Spirituality and justice in addiction treatment, with Dr. Ayana Jordan

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Dr. Ayana Jordan is a renowned expert in addiction and other mental health conditions, newly recruited to NYU to an endowed professorship for her fascinating research. For this episode of Flourishing After Addiction, I was excited to talk to her about new frontiers in her research, such as incorporating spirituality and health equity in addiction medicine. What I was not expecting was for her to share so openly and courageously about the way substance use problems have impacted her own family. It was a powerful conversation with a powerful voice in the field. It never fails to astonish me: the scope and reach of addiction into so many people's lives. Reading the stats is one thing, but to experience how it touches so many people, again and again, is truly striking.
Ayana talks about her longstanding interest in integrating spirituality in addiction treatment, while simultaneously respecting people’s values and beliefs, and doing so in a responsible and effective way. We discuss her work on harm reduction, racial justice, and health equity. She helps us think through how to work effectively with the social and structural determinants of health. And, we tackle the controversial question: what's the point of spirituality in the medical treatment of addiction in the first place?
Ayana Jordan, MD PhD, is a renowned expert in addiction and other mental health conditions in underserved populations. She is the newly appointed Barbara Wilson Endowed Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU, also with appointments and leadership positions in their department of Population Health, as well as NYU Langone’s Institute for Excellence in Health Equity. The fundamental message of equity and inclusion has informed her research, clinical work, and leadership duties at NYU and beyond. She earned her MD PhD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and while training in the South Bronx, Dr. Jordan became passionate about serving racial and ethnic minoritized populations. She did her general adult psychiatry residency at Yale University, where she also served as chief resident. She has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles in numerous top-tier medical publications, serves on multiple editorial boards, and she is a thought leader who has given a wide range of keynote presentation both nationally and internationally. You can find her on her faculty page, Twitter, and Instagram.
In this episode:
- Information on naloxone (Narcan), including naloxone’s availability in all 50 states.
- Lancet Psychiatry profile of her
- for more on her research, see many more of her publications linked on her NYU page
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