembled a March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. The main March for Science will be held in DC, but local satellite March events are being promoted across the U.S. Please visit the March for Science website at https://www.marchforscience.com/ for additional details.

The ASA annual meeting will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and I hope everyone had the opportunity to submit a paper. This year, the annual meeting will be held in the beautifully quaint city of Montreal, Quebec Canada from August 12 to 15, 2017. You are in for a real treat if you have not been to Montreal! The sessions for the Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco (ADT) section will be held on the last day of the conference, August 15; therefore, we will have the roundtables as well as two exciting sessions. The ADT paper sessions are titled “The Opioid Epidemic” and “Substance Use: A Focus on Inequalities and Social Inclusion,” the latter of which aligns with the 2017 conference theme.

Finally, I’d like to thank Kathryn Nowotny, the new ADT Section Newsletter Editor, for the production of a wonderful newsletter and Andy Golub for his engaged service to the ADT section as outgoing Chair! I’m hopeful that our ADT members will rally by recruiting new members so we can more effectively champion for publicly communicated social science findings on alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. We need your help! If students who are members of ASA are interested in a free ADT membership, please have them contact me at carrie.oser@uky.edu. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you this summer.

Carrie Oser

2017 ADT Chair