Blog: SAMHSA

Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

There are so many noteworthy aspects to the “first ever” Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. For example, it is grounded in the best evidence available to date and it examines issues of neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, and health care systems. It also has educational and promotional materials such as fact sheets and social media ideas and resources. If you have not reviewed it – now is the time. It’s my understanding that additional fact sheets are forthcoming including one on criminal/juvenile justice populations. As such, keep visiting the website for updates and let’s keep talking about this report and its importance to individuals, families, and communities impacted by substance misuse and/or disorders.

New SAMHSA Grants to Expand Treatment Drug Courts

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2014 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment in Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts and Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts. SAMHSA anticipates $4,550,000 in total funding.
The purpose of this program is to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in existing adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts (which are the tribal version of adult drug courts) and in Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts (tribal or non-tribal) which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment (including recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination) to defendants/offenders.
Grantees will be expected to provide a coordinated, multi-system approach designed to combine the sanctioning power of treatment drug courts with effective treatment services to break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and/or drug use, and incarceration or other penalties.
KEY INFO

  • Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 14
  • Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $325,000 per year
  • Length of Project: Up to 3 years
  • Application Due Date: Monday, March 17, 2014

More information is available at SAMHSA.gov >>

Juvenile Treatment Drug Court Grant: Apply by March 17

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications to expand and/or enhance substance abuse treatment services in existing adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts (which are the tribal version of adult drug courts) and in Juvenile Treatment Drug Courts (tribal or non-tribal) which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment, including the following, to defendants/offenders:

  • Recovery support services 
  • Screening
  • Assessment
  • Case management
  • Program coordination

Online Business Training for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Providers

Did you know that 30 million previously uninsured people are now eligible for coverage, including mental health and addiction treatment?
If you provide mental health and substance abuse services, you need strong business operations to meet this challenge and position your organization for growth. 
There is good news–and free training–for you! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is funding online learning called BHBusiness: Mastering Essential Business Operations.
Apply by December 16, 2013, for online courses grow your organization, improve efficiency, and deliver value, focused on five core competencies:

  • Strategic business planning
  • Third-party billing and compliance
  • Eligibility and enrollment
  • Third-party contract negotiation
  • Meaningful use of healthcare technology

The Application deadline is December 16, 2013. Note: There are a limited number of slots remaining; apply as soon as possible to ensure acceptance into the program.

Teens' Photovoices Celebrate Recovery Month


It's not too late to add your voice in support of National Recovery Month 2013 and promote the benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery for mental and substance use disorders.
Forsyth County Reclaiming Futures is leading the way this September in Winston-Salem, N.C. with:

I encourage you to visit Facebook to see the powerful images of teens' choices, their motivations for recovery and hopes for the future.

National Recovery Month Begins Next Week

For the 24th year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sponsoring National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). This long-standing observance spreads the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. The observance also celebrates people in recovery and those who work in the behavioral health field.
This year’s Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness,” emphasizes that there are many unique ways people can prevent behavioral health issues, seek treatment, and sustain recovery. The theme also highlights the importance of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, as well as the value of family, friends, and community members throughout the recovery journey.
SAMHSA created the toolkit to increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides individuals and organizations with the resources they need to help people with mental and/or substance use disorders. It also assists in planning Recovery Month events and offers resources to distribute in communities and during local events.

National Recovery Month: Less Than Two Weeks Away

For the 24th year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sponsoring National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). This long-standing observance spreads the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. The observance also celebrates people in recovery and those who work in the behavioral health field.
This year’s Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness,” emphasizes that there are many unique ways people can prevent behavioral health issues, seek treatment, and sustain recovery. The theme also highlights the importance of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, as well as the value of family, friends, and community members throughout the recovery journey.
SAMHSA created the toolkit to increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides individuals and organizations with the resources they need to help people with mental and/or substance use disorders. It also assists in planning Recovery Month events and offers resources to distribute in communities and during local events.

