SAMHSA Releases Resource on Preventing Opioid Overdose

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released a resource titled “Preventing Opioid Overdose: Understanding Good Samaritan Laws”. This resource provides an overview of this overdose prevention strategy, including the aims of these laws and types of protections they can offer. Overdose Good Samaritan laws are policies that provide legal protections for individuals who call for emergency assistance (such as 9-1-1) in the event of a drug overdose. This may include protection from arrest and/or prosecution for crimes related to drug possession, drug paraphernalia possession, and other crimes. These laws are designed to encourage people to summon emergency assistance if they experience or witness a drug overdose. As of July 2017, 40 states and the District of Columbia have instituted Good Samaritan laws. Yet, lack of awareness and understanding of the protections these laws provide, as well as concerns about their limitations, may be limiting their effectiveness...
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SAMHSA Reaffirms Efforts to Address the Public Health Emergency on the Opioid Crisis

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President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency reaffirms the role of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as leaders in solving one of America’s most pressing public health issues. The President recently appointed Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz as the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, underscoring the urgency of the issue. “SAMHSA looks forward to continuing its role in helping American communities fight the opioid crisis through evidence-based programs in prevention, treatment, and recovery services,” said Dr. McCance-Katz. “The announcement today by President Trump reflects our commitment to this cause and inspires us to redouble our efforts on behalf of all who have suffered the effects of opioid addiction.” HHS is implementing five specific strategies that are guiding SAMHSA’s response. The comprehensive, evidenced-based Opioid Strategy aims to: Improve access to...
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Almost 44 Million Americans Had Mental Illness in the Past Year

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Almost 44 million American adults—18 percent—had some type of mental illness in the past year, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Among the states, mental illness estimates ranged from 15.83 percent in New Jersey to 22.72 percent in Oregon, HealthDay reports. “The presence of [any mental illness] in every state reinforces that mental illness is a major public health concern in the United States,” the report noted. “Overall treatment levels remain low, and addressing the mental health of U.S. adults remains a concern for state and national public health officials.”
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NCADD Affiliate Program Recognized by SAMHSA

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Behavioral Health Services/NCADD of the South Bay’s Beach Cities Prevention Community Council received national recognition from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as one of its 2016 Prevention Program Success Stories. The story is based on the Beach Cities Prevention Community Council’s awareness event, “Safety Stress and Social Media: Educating Parents and Protecting Teens,” which was held in Hermosa Beach on April 28, 2016. An article about the program was posted by SAMHSA at 2016 SAMHSA Success Story. Behavioral Health Services is the NCADD Affiliate in Gardena, CA and the Beach Cities Prevention Community Council program was the recipient of NCADD’s 2017 Prevention & Education Meritorious Award. Raunda Frank, Prevention Coordinator, and Heather Longridge, Outreach Specialist, presented about the program and accepted the award at the 2017 NCADD Conference of Affiliates. For more information please contact: The Behavioral Health Services, Inc./National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence...
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SAMHSA Issues Report on Understanding Adolescent Inhalant Use

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A recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report found that: In 2015, about 684,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 used inhalants in the past year. Adolescents were more likely than adults aged 18 or older to have used inhalants in the past year to get high (2.7 vs. 0.4 percent). Female adolescents were more likely than male adolescents to have used inhalants in the past month (3.2 vs. 2.3 percent). In 2015, more than half of adolescents who used inhalants in the past year (59.0 percent) had used 1 to 11 days in the past year; about 1 in 5 (19.3 percent) had used 12 to 49 days. The report notes that the types of inhalants adolescents used to get high varied. Felt-tip pens/markers, or magic markers were the most commonly identified types of inhalants adolescents used to get high in 2015. Inhalants are highly accessible, cheap,...
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SAMHSA Report Shows the Usage of Non-Medical Pain Relievers Across The Nation

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Prescription drug misuse is still one of the most prevalent illicit drug problems in the nation A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 4.31 percent of people aged 12 or older in the U.S. used prescription pain relievers non-medically in the past year. When taken without a physician's direction, prescription opioid pain relievers can lead to a higher risk of serious adverse consequences such as substance use disorder, overdose, or death. The report also shows variations in use by state, indicating that rates of past year nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers among those aged 12 or older ranged from 3.41 percent in Minnesota to 5.31 percent in Oklahoma. SAMHSA research has found that the vast majority of people who take prescription pain relievers do not misuse them, however their non-medical misuse is second only to marijuana use as the nation's most...
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BRiDGES Celebrates 30 Years!

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On April 25th BRiDGES, the Madison County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, Inc., and a NCADD Affiliate celebrated its 30th Anniversary with current and former Board Members, current and former staff (some pictured above), and a crowd of other community partners. While attendees were talking together, sharing stories and updates, a slide show highlighting current programs and ones from the past played on a screen. The slide show was illustrative of how in thirty years some things have changed significantly while some issues have remained constant- like the struggle of addiction and the promise of recovery. The keynote speaker, Christine Fix, was engaging and spirited in her message. Ms. Fix has spent her professional career in both the political world and the world of human services. Among other things, she talked about how the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS back in the early 90’s when she was traveling the counties...
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The Devastating Impact of Addiction in Rural America and What’s Being Done About It

The Devastating Impact of Addiction in Rural America and What’s Being Done About It
Note: The following is based on a story published in The Buzz, a publication of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) Recently, news stories have focused on how addiction is ravaging families and communities, particularly in rural areas. Around one in five Americans lives in a rural area, defined as a community with fewer than 2,500 people. Rural and urban communities both face the challenges of substance use, overdose, and the opioid epidemic. Although substance use rates in rural areas have kept pace with those in urban areas, rural communities seem to have been hit harder. For example, a recent statistic shows a greater increase in the proportion of babies born addicted to opioids in rural communities than in urban areas. Why do rural communities seem to be disproportionately affected by addiction? Rural communities have been especially affected in the past few years by rising rates of...
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SAMHSA's 13th Annual Prevention Day is Monday February 6th

SAMHSA's 13th Annual Prevention Day is Monday February 6th
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will convene its 13th Annual Prevention Day on Monday, February 6, 2017, in conjunction with the CADCA’s National Leadership Forum. SAMHSA’s Prevention Day highlights “Power of Prevention: Strengthening Community Voices.” This exciting one-day event features dynamic speakers and informative training sessions for prevention practitioners, community leaders, researchers, and consumers in the behavioral health field sharing SAMHSA’s prevention priorities for the coming year and providing participants with the necessary training, technical assistance, and resources to successfully address prevention issues. Share your experiences and information with other SAMHSA grantees and partners, and build your program skills across a variety of prevention topics. Also, learn how to leverage your community’s efforts, tell your prevention story, and showcase the impact of your prevention programming on community health by getting involved in SAMHSA’s 2017 National Prevention Week. This annual health observance is dedicated to increasing public...
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SAMHSA Report Shows Higher Rates of Substance Use & Mental Illness Among Sexual Minority Adults

SAMHSA Report Shows Higher Rates of Substance Use & Mental Illness Among Sexual Minority Adults
A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the first time uses data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) focuses on patterns of substance use and mental illness among adults (aged 18 and older) of different sexual orientations. Overall, the report finds that adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (sexual minority adults) have higher prevalence of substance use and mental illness than adults who identified themselves as heterosexual (sexual majority adults). However, sexual minority adults were significantly more likely than sexual majority adults to receive needed treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders. The report finds that 4.3 percent of the adult population, aged 18 or older, identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. It is important to note that the report does not address the behavioral health of transgender or questioning people because the NSDUH does not...
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