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”
- Sample marketing/advertising poster from SAMHSA
Why 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 addiction 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 – addictions 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, that 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 term use, long term abuse, withdrawal
- 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 abuse/dependence
- Fascinating Challenges – addressing physiology and medications, individual psychology, family and community dynamics provides a rewarding set of components to balance
- 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 individual's heritage, religious, language and other preferences, community affiliations, ethnicity, ability 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.