ABAI 2021 Conference: Don’t Miss out on the Addiction Focused Events!

It is that time of year again, when behavior analysts and behavioral enthusiasts from around the world come together to celebrate and learn about new and emerging research in behavioral analysis. The 47th Annual ABAI Convention will take place virtually again this year due to the pandemic, and is set for Friday May 28th through Monday May 31st. As part of my first blog post for The Rational Addict, I will be showcasing the must-see events at this years conference for anyone interested in addiction from a behavioral perspective.

First up, is the SABA Awards and Opening event scheduled for Friday May 28th from 5:00-6:30pm Eastern Standard Time. While all awardee’s are amazing behavior analysts and speakers in their own right, I am especially excited to hear Dr. Carl Hart talk about his work and experience studying psychoactive substances. His new book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups, is a fascinating read about drug use and challenges everyday biases around what drug users “look like” and how public policies should be reconsidered given the failed attempt at the War on Drugs (he even talks about his own psychedelic drug use). Here is to hoping he speaks about some of the topics within this book at his talk!

On Sunday, there are a handful of interesting addiction related symposiums to choose from:

  • Sunday May 30th, 9-10:50am Eastern Standard Time: Applications of Technology to Enhance Substance Abuse Treatment. This symposium will highlight four studies that explore new technological advancements to assist substance abuse treatment research and clinical practice. The symposium will highlight computer-based opioid education and medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder; remote financial-incentive interventions for vaping (electronic cigarettes); and a digital episodic future thinking intervention for cannabis use.
  • Sunday May 30th, 9-9:50am Eastern Standard Time: Using Contingency Management and Behavioral Economics to Study Health-Related Behavior. This invited paper session will showcase Dr. Wendy Donlin Washington, an Associate Professor at University of North Carolina Wilmington. She will discuss her research on behavioral economics and contingency management for health related behaviors.
  • Sunday May 30th, 10-11:50am Eastern Standard Time: Recent Research on Renewal and Resurgence: Bridging the Gap between Basic and Applied Research. This symposium will cover a wide range of how reemergence of extinguished behavior occurs across basic and applied contexts. For those interested in addiction related presentations, be sure to check out the fourth talk in the symposium by Dr. Timothy Shahan’s research team at Utah State University, to be presented by Gabrielle Marie-Anne Sutton on Resurgence of Punishment-Suppressed Alcohol Seeking in Rats.

For those interested in behavioral or process addictions including video gaming or internet/screen time, be sure to check out the following poster sessions:

  • Poster Session # 93 (Saturday May 29, 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time): Video Game Dependence: Relation Between Genre and Impulsive Behavior, to be presented by Fabio Leyser Goncalves from Universidade Estadual Paulista.
  • Poster Session #252 (Sunday May 30, 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time): Relationship Between Delay Discounting and Screen Time, to be presented by Taylor Raaymakers from University of South Florida

Or, checkout these other interesting poster sessions:

  • Poster Session #89 (Saturday May 29, 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time): Computer Literacy in College Students and Unemployed Adults with Heroin Addiction, to be presented by Molly Primero Demayo from California State University Stanislaus.
  • Poster Session #251 (Sunday May 30, 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time): Economic Demand and Cross-Price Elasticity of Cocaine and Social Reinforcement, to be presented by Mark A. Smith from Davidson College.
  • Poster Session #258 (Sunday May 30, 1-3pm Eastern Standard Time): Can’t We All Just Get Along: Operationally Defining Behaviors in Substance Addiction to be presented by Kelsey Kinney from Behavior By Design, LLC.

For anyone interested in joining the Special Interest Group on Addiction, be sure to attend the business meeting (#166) set for Saturday May 29th from 7-7:50pm Eastern Standard Time.

Finally, to end the conference, be sure to check out Dr. Anthony Defulio’s invited paper session on Disseminating Behavioral Intervention for Drug Abuse Across the USA: A Behavior Analysis Story on Monday May 31st from 4-4:50pm Eastern Standard Time. Dr. Defulio’s cutting edge work has focused on behavioral interventions for drug abstinence and medication adherence, and has been funded by National Institute of Health. His talk will focus on not just the history of behavior analysis applied to drug abuse and drug abstinence, but will highlight barriers to implementation and how to consider technology in the dissemination of intervention strategies. If you want to get a chance to discuss some of Dr. Defulio’s work, be sure to check out the Meet and Greet session right before his talk, from 1-2pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday May 31.

Whichever symposiums you end up attending, I hope you leave feeling inspired and energized to go out and continue the work!

Here is to having a great 2021 ABAI Conference!