158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 5663

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Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Time: 12:00 to 12:50 PM

Location: Todd Multipurpose Room, Kreitzberg Library

Name: Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker

Title: What is the impact of COVID-19 on individuals recovering from substance addiction?

Abstract: The COVID-19 virus has upended all areas of life across the globe. Activities that would normally be undertaken indoors (e.g., work, school) shifted to remote participation; or in-person, socially distanced, masked-up events. This includes attendance at 12-step recovery meetings (e.g., Narcotics Anonymous [NA], Alcoholics Anonymous [AA]). This study examines the effects of remote attendance at recovery meetings, and how perceptions of the pandemic, mask wearing, and vaccination requirements have impacted recovery. Preliminary findings from a study on the impact of COVID-19 social distancing requirements on substance abuse recovery will be presented. During the summer of 2022, the principal investigator began the process of recruiting and interviewing what will ultimately be a sample of 100 individuals recovering from substance addiction. The study’s goals are as follows: Aim 1 – Assess the impact of COVID-19 on individuals' substance abuse and recovery, including participants' feelings about remote meetings, experience of the pandemic as traumatic, and whether and how participants may have relapsed. Aim 2 – Assess how perceptions of the pandemic may have impacted individuals recovering from addiction, with special focus on attitudes about contracting COVID-19, experiences of having and receiving treatment for COVID-19 (if relevant), and attitudes about masking and vaccines.

Biography: Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker is an assistant professor in the Norwich University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Her work has been published in a variety of scholarly journals including the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice. She has also written for the scholarly magazine The Conversation and for The Washington Post. Dr. Hassett-Walker authored two books, most recently Guns on the Internet: Online Gun Communities, First Amendment Protections, and the Search for Common Ground on Gun Control (2018, Routledge/Taylor & Francis). In 2021 and 2022, Hassett-Walker received Vermont Biomedical Research Network research grants. In 2021, she received at $25,000 Pilot Award for her project, “Impact of Criminal Conviction and Incarceration on Long-Term Health & Substance Use.” In 2022, she received a $71,140 Project Award for her project “What is the Impact of COVID-19 on Substance Abusers’ Recovery?”


Charles A. Dana Category I Grants are supported by an endowed fund from the Dana Foundation for the purpose of attracting and retaining faculty of exceptional caliber. Grants are awarded annually to tenure-track faculty who demonstrate superior scholarship, teaching ability, and university service.

Grant recipients participate in the Charles A. Dana Category I Lecture Series during the year in which they receive their awards. Light refreshments will be served, please feel free to bring your own lunch.

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