One of the most exciting aspects of being an academic is the ability to create positive social change through teaching. Of course, a large piece of this involves being a facilitator of student growth. The Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health Department at GSU promotes evidence-based practices and as such, is at the cutting edge of leading clinical approaches being taught in the field. I appreciate being an integral part of this innovative department and feel privileged to participate in the current growth of student learning. Our students bring passion and creativity to the classroom and apply their learning to real-world experiences.
The most rewarding component of my academic work involves the creation of new innovations in the field of sexual health and addictions treatment. The demographics of substance use has changed dramatically over the past 20 years; many health issues directly linked to substance abuse disparities include a sexual component, (e.g. STIs, HIV, sexual behaviors, reproductive health, sexual dysfunction, sexual orientation, domestic violence, rape, incest, sexual assault), yet no comprehensive approach currently exists to address sexual health in substance abuse treatment, particularly for women. The Institutes of Medicine (IOM) recommends that NIH implement research agendas designed to advance scientific knowledge and understanding of women’s health, including inequities in health care. One recommended area includes intervention research to develop and test the effectiveness of interventions that address health inequities and negative health outcomes experienced by women, minorities and by LGBT people.
Through my research and intervention studies, I have developed and am testing a sexual health in addiction recovery model (SHARM) that addresses these sexual health disparities in substance abuse. This theoretical framework can also be conceptualized and implemented in the public health realm and is blazing a new trail in the substance abuse field. Since its inception, I have published one of the first books on sexuality and addiction, presented at dozens of local, state and national venues and been sought out to speak to addictions professionals on sexual health topics. More than an innovation, this is my life’s work and career trajectory.
One of my most meaningful community service commitments is as a board member for the National Association of LBGT Addiction Professionals (NALGAP). During my tenure on the board, I have been asked to speak at regional and national substance abuse events and conferences, and worked with colleagues on curricula development and grant writing. Most importantly, I have been given the responsibility to be a voice for those in the LGBT community who are underserved and live with health disparities. As an academic, I feel we have a charge to create positive change in the world; I feel honored to be able to do this through my service with NALGAP.
James, R. (2014). Women’s Sexual Health and Substance Abuse Treatment. Paradigm Magazine.
James, R., Simons, L. (2011). Exploring Addiction Studies Students’ Attitudes toward Research in a Graduate Program. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 55(2).
James, R. (2011). Correlates of sexual self-esteem in a sample of substance-abusing women. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 43(3), 220-228.
James, R. (2007). Strategies for incorporating women-specific sexuality education into addiction treatment models. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 2(3), 3-25.
Manuscripts Under Review:
James, R., Simons, L. (2014). Development of a shortened sexual self-esteem measure.
James, R., Wadhwa, S. (2014). Women’s Substance Abuse as Sexual Shame Management: A Grounded Theory Approach.
James, R. (Under contract). Encyclopedia of Sex and Sexuality, Editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood
James, R. (2012). Sexuality and Addiction: Making Connections, Enhancing Recovery. Westport, CT:
James, R. (In press). Social Influences and Stress. In S. Wadhwa (Ed.), Stress in the Modern
World: Vol. 2. Sources of Stress. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers.
James, R. (In press). Sex and Stress. In S. Wadhwa (Ed.), Stress in the Modern World: Vol.
2. Sources of Stress. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers.
James, R. (In press). Writing as a Method for Stress Coping. In S. Wadhwa (Ed.), Stress in the
Modern World: Vol. 3. Stress Coping. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers.
James, R. (2006). Sexually transmitted infections. In A. Owens & M. Tepper (Eds.), Sexual
Health: Vol.4. State of the art treatment and research. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Link to CV:
Raven James CV
Click here for link to an interview with Dr. Raven James, Ph.D., on Coast to Coast Recovery Radio in Seattle, WA, on the occasion of the 40th Annual Conference of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), 2014.