Shape a message to market your program - and the field.
Take advantage of tools developed specifically for the addictions field
- SAMHSA’s organizational development e-learning offerings include marketing basics for non-profit organizations.
- The Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network offers trainings
- SAMHSA’s Partners for Recovery offers “Informing Marketing Strategies for Recruitment into the Addictions Treatment Workforce”
- SAMHSA publications sometimes include marketing materials, so it is worth checking.
Why substance use and addiction services are exciting
- Opportunities for Growth – the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field is will keep growing, particularly given changes in the healthcare industry and ongoing need, and the fact that addressing substance use and addiction (SU/A) can reduce future health and other societal costs for individuals
- Chances to Make a Difference Every Day – changing the life of one person affects their family, community, workplace
- New View of Addiction as a chronic condition which can be managed like diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure
- Rewarding Teamwork – SU/A specialists are working in multidisciplinary teams to address multiple facets of clients’ lives and needs
- Evidence-based Practices such as Motivational Interviewing and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, and the Framework for Prevention, are well-established and spreading.
- Expanding Understanding of the Brain and Physiological Aspects of Addiction– every day we understand more about the complex biological interactions, such as epigenetic changes which result from short and long term use, withdrawal, overdose, and also the ways in which the brain can repair itself once the unhealthy use has stopped
- Increasingly Effective Social Interventions – new understandings of social components which support and reinforce recovery are adding to our growing understanding of social factors which relate to first use, risky use and dependence
- Complex Challenges – new ways to understand how physiology and medications, individual psychology, and family and community violence, racism, and trauma interact to affect people, and how effective multi-factor responses can be
- Diverse co-workers and clients – increasing emphasis is being placed on bringing more and more diverse workers into the field, so that staff more often reflect the populations they serve; at the same time, an increasing emphasis is being placed on training in culturally responsive care so that all workers can respond to individuals' heritage, religion, language, community affiliations, ethnicity, ability, gender, sexuality, military service, and other distinctive components of a life
Get the word out by many means
Use social media, your website, networking with colleagues, educational institutions, and even paper posters at local community centers to get the word out. See tips in the Recruitment section.