With increased attention on substance use during disasters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASADAD staff have revised an issue brief on the topic. The Disasters and Substance Use: Implications for the Response to COVID-19 brief includes data on recent disasters, policy recommendations, and spotlights on Louisiana and New York’s response to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. NASADAD recommended the following:
- During a disaster, the federal government should coordinate with State alcohol and drug agencies given the link between trauma and substance use disorders.
- Policymakers should consider specifically referencing substance use disorders in the statute governing disaster declarations (Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act) to ensure a holistic and comprehensive response.
- Supplemental federal funding designed to help respond to substance use disorder needs during a large-scale disaster that impacts all States—such as COVID-19—should be routed through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, including enhanced flexibility regarding certain allowable uses.
NASADAD has released an updated appropriations overview to reflect the Senate Appropriation Committee’s introduction of several appropriations bills for FY 2021, including the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies funding bill. The document outlines the Senates’ recommended funding levels for NASADAD’s priority programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
During the month of September, National Recovery Month, NASADAD Members, Component Group Members, and Staff submitted pictures of themselves wearing purple to help celebrate recovery and spread awareness of substance use disorder issues. Many thanks to Jen Smith (SSA, PA), Secretary and Region III representative on NASADAD’s Board of Directors, for developing this idea.
Cassandra Price (SSA, GA), NASADAD President, included with her picture this note: “Sporting my purple in support of Recovery Month 2020! Congratulations to all of those in recovery and continued unwavering hope for those searching for the path towards recovery. Never give up!”
NASADAD is grateful for the work State Director’s did in their respective States throughout the month of September, and for their ongoing efforts to support recovery every day of the year.