NAATP aims for “recovery for all”

The association’s new strategic plan—Paving the way to recovery—sets out an ambitious set of priorities

By Marvin Ventrell, J.D.
CEO of the National Association of Drug Treatment Providers (NAATP)

NAATP is pleased to publish Paving the way to recovery, the association’s strategic plan for effective industry service and leadership through 2025. We do this with gratitude and a deep sense of responsibility in 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 we have the opportunity to influence and guide our nation’s response to drug addiction. Our plan balances these conditions.

marvin ventrel

The strategic plan describes the mission, vision, values, goals and objectives of the association, as well as measurable results. 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. Ultimately, we have a simple yet ambitious vision for the future: recovery for all.

Any effective strategy takes into account the environmental context in which operations take place. For years, this context has been dominated by alarming rates of substance use disorders (SUDs) exceeding the processing capacity of the system. Compared to other illnesses, drug addiction goes largely untreated, with up to 90% of sufferers not receiving treatment.

Many factors contribute to this disparity, but three in particular are the main obstacles:

  1. Stigma—negative societal attitudes toward addiction, internalized shame, and policies limiting care
  2. Science – lack of a sufficient body of scientific evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the treatment
  3. Access – a lack of coverage and consistent and fair compensation of third-party payers exacerbated by the social determinants of access

The plan considers these concerns with an additional, historic reality: the global COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected everyone, and its traumatic ripple effect continues to impact every component of our lives, from physical and mental health to the workforce, to national economies and world. In particular, the pandemic has compounded the already present mental health and addictions crisis, increasing the percentage of people with SUD and the acuity of the disease.

As we launch this next phase of operations, we recognize that our work has never been more vital, and we are doing so having built a solid foundation. Despite the pandemic, the NAATP has thrived in recent years in terms of value proposition, measured by program delivery, influence, membership enrollment and financial health. Paving 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 features of which are:

  1. The establishment of a professional collective society of addiction treatment providers based on a system of common values ​​of transparency, ethics, professionalism and responsibility
  2. Promoting high quality service through measurable operational core competencies
  3. Launching an industry-wide diversity, equity and inclusiveness inventory and model for growth
  4. The creation of a National Outcomes and Measurements Research Foundation dedicated to the collection, analysis and education of scientific data

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 drug treatment.

Top photo: Josh Hild

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