CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health

Submission Deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Section invites submission of abstracts for presentation at the 2019 Annual Meeting & Expo (November 2 - 6, 2019; Philadelphia, PA). The ATOD Section will emphasize several topical areas in its program (described below); however, all abstracts related to substance use are welcome.

The ATOD Section encourages abstracts that address the annual meeting theme: “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.,” under any of the submission categories.

ABSTRACTS SUBMISSION CATEGORIES, listed here in alphabetical order, include:

  • Alcohol
    Submissions under this category may address: heavy and hazardous drinking, risk or protective factors, drinking-related harms to others, alcohol use disorders and comorbidities, screening, prevention interventions, treatment services, alcohol policy, and contextual influences, among other topics.
  • Cannabis Use
    Submissions under this category may address: novel research and evidence-based practice that will extend our understanding of cannabis use. We encourage submissions from different perspectives including, but not limited, to regulatory models and approaches (e.g., medical vs. recreational use), public policy, criminal justice, surveillance, lessons from alcohol or tobacco control, impaired driving, workplace impact, and smoke-free air/secondhand exposure, among others.
  • Harm Reduction Strategies
    Submissions under this category may address: interventions and policies to manage or reduce the negative consequences of substance use, such as modifying the environment, providing educational or supportive services, and reducing (but not stopping) substance use, among others.
  • Innovative Substance Use Policy
    Submissions under this category may address: novel policy and systems approaches to address harmful substance use. Submission may include, but are not limited to, city, state, or national policy, innovative and promising policy approaches in specific communities, policy and system change campaigns that were unsuccessful but led to important public health policy lessons, and any other policy, system, or environmental change efforts that hold promise in addressing the many impacts of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.
  • Integrated Behavioral Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
    Submissions under this category may address: co-occurring mental health problems and how substance use diminishes the capacity of individuals and communities to thrive. In partnership with the Mental Health Section, we seek submissions for a collaborative session that bridges these aspects of behavioral health. Presentations may include, but are not limited to, basic research on dual diagnoses, prevention of substance use in the context of mental health treatment, program performance measures, workforce development, or integrated treatment services, among others.
  • Opioids
    Submissions under this category may address: all aspects of the current opioid epidemic, including the cascading effects that penetrate all societal systems. We seek submissions that address the complexity of the opioid epidemic, such as coordinated, comprehensive efforts to address overall health and social circumstances, preventing opioid misuse and overdose, surveillance and outcomes monitoring, treatment services, the role of the criminal justice system, professional development, and community capacity building, among others.
  • Outstanding Student Work (Award Candidates)
    The ATOD Section seeks to recognize promising work by students in any ATOD topical area. To be considered for an award, students must submit an abstract under the Student Award Candidate Showcase category. Accepted abstracts will be included in a special poster session highlighting student work. Award winners will be selected from poster session participants and announced at the ATOD Section reception.
  • Substance Use Treatment and Prevention
    Submissions under this category may address: efficacy of various treatment types (e.g., individual or group counseling, in-patient or out-patient rehabilitation, 12-step groups, medication assisted therapy, recovery coaches, peer support); costs, insurance and funding; barriers to treatment; and interventions to increase uptake and engagement in treatment, among others.
  • Tobacco
    Submissions under this category may address: tobacco products in all forms (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, hookah, smokeless tobacco and electronic delivery systems), patterns of use, tobacco control policies, product regulations, prevention, cessation, and other related topics. Submissions may focus on specific policy or intervention strategies, prevention or control initiatives as well as those directed toward specific population groups (e.g., K-12 students, college students, minorities, women).
  • Other Drugs
    Submissions under this category may address: all aspects of other drug use (i.e., distinct from cannabis use and the opioid epidemic) such as illicit drug use, prescription drug misuse, polysubstance use, safe disposal of prescription medications, overdose prevention, and harm reduction strategies, and emerging issues and research, among others.
  • Authors must submit abstracts electronically through the APHA abstract management web site: The web site provides complete instructions on the length and format of abstracts. Authors may also contact the Program Chair, Robert Carroll (, for clarification or assistance if needed.
  • Session proposals are not solicited in the call for abstracts; however, they will be considered.
    • Submit an abstract for each individual presentation following the steps on the submission form.
    • Submit an abstract for the overarching session and in the ‘Comments to Organizer’ text box located on the title step of the submission form, indicate the abstract ID numbers and presenter names of those abstracts that should be included with the proposal. Also indicate that each abstract will be blind reviewed and accepted on its own merit and that all abstracts must be accepted in order for the entire proposal to be accepted.
    • Please contact the ATOD Program Chair, Robert Carroll ( for specific instructions regarding session proposals.
  • Structured abstracts are preferred for submission to the ATOD Section, Consequently, abstracts that do not reflect the following two formats may be less favorably scored by abstract reviewers.
    • Original research submissions: the abstract should include the following sections: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.
    • Policy, descriptive, or other types of submissions: the abstract should include the following sections: Issue, Description, Lessons Learned, and Recommendations.
  • Abstracts are limited to 300 words or less
  • All abstracts must include at least one measurable learning outcome that uses one of the following measurable action verbs: explain, demonstrate, analyze, formulate, discuss, compare, differentiate, describe, name, assess, evaluate, identify, design, define, or list. Please note that understand, know, and learn are NOT measurable learning outcomes and should not be used.
    • EXAMPLE:Compare risk of substance use disorders by gender and race/ethnicity.
  • All abstracts must be free of trade and/or commercial product names in order to qualify for continuing education credit; however, speakers may mention trade and/or commercial product names during their presentations.
    • EXAMPLE:State “a major tobacco company” rather than naming the business or its products.
  • Presenting authors must provide a conflict of interest disclosure and a qualification statementthat specifically justifies their presentation of the material. A general statement of the author’s training or degrees earned is NOT sufficient. 
    • EXAMPLE:I am qualified because I have worked in this area for the past 12 years. I was a member of the team that conceptualized this project and have been actively involved in all aspects of its execution, including the evaluation of outcomes described in this presentation.
  • Authors may indicate their preference for “oral only,” “poster only,” or “no preference” at submission. Oral sessions are limited and highly competitive. We encourage authors to select “no preference” to maximize likelihood of acceptance.
  • APHA and the ATOD Section values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, veterinarians, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.  For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter must provide:
    • An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names.
    • At least one MEASURABLE outcome (DO NOT USE “To understand” or “To learn” as objectives, they are not measurable). Examples of Acceptable Measurable Action Words:  Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.
    • A signed Conflict of Interest (Disclosure) form with a relevant Qualification Statement. See an example of an acceptable Qualification Statement on the online Disclosure form.
    • In addition, authors must select at least one continuing education core area that their abstract addresses during the online submission process. A list of over 30 areas will be provided during the online submission, and authors may choose one to six areas.
    • Contact Mighty Fine at if you have any questions concerning continuing education credit. Please contact the ATOD Section program planner (Robert Carroll) for all other questions.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Robert Carroll, PhD(c), MN, RN, ACRN
Phone: 206-351-7525

Steven Kritz, MD
157-59 17 Avenue
Whitestone, NY 11357
Phone: 9179695502