Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Jeong Han Kim

Second Advisor

Dr. Bruce Reed

Third Advisor

Dr. Saara Grizzell


This quantitative study focuses on substance use professionals and students who are seeking employment in substance use treatment or support services. The substance use treatment profession started as a group of people who were supporting each other in recovery through abstinence based practices and has developed in to a recognized profession with multiple methods of treatment approaches. Abstinence based treatment has been and continues to be the primary method of treatment preferred in the United States. Since the 1980, harm reduction increased in application in the profession, but remains a less popular method of treatment. This study examines substance use professional and students (N = 141) interested in employment in substance use treatment or support attitudes in harm reduction and whether their beliefs towards these treatment approaches were associated with their personal characteristics. Goddard’s (2003) Harm Reduction Acceptability Scale and a demographic survey form were utilized to measure the variables. Overall, results from One-Way Analysis of Variance showed that current and aspiring substance use professionals have favorable attitudes towards harm reduction. In addition, results showed there was a difference in attitudes towards harm reduction based on age, ethnicity/race, level of education, U.S. regions, licenses/certifications, and employment settings.


Copyright 2022 Cameron Lacy Ortega. All Rights Reserved.