News from the States
- Mark Stringer (NASADAD Immediate Past President, MO) appointed new Director for the Missouri Department of Mental Health
Around the Agencies
- SAMHSA report finds gaps in mental health and substance use disorder treatment among minorities and people without health insurance
- SAMHSA report finds consistent decline in underage drinking from 2002 to 2013
- VA and DoD develop continuing education course for health care professionals working with veterans
In the News
- White House releases new fact sheet on enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system
- New National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report suggests new psychosocial interventions for people with mental health and substance use disorders
- ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli publishes blog post about Conner Adams, a young woman in recovery
- Center for Substance Abuse Research publishes study finding national treatment admissions for heroin at highest recorded level
- SAMHSA’s Center for Integrated Health Solutions announces webinar on trauma-informed care
- Congressional Addiction Forum focusing on veterans’ treatment announced for July 29th
- The National SBIRT ATTC announces new webinar on the relationship between LGBTQ populations and substance use
News from the States
Mark Stringer (NASADAD Immediate Past President, MO) appointed new Director for the Missouri Department of Mental Health
Former NASADAD president Mark Stringer began his new job as Director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health this past week. Stringer previously worked for eight years as the Director of the Division of Behavioral Health, in addition to more than 28 years of experience in the mental health field. Speaking in an interview with the Mid-Missouri public radio station KBIA, Mr. Stringer states that his priorities as Director include building a new State hospital, developing a proper treatment model for people with developmental disabilities and serious mental illness, and securing additional funding for mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs to ensure all Missouri residents have access to treatment. Mr. Stringer is excited to begin his work as Director by visiting State hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and contracted agencies to better understand the full scope of his post.
Around the Agencies
SAMHSA report finds gaps in mental health and substance use disorder treatment among minorities and people without health insurance
A new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report has found mental health and substance use disorder treatment gaps among minority populations and individuals without health insurance. The “Behavioral Health Equity Barometers” tracks the mental health and substance use disorder treatment of youth and adults by demographics and insurance status on an annual basis. This year’s report found that “approximately 41.6 percent of White adolescents received treatment for depression in the past year, while only 36.9 percent of Hispanic or Latino adolescents and 28.6 percent of Black adolescents received similar treatment.” The report further states that adults without health insurance were more likely to have a dependence on alcohol than those adults with insurance (9.7 percent versus 6.0 percent). Adults without insurance were also significantly less likely to receive proper mental health treatment.
SAMHSA report finds consistent decline in underage drinking from 2002 to 2013
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a new report this past week finding a steady decline in underage drinking from 2002 to 2013. Although alcohol remains the most commonly used substance among adolescents aged 12 to 20, underage drinking among this population decreased from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 22.7 percent in 2013. Youth binge drinking rates similarly declined throughout this period, declining from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 14.2 percent in 2013. The report credits increased parental involvement and national prevention efforts for the observed decreases in underage drinking, yet notes that much work remains to be done.
VA and DoD develop continuing education course for health care professionals working with veterans
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) developed a new online continuing education course titled “Military Culture: Core Competencies for Health Care Professionals.” The free course aims to help health care professionals better understand the military experiences of veteran patients in order to provide more effective treatment. The course is part of the larger Veterans Choice Program’s effort to increase the quality of health care for veterans across the country.
In the News
White House releases new fact sheet on enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system
The White House released a new fact sheet on enhancing the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system this past week. The fact sheet compiles a list of policy proposals President Obama recently announced – including sentencing reforms, the re-integration of prisoners post-incarceration into society, community trust in local law enforcement, and juvenile justice. The White House states that “unwarranted disparities and unduly harsh sentences undermine trust in the rule of law and offend the basic principles of fairness and justice.” The Obama Administration hopes that Congress will act on the proposals outlined in this fact sheet to create broad, structural criminal justice reform.
New National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report suggests new psychosocial interventions for people with mental health and substance use disorders
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggests a new framework for psychosocial interventions in clinical practices for individuals with mental health or substance use disorders. The report suggests that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopt the outlined framework in order to ensure a consistently high level of care for patients. The framework notes that while many providers are aware of best intervention practices, these practices are rarely utilized in treatment. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hopes the framework outlined in the report will help bridge this treatment gap.
ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli publishes blog post about Conner Adams, a young woman in recovery
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Michael Botticelli published a blog post on the White House this week regarding a correspondence between Conner Adams, a young woman in recovery, and President Barack Obama. Botticelli published the post in the wake of President Obama’s commuting of 46 sentences of prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes. The blog post features the letter Conner Adams wrote to President Obama about her own path towards recovery. Adams writes of the importance of second chances and access to treatment, noting the importance that proper treatment had in helping her establish a successful life. President Obama praises Ms. Adams’ progress in his response, stating that her experience is an example of the effect treatment programs can have. The Obama Administration remains committed to advocating for evidence-based solutions that recognize substance use disorders as a medical condition rather than a moral failing.
Center for Substance Abuse Research publishes study finding national treatment admissions for heroin at highest recorded level
The Center for Substance Abuse Research published a new study this past week finding national treatment admissions for heroin at their highest recorded level. The report states that “the percentage of admissions to State-funded substance use disorder treatment facilities citing heroin as a primary substance of abuse has reached the highest level since data collection began in 1992, according to the national Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).” Heroin admissions increased to 16% in 2012 from 14% in 2010, while admissions for other opiates remained at 9.7% in 2012 compared to 10.1% in 2011.
SAMHSA’s Center for Integrated Health Solutions announces webinar on trauma-informed care
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) announced a new webinar on trauma-informed care to be held on Wednesday July 29th from 2-3:30 PM EST. The webinar will focus on methods for integrating trauma-informed approaches into primary care clinic practices. SAMHSA notes that trauma-informed care has the potential to improve patient engagement with health care providers to create better health outcomes. Simple steps that all clinics can take to become trauma-informed will be discussed throughout the webinar.
Congressional Addiction Forum focusing on veterans’ treatment announced for July 29th
The next installment of the Congressional Addiction Forum – Advancing Treatment and Recovery for Veterans and Servicemembers – has been announced for Wednesday July 29th from 2-4 PM EST. The forum will be hosted by the Addiction Policy Forum, and will feature discussion from stakeholders and policy makers involved in the veteran substance use disorder treatment process. Honorary co-hosts include Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), and Congresswoman Anne Kuster (D-NH). The forum will be livestreamed over the internet.
The National SBIRT ATTC announces new webinar on the relationship between LGBTQ populations and substance use
The National SBRIT ATTC has announced a new webinar to be held on Wednesday, July 22 from 3-4 PM EST discussing the relationship between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) populations and substance use. The webinar will examine the social geography of substance use among LGBTQ individuals, and address the ways substance use may relate to larger health disparities. SAMHSA studies suggest that LGBTQ populations use substances at higher rates than the general population yet enter treatment less frequently.
Should you have any questions, or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Morrison, Executive Director, (202) 293-0090 or Colleen Haller, Public Policy Associate, at (202) 293-0090.