National Recovery Month: Just Weeks Away

For the 24th year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sponsoring National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). This long-standing observance spreads the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. The observance also celebrates people in recovery and those who work in the behavioral health field.
This year’s Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness,” emphasizes that there are many unique ways people can prevent behavioral health issues, seek treatment, and sustain recovery. The theme also highlights the importance of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, as well as the value of family, friends, and community members throughout the recovery journey.
SAMHSA created the toolkit to increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides individuals and organizations with the resources they need to help people with mental and/or substance use disorders. It also assists in planning Recovery Month events and offers resources to distribute in communities and during local events.

Parenting is Prevention

A youth’s perception of risks associated with substance use is an important determinant of whether he or she engages in substance use.
A recent SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health surfaced several important perceptions among adolescents aged 12 to 17. Binge drinking can be categorized as having five or more alcoholic drinks once or twice a week. The good news is that the percentage of adolescents who perceived great risk from binge alcohol use has increased from 38.2 percent in 2002 to 40.7 percent in 2011; during the same period, the actual rate of binge alcohol use among adolescents decreased from 10.7 to 7.4 percent.
The bad news: between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of adolescents who perceived great risk from smoking marijuana once or twice a week decreased from 54.6 to 44.8 percent, and the rate of past month marijuana use among adolescents increased from 6.7 to 7.9 percent.
Parents and other caring adults who provide adolescents with credible, accurate, and age-appropriate information about harm associated with substance use are an important component of prevention programming. The importance of strong, effective parenting throughout the adolescence, teenage, and young adult years has long been known to be central to helping prevent adolescents from engaging in substance use. However, it is less known but equally true that parental influence can continue to help affect their children’s behavioral environment when they become young adults. Many parents feel that when a child turns 18 that their work is done—that the young person has to make his or her own choices. We often see this with parents whose children go off to college. Yet, many of these students are making poor decisions.

Q&A with Pamela Hyde: Mental Health and Public Health Law

The keynote address at last week’s 2013 Public Health Law Research (PHLR) annual meeting was from Pamela Hyde, JD, administrator of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
“People are just beginning to wake up to the knowledge that behavioral health [issues are] so common and that half of all Americans have a mental health issue at sometime in their lives,” Hyde told meeting attendees. Depression, according to the World Health Organization, is the most common medical disorder worldwide. And among the eight million people in the past year who had a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder, only 6.9 percent received treatment.
“The country has to spend as much time helping children develop their emotional skills as they do their soccer skills,” said Hyde.
Just prior to the PHLR meeting, NewPublicHealth spoke with Administrator Hyde about public health law research and some new initiatives aimed at helping address behavioral health in the United States.
NewPublicHealth: What research is critically needed on mental health issues to help improve awareness and treatment?

Applications now Available for the Women's Addiction Services Leadership Institute

The Women's Addiction Services Leadership Institute (WASLI) is now accepting applications for its leadership program. Supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), WASLI aims to strengthen the capacity to serve women with substance use and co-occurring disorders.
From the announcement:

There is an urgent need to accelerate leadership in women's services to address current challenges such as a changing and aging workforce, changing finance streams, increased management requirements, new service settings and collaborations and integrated service models. To respond to this need SAMHSA/CSAT has created the Women's Addiction Services Leadership Institute. WASLI has roots in the Partners for Recovery-Addiction Technology Transfer Center Leadership Institute; it has been customized to specifically meet the needs of professionals working in women's services.

WASLI strengthens the capacity of providers to meet the treatment and recovery needs of women with substance use and co-occuring disorders by: 

  • Developing and improving leadership skills of participants
  • Creating a network of the next generation of leaders in women's services
  • Establishing a model of women's leadership training

Applications are due February 5, 2013.

