Adjusting to Parity: NIATx Accelerating Reform Initiative December 2009–July 2010
What is the Accelerating Reform Initiative?
In a pilot project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the NIATx Accelerating Reform Initiative (ARI), 23 organizations in 12 states are working to accelerate their reform efforts.
What's the Purpose of Initiative?
The purpose of ARI is to give behavioral health care organizations the tools and peer supports needed to respond to the sweeping changes that parity, health care integration and decreased grant funding may bring. These include:
Guide to Preventing and Responding to School Violence from the Bureau of Justice Assistance
The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), in coordination with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, has published a new edition of its “Guide for Preventing and Responding to School Violence.”
Sneak Peeks at ONDCP's New Federal Drug Control Strategy
The Obama Administration's new drug control strategy will be officially unveiled in February. Until then, here's two peeks at what lies ahead on the demand reduction side of the policy:
1. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has begun publishing a newsletter, called the ONDCP Update. (In addition to our link here, you can also find it on the ONDCP Web site at in "What’s New" and in "Publications".) You can find two articles on the strategy there -- one is a brief overview, and the other signals that there will be a new emphasis on recovery as well as prevention, intervention, and treatment.
2. NIATx's ACTION Campaign II sponsored a fantastic webinar with Thomas McLellan, the deputy director of the ONDCP. His official topic was the impact of health care reform on addiction treatment, but he also touched on parity regulations and of course the new national drug control strategy.
I recommend that anyone even peripherally interested in addiction treatment follow the link and check it out -- but especially if you're responsible for running a treatment agency or managing a treatment system. (I had some trouble getting the PowerPoint slides to work properly, but there aren't too many, and Mr. McLellan is quite thorough in his audio presentation.)
Roundup: "Culture of Violence" in NY's juvenile prisons; Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Juvenile Justice System; Parity Legislation May Change Business of Addiction Treatment; and More
Juvenile Justice Reform News
- The New York Times published a strong editorial arguing for immediate and decisive action on the part of the federal government to address shockingly high rates of sexual abuse in juvenile detention centers and prisons around the country. (Last week, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) published the first-ever report of its kind on the sexual victimization of teens behind bars.)
- James Bell of the W. Haywood Burns Institute seized on the BJA's report to deliver another eloquent, blistering column on the state of the juvenile justice system this week: "Captured by the Clueless." If you're interested in Bell's work on disproportionate minority contact, you should also check out his interview with John Kelly of Youth Today.
- Gotham Gazette published an excellent look at New York state's struggle to get rid of the "culture of violence" in its juvenile justice system. (Hat tip to @policy4results.) Staff-vs.-youth violence has been documented in reports by the U.S. Department of Justice, a task force set up by the governor of New York, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Human Rights Watch. The Gotham Gazette piece does a good job of explaining the frustrations of reformers as well as the counter-arguments of union representatives. But what resonated most strongly with me was this quote:
The 17-year-old who spent time in the state's facilities said the workers' attitudes varied. "Some staff was like, 'Let them be kids'; other staff was like, 'They did a crime.' Others were like, 'I just don't care 'cause I still get paid.' There was some staff that really helped me and there were others that didn't care," she recalled.
Improving Your Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment System: a Toolkit
Do you work for a county or state agency that's trying to improve its adolescent (or adult) substance abuse or mental health treatment systems?
Check out this excellent system-level toolkit from NIATx.
How to Improve Your Treatment Agency
Work for a treatment agency? There's also a toolkit for treatment providers on how to make your agency more efficient, effective, and bring in more money.
- Improving Adolescent Treatment - Tools & Resources from NIATx
- 8 Great Resources for Improving Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment
(Photo by Wonderlane.)
CSAT Travel Awards for 2010 College on Problems of Drug Dependence Conference
For Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Providers: 5 T.A. "Packages" from CSAT
Want to improve the quality, effectiveness, or sustainability of your adolescent substance abuse treatment program? T.A. "packages" from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) can help. (They apply to adult treatment programs, as well.) Two of the packages have been out for a while, but three new ones have just come out.
Not Just for Grantees
Now, when I first saw the announcement about these packages, I made a few assumptions that turned out to be incorrect:
- You don't have to be a grantee to get the benefit of these packages.
- "Package" -- which I took to mean a combination of services and materials -- actually means "pamphlet" or "mini-guide". These are short PDF documents you can download and scan very quickly (though don't get me wrong: they're packed with info).
- You don't have to collect Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) data to use them, though it helps.
The Five Handy "Packages"
In short, every substance abuse provider would do well to review these and choose one to work through. Here's the three new ones:
Positive Youth Development: Pongo Teen Writing Website
Their struggles with family, friends, drugs, alcohol as they mature and try to figure out who they want to be can make for moving fiction, poetry, and essays. Even if they've never written before.
Here's a chance to connect teens in your jurisdiction with online writing activities that make it easy to be creative, explore painful topics, and share their work with others: check out the Pongo Teen Writing website.
Children Exposed to Violence: OJJDP Web Resources
Concerned about youth who are victims of violence, or who've witnessed it?
Practitioners, researchers, and policymakers can get news and resources from the Safe Start Center, run by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
Places to start:
- “Issue Brief #1: Understanding Children’s Exposure to Violence”
- “Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children’s Exposure to Violence”
- Victimization and Juvenile Offending, from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which also put out Helping Traumatized Children: Tips for Judges
- Judges might also be interested in the Judicial Checklist for Children and Youth Exposed to Violence from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ)
Roundup: OJJDP Needs Assessment Survey; LGBT Youth in Juvenile Court; CRAFFT Predicts Teens' High-Risk Sexual Behavior
Your Juvenile Justice System: Share Local Needs with OJJDP
- What training and technical assistance does your system need? The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) wants to know. Complete their online needs assessment for your juvenile justice system, and help them improve their understanding of local needs to build capacity and sustainability among juvenile justice organizations.
Juvenile Justice System and Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment News
- Laurence Steinberg, co-author of Rethinking Juvenile Justice, was just awarded $1 million for his work on adolescent developmental psychology -- work that has made him an expert on juvenile justice. Steinberg is the first winner of the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize, believed to be one of the largest prizes given in the social sciences.