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Call for Abstracts

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 – Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Call for Abstracts:  Deadline May 18, 2018 – 5:00 pm EDT

AMERSA seeks abstract submissions of recent substance use-related research and education innovations.

Abstracts for the 2018 AMERSA National Conference may be submitted to one of three categories:

  1. Research – These abstracts report on original research and must include methods, data analyses, and results.
  2. Curricula, Quality Improvement, and Program – These abstracts report on evaluations of education curricula, quality improvement, and/or innovative program initiatives and must include methods, data analyses, and results.
  3. Clinical Case Presentations – These abstracts describe an illustrative case that reinforces specific learning objectives for substance use and education.

Abstract presentation formats include:

Oral presentations are clustered into concurrent theme-based 60-90-minute sessions with each abstract presentation ten minutes in duration followed by an additional 5 minute question/answer period. These will be scheduled on Thursday, November 8th and Saturday, November 10th.
Poster presentations are displayed during a 90-minute evening poster reception with the attendant author(s) available to discuss and present the poster. These will be scheduled Thursday evening.
Abstract awards are presented to the 2 best abstracts (1 in the Research category and 1 in the Curricula, Quality Improvement, and Program Innovations category) as well as a runner-up award in each of these 2 categories.

Note that some curriculum, quality improvement, or program innovations may best be presented as a workshop submission, not abstract, in order to capitalize on time for detailed discussion or skills development. See the CALL FOR SKILL-BASED WORKSHOPS section.

ONLY COMPLETE ABSTRACTS WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PRESENTATION. ABSTRACTS DESCRIBING PROJECTS WHICH ARE IN PROGRESS AND LACK DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. To be considered complete, abstracts must describe a completed research project, including descriptions of methods, results and conclusions; a completed program and curricula evaluation abstract, including evaluation methods, findings and conclusions; or a clinical case, with specific learning objectives that are generalizable and supported by the case.

Abstracts which meet these criteria and are accepted for presentation will be e-published in AMERSA’s peer-reviewed journal, Substance Abuse. Abstract authors are also encouraged to submit a manuscript of their work for consideration for publication in Substance Abuse.

Submission Instructions:

  1. Abstracts must be submitted online.
  2. PRESENTING AUTHOR(S) – Please list ONLY the author(s) who will actually be in attendance and presenting at the conference. (first name, last name, degree – Susan Smith, MD, MPH)
  3. ADDITIONAL AUTHORS – List all authors here, including Presenting Author(s) – (first name, last name, degree(s) – Mary Rockford, RN; Susan Smith, MD, MPH; John Jones, PhD, MSW)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS within the body should be kept to a minimum and must be defined upon first use in the abstract by placing the abbreviation in parenthesis after the represented full word or phrase. Proprietary drug names and logos may NOT be used on posters or during oral presentations. Non-proprietary (generic) drug names should be used.
  5. ‘PEOPLE FIRST’ language is required for the abstracts.  (e.g. person with alcohol use disorder instead of ‘alcoholic’) – Examples of appropriate terminology are provided in the editorial in Substance Abuse, cited below, and accessible at
  6. Broyles, L.M., Binswanger, I.A., Jenkins, J.A., Finnell, D.S., Faseru, B., Cavaiola, A., Pugatch, M. & Gordon, A.J. (2014). Confronting inadvertent stigma and pejorative language in addiction scholarship: A recognition and response. Substance Abuse,  35(3), 217­221.

  7. ABSTRACT LENGTH – The entire abstract, (EXCLUDING title, authors, presenting author’s institutional affiliation(s), city, state, and text), including any tables or figures should be a maximum of 350 words. It is your responsibility to verify compliance with the length requirement. Abstracts longer than the 350 words risk being disqualified from judging or publication in Substance Abuse and will be penalized during consideration for awards.

Abstract Structure

Research Presentation:  Research abstracts must include the following headings:

  • Title – the abstract title
  • Background – describes the research context
  • Objective – describes the research objective
  • Methods – describes research methodology used
  • Results – summarizes findings in sufficient detail to support the conclusions
  • Conclusions – states the conclusions drawn from results

Curricula, Quality Improvement, and Program Innovations: These abstracts must include the following headings:

  • Title – the abstract title
  • Background – describes the educational, quality improvement or programmatic context
  • Objective – describes the program, quality improvement, or curricular objective
  • Methods – describes the target population, program, curricular content, and evaluation method
  • Results – summarizes evaluation, including outcome data
  • Conclusions – states the conclusions drawn from results, including the applicability of the program/curriculum.

Clinical Case Presentation: These abstract must include the following headings:

  • Title – the abstract title
  • Background – describes the case context
  • Learning Objectives – states learning expectations from the case presentation
  • Case Presentation – summarizes the case
  • Discussion – summarizes salient facts/teaching points from review of the case and the relevant literature

Review Process:

The Abstract Review Committee is made up of volunteer AMERSA members and includes representation from many AMERSA professional disciplines, such as: nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. The Committee is blinded to authors and institutions. Each committee member will rank each abstract in the following four categories:

  1. Importance to fields of substance use and education
  2. Focus and clarity of presentation
  3. Quality of methods and
  4. Innovation

Acceptance for presentation will be determined based on Committee rankings and consideration of time and space for oral and poster presentation formats. Authors may indicate their own presentation format preference at the time of submission.

In order to encourage broad and timely dissemination of research results and innovative programs, abstracts presented elsewhere are acceptable for submission and presentation at the AMERSA Annual National Conference PROVIDED that:
1) a manuscript reporting the same or similar results has not been accepted for publication
2) the previous presentation occurred within the last 12 months of the AMERSA Conference abstract submission deadline, May 18, 2018.
3) the abstract was not previously presented at an AMERSA Conference.
All applicants will be notified of review decisions by July 1st. Please direct further questions to the Abstract Co-Chairs, Jessica Merlin at, or Soraya Azari


The Abstract Award Committee, consisting of the Abstract Chairs and two AMERSA Board Members, will select four of the highest rated abstracts to receive awards at the Best Abstracts Plenary on Saturday morning. To receive an award, the presenting author must present the abstract orally on Saturday morning. Presenting authors will receive complementary conference registration.

AMERSA strongly encourages abstract submissions for paper, posters, and workshops presentations by racial and ethnic minorities and women, as well as other underrepresented groups.