Topics: No bio box, SAMHSA

Calling All Researchers: SAMHSA Opens Data for Research

Calling all researchers! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is opening up access to its Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) and National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) confidential data for research purposes. 
From the call for applications:

Through receipt, review and approval of applications, researchers may access confidential DAWN and NSDUH data through CBHSQ's new Data Portal system. The Data Portal is a secure virtual computing environment. It is designed to provide authorized researchers access to confidential data for approved research projects. The goal of the Data Portal is to maximize the use of data collected by CBHSQ for important research and policy analyses, while conforming to Federal law and protecting identifiable data from disclosure.
Access to the Data Portal is provided through approved computer location(s) and IP address(es) at the researcher's organization. Users are required to maintain the confidentiality of the data used in the Data Portal. Information cannot be transferred into or out of the secure Data Portal by researchers until a disclosure review is conducted by CBHSQ. CBHSQ will conduct site inspections of each approved applicant.

Topics: No bio box, SAMHSA

Ending the Tobacco Epidemic

A recent SAMHSA report indicates that adolescent cigarette use nationwide declined significantly over the past decade. However, smoking remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death, responsible for an estimated 443,000 American deaths each year, with 50,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. One in eleven adolescents in the U.S. report smoking in the past month. In addition, tobacco use takes an enormous toll among people with mental and substance use disorders:

  • Almost half of tobacco deaths are people with mental and substance use disorders
  • Forty-four percent of all cigarettes sold in the U.S. are smoked by people with mental and substance use disorders
  • Tobacco dependence is the most prevalent drug abuse disorder among adults with mental illness
  • Smoking tobacco causes more deaths among clients in substance abuse treatment than the alcohol or drug use that brings them to treatment

Beginning in 2009, a working group of public health experts across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convened to develop a Department-wide strategic action plan for tobacco control to accelerate progress in ending the tobacco epidemic. As a result, in 2010, HHS unveiled a new comprehensive tobacco control strategy: Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Introducing the “You Matter” Campaign for Young Adults in Emotional Distress or Suicidal Crisis

SAMHSA is proud to announce a new online campaign to promote the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, You Matter. The campaign focuses on the positive message that the lives of young adults matter, even as they face trying times or difficult problems.
Through a blog and social media, You Matter aims to build awareness and trust in the Lifeline among young adults by providing a safe, online space where they can connect with the Lifeline. The campaign showcases hopeful peer-to-peer messages and also supports friends of young adults who are in distress or crisis, providing them with resources to help. Ultimately, You Matter’s goal is to persuade young adults in emotional distress or suicidal crisis to contact the Lifeline for help by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chatting online.
You Matter includes a website with important information on Lifeline services, how to get help, and warning signs of emotional distress and suicide. The website includes a blog with posts about specific issues that many young adults deal with, such as losing a job or moving back home, and advice on how to deal with stress and life changes. The campaign already has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Collaboration is Key to Addressing Childhood Exposure to Violence

Childhood exposure to violence - conventional crime, child maltreatment, sexual victimization, and community family and school violence - is pervasive in the U.S. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) found that 8 percent of respondents of the survey, called polyvictims, had experienced seven or more types of victimization in the previous year.
Exposure to violence, substance abuse and involvement with the juvenile justice system often occur in the same high-risk groups and have serious consequences for the safety of all family members and the larger community. Behaviors such as fighting, running away, cutting school and/or substance abuse are some of the more challenging behaviors for the educational, child welfare and juvenile justice systems. But inability to pay attention, depression and poor self-esteem can be equally problematic for youth and their families.

[PRESENTATION] SAMSHA Details Changes in Substance Abuse

SAMSHA recently published a presentation, “Change, Challenge, & Opportunity-Substance Abuse and Addiction in a Changing Health Care Environment,” detailing the changes in teen substance abuse and addiction over the past several years. The presentation, available free online in PowerPoint format (direct download link), offers thorough data and several charts examining these changes, both positive and negative.
Key takeaways include:
Improvements

  • Overall alcohol use dropped from 28.8 to 26.3 percent between 2002 and 2010
  • Binge drinking dropped from 19.3 to 17.0 percent between 2002 and 2010
  • Heavy drinking dropped from 6.2 to 5.1 percent between 2002 and 2010
  • Methamphetamine users dropped by about half between 2006 and 2010
  • Cocaine users dropped from 2.4 million in 2006 to 1.5 million in 2010

