Social Work and the War on Drugs: Opportunities for Leadership, with Sheila Vakharia #MacroSW chat for 3-7-2019

Chat transcript

For this week’s chat, we will be discussing the war on drugs, and the opportunities for reform and leadership possible in the social work profession. Dr. Sheila Vakharia will be the guest expert this week, with #MacroSW partner Stephen Cummings hosting.

This week’s #MacrosW Twitter chat will be this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. Click here to learn how to engage in the chat.

Sheila P. Vakharia is the Policy Manager of the Office of Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance. In that role, she helps DPA staff and others understand a range of drug policy issues while also responding to new studies with critiques and analysis. Additionally, she is responsible for cultivating relationships with researchers from a wide range of disciplines aligned with DPA’s policy interests and working to mobilize academics in service of DPA policy campaigns.

Dr. Sheila Vakharia

Dr. Vakharia’s research and teaching interests include harm reduction therapy, drug policy reform, drug user stigma, overdose and overdose prevention, and social work education. She is on the Board of HAMS Harm Reduction Network and is a member of the Harm Reduction Therapy Research Group. Dr. Vakharia earned her doctorate at Florida International University’s School of Social Work. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Binghamton University and a Post-Master’s Certificate in the Addictions from New York University.

Questions for this week’s #MacroSW chat may include:

  1. What is the War on Drugs? What has your SW program taught you about the War on Drugs?
  2. How has the War on Drugs impacted the communities that social workers serve?
  3. In what ways have social workers exacerbated the harms of the War on Drugs?
  4. Why are social workers uniquely positioned to advocate for drug policy reform?
  5. What are some drug policies that social workers should support?

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out:

Listen to this week’s podcast

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