Division Focus: Division 50 (Addictions)

Mark S. Goldman, PhD, University of South Florida, President of Division 50
Psychologists working in the addictions field have historically had to find their professional niche by participating in organiza tions formed by lay persons or by professional groups outside of psychology. Division 50 came into being at the APA Council of Representatives meeting in February of 1993 in order to provide a home within organized psychology for professional psychologists working in the addictions field. The Division evolved from an interest group, called the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behavior, which had been active since the early 1980s. Division 50 is a true scientist/practitioner organization and invites the participation of all psychologists involved in the addictions field, from basic scientists to service providers. Our hope is to provide a forum for communication among all of the membership constituencies and to serve as a coordinating force for research activities, training, and practice.

Members of Division 50 come from basic and applied research settings, universities, clinics, and hospitals. The field of addictions is defined very broadly and includes alcohol abuse and alcoholism, smoking, other forms of psychoactive substance abuse, gambling disorders, eating disorders, some sexual disorders, and compulsive spending. Our members' work represents biological, psychological, and social bases of addictions. Due to Division history, current members come most heavily from the alcohol and substance abuse fields, but the Division has a strong interest in increasing its membership and activity in the other areas.

Division 50 members are the recipients of grants from a variety of National Institutes of Health; the National Science Foundation; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration; and from private foundations. The Division has developed relationships with all of the APA directorates (e.g., Science, Practice, Public Interest, and Education) and has been instrumental in the development of the Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders to be offered by the new College of Professional Psychology. The Education and Training Committee of Division 50 is currently coordinating efforts to provide continuing education for those interested in certification by the college.


The Division publishes Psychology of Addictive Behavior,an APA journal, which includes peer-reviewed original articles relating to the psychological aspects of addictive behaviors. Full-length research reports, literature reviews, essays, brief reports, comments, and innovative case studies are published four times a year. Susan J. Curry, PhD, Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative, 1730 Minor Ave., Suite 1600, Seattle, WA 98101, (206) 287-2900, is the current editor.

The Addictions Newsletter,edited by Bruce S. Liese, PhD, University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine, 3901 Rainbow Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66160-7370, (913) 588-1912, is published three times a year.

An e-mail listserver for members of Division 50 is coordinated by Vincent J. Adesso, PhD.


The awards program has been developed by Robert A. Zucker, PhD, Chair of the Awards Committee. The Division currently gives an award to the two best student papers (posters) at the APA Annual Convention. Students so honored are presented with a certificate, a citation to attach to the poster indicating its award status, and a $100 honorarium. A small number of awards are also presented at convention to members of the Division who have rendered significant service. Last year, Jalie Tucker, PhD, and Allen Lang, PhD, were so recognized.


The Division is seeking new members, particularly those individuals outside of the alcohol and substance abuse field. For information, contact the Membership Chair, Janice Williams, PhD, Department of Psychology, 418 Brackett Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-1511, (803) 656-3210. Members are welcome from both within and outside APA. We also encourage student affiliates who can choose one of two levels of reduced annual dues: Regular member dues of $33 are reduced to $20 if the student wishes to receive both the newsletter and division journal, or a student may affiliate with the Division and receive only the newsletter for $5 a year.

Current Board Members & Committee Chairs

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