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The Intersection of Human Trafficking and Substance Use Disorders

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Human trafficking (HT) and substance use disorders (SUD) are public health and safety crises that impact local, state, and tribal communities.

Though seemingly disconnected, these issues often overlap in the lives of impacted people and in the systems that respond to them. For example, victims and survivors of HT often have co-occurring SUD. Traffickers use illicit substances both as a means of recruiting potential new victims, and as a tool to control and maintain current victims. Given this overlap, government agencies and service providers who engage with people with SUD are highly likely to encounter HT victims and survivors. However, many providers either do not have the training to identify and respond to victims of trafficking, or do not feel qualified to treat these individuals. Myths and misconceptions about HT compound these barriers to providing high-quality care to this population.

Bureau of Justice Assistance Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program grantees are uniquely situated to identify and respond to the needs of victims and survivors of HT. This practitioner-focused webinar will introduce key topics such as definitions of HT, the connection between SUD and HT, victim identification, and will focus on equipping grantees with practical skills and tools to support victims.

Date Created: December 1, 2022