Project Director: Heather Gray, PhD
Funder: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling Services via Health Resources in Action
Timeline: 2020 – 2023

The Division is collaborating with Health Resources in Action (HRiA) to develop and implement the Massachusetts Technical Assistance Center for Problem Gambling Treatment (M-TAC). M-TAC will offer broad-based and targeted capacity building, technical assistance, and training services to build the capacity of Massachusetts problem gambling treatment service providers to deliver effective treatment programs for those at risk for or disproportionately impacted by gambling disorders and other co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. M-TAC will be informed by research, evidence-based strategies, and a health equity framework to address the social determinants of health that lead to inequities among those affected by gambling disorders.

Sub-Project: Community Voices in Recovery
Principal Investigators: Heather Gray, PhD & Debi LaPlante, PhD
Timeline: 2021-2022

Many people with addiction experience stigma and discrimination from their healthcare providers. This can make people less likely to seek out the help that they need, leading to prolonged suffering and sometimes death. Fostering actively anti-discrimination approaches to treatment among the healthcare workforce is vital to reducing disparities in addiction treatment. Therefore, the Division on Addiction and HRiA, with funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and with our colleague Dr. Michael Stanton of California State University East Bay, will create a new continuing education resource for healthcare providers that centers minoritized voices and stories. Central to this continuing education course will be a collection of narrative accounts from those with lived experience of addiction and other stigmatized conditions or experiences (racial/ethnic minority group membership, prior incarceration, homelessness/housing instability, membership in the LGBTQ community). We will weave these first-person accounts together with more traditional addiction medicine coursework and interactive learning activities.

M-TAC’s first year of activities is summarized in Preparing Massachusetts treatment providers for gambling expansion: Initial observations from a statewide needs assessment and capacity building program, presented at the International Center for Responsible Gaming 2021 Virtual Conference Poster Session.