social justice project

Social Justice Project:

You will complete a final project on your own. This project has two (2) parts. The Literature Review, and the
Social Justice Advocacy/Program Development. For this project you will choose an aspect of Social Justice as it
applies to substance use treatment or prevention. Social Justice means ensuring that all individuals in society
have equitable access to resources. There are many ways that issue of social justice affect our society, for
example: treatment availability to different groups, higher risk of use among different groups due to societal
structures/policies, prevention and education availability. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I
encourage you to think about how issues of social justice might be affecting people in our society.

Your final project will include the following.

1. Literature Review
a. Complete an academic literature review of treatment, prevention, use, risk, etc. as it relates to
your topic. For example if you were discussing the social justice issues related to alcohol use
among women, you would research the current literature on treatment, prevention, etc. as it
relates to women.
b. Discuss the Social Justice aspect, especially regarding systemic and policy structures that
contribute to the risk, treatment availability, stigma, etc. as it relates to your topic.
2. Social Justice Advocacy/Program Development
a. Engage in the community – find out how the specific issue is being addressed. What else
needs to be done?
b. Using evidence-based practices, develop a treatment, prevention, and/or education program
that will address the specific needs.

c. Your program needs to challenges the systemic and policy structures that are currently in
place that contribute to the concern.

You will need to contact agencies who provide substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment for your
population of interest – this will be a way to see what is out there and happening in our community. The only way to
get maximum points on this project will be to include information gathered from agency contact.

Included in paper will be at least fifteen (10) references from refereed journals, texts and/or a combination of
the two. Your references should not be older than 15 years (2003) unless you are citing either a “landmark”
article or book. The required paper must be a minimum of fifteen (12) pages in length (to include a title page
on a separate page) and IS NOT to exceed twenty (15) pages. This paper must be written in accordance with
the APA Style Manual (6th ed.; see manual for formatting of page headers, running head, pagination,
reference lists, etc.). Also, consult the APA-style website for quick tips:

Community Contact/Advocacy Ideas:
Students are often unsure where to begin with this portion of the project. The goal is to engage with the
community on any level. This list is by no means comprehensive:
1. Attend a 12-step program and include what you witness in terms of social justice concerns. Make
sure the meeting you plan to attend is an “open” meeting.
2. Research health care policies as they refer to substance use treatment/prevention/education
3. Research school programs
4. Investigate laws regarding substances and how they are enforced.
5. Contact government officials to advocate for change – if you do this include your communications as
an appendix in your final project.
6. Contact mental health providers/agencies who work with substance use and ask questions regarding
your social justice concern.

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