Illegal Tobacco Sales to Youth on the Decline

A new report released by SAMHSA shows that the national weighted average rate of illegal tobacco sales to youth is 8.5 percent, the lowest rate reported since the inception of the Synar program. The Synar program requires States to enact and enforce laws restricting the sale of tobacco products to youth. The report also shows that the number of States reporting low rates of illegal tobacco sales to youth has increased. In FY 2011, 34 States achieved a retailer violation rate (RVR) below ten percent and 12 achieved a RVR below five percent.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in the United States, with 443,000 deaths annually attributed to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (CDC, 2008). Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. In fact, among adults who have ever smoked daily, 88 percent report that they first smoked by the age of 18, with 99 percent reporting that they first smoked by the age of 26. Furthermore, more than one-third of adults who have ever smoked report trying their first cigarette by the age of 14 (USDHHS, 2012). These data suggest that if youth are prevented from smoking while they are young, they will be unlikely to begin smoking as adults.

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Are We Making Progress in Reducing Mental Health Disparities?

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This gives us an opportunity to pause and ask ourselves: are we making progress in meeting the mental health needs of our diverse racial and ethnic populations across the country. In terms of disparities for these populations, have we improved access to care? Have we improved the quality of care? And, as a result, are we seeing better mental health outcomes in terms of promotion of mental health and appropriate treatment and recovery outcomes? The National Health Disparities Report, issued annually by the Department of Health and Humans Services (DHHS), shows that on selected access and quality indicators –including mental health measures – health care for minority populations has not improved and for poor populations has markedly worsened. A 2012 analysis of a dataset of 30,000 youth found that “disparities in use of mental health services persist for Black and Latino children” with 10% of white youth using mental health care compared to 4-5% of Black and Latino youth. Money spent for mental health care for white children increased; however for Latino children it decreased significantly. Suicide rates for American Indians in the 15-39 year old age range continue to be two to three times higher than other population groups. Suicide ideation and suicide rates continue to increase with age in the Asian American population.

SAMHSA, Local Communities Take Action to Curb Underage Drinking

This fall, SAMHSA plans to launch "Talk. They Hear You."—its third National Underage Drinking Campaign. With the help of a panel of experts to guide research, objectives, and strategies, SAMHSA has focused the campaign on engaging parents of youth ages 9 to 15 in prevention behaviors and motivating them to talk to their kids before there is a problem. The campaign aims to provide parents with practical advice, information, and tools to support their role as influencers on their child's decision not to drink.
Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in the U.S., yet according to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2010, approximately 10 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Underage drinking increases the risk of academic failure, illicit drug use, and tobacco use. And as a leading contributor to death from injuries for people under age 21, underage drinking continues to be a public health concern with serious consequences for youth, their families, and their communities.
In 2006, Congress passed the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act that requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and enhance the efforts of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking. It is through the STOP Underage Drinking Act that SAMHSA's Underage Drinking Prevention National Media Campaign is mandated.

Recovery Month Toolkit Webinar Rescheduled to 8/16/2012

The Recovery Month Toolkit Webinar has been rescheduled to August 16, 2012, at 1:30 pm Eastern time. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope that you will join us on August 16th to discuss how best to use SAMHSA's Recovery Month Toolkit to educate your community about ways to support recovery efforts. 
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For the 23rd year, SAMHSA designated September Recovery Month to promote the message the prevention works, treatment is effective and people recover. This year's Recovery Month theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: It's Worth It." The theme emphasizes the benefits of preventing and overcoming mental and/or substance use disorders and the importance of involving everyone in these efforts. 
In order to educate communities about treatment and living in recovery, SAMHSA created a Recovery Month toolkit. The toolkit provides tips for planning Recovery Month events and includes promotional and educational materials. Reclaiming Futures is excited to host a webinar featuring Ivette Torres of CSAT to discuss how you can best use the toolkit to plan your own Recovery Month events. 
Speakers include:

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