Recovery Month - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health

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					                                                                                                             SAMHSA’s Award-Winning National Newsletter
                                                                                                             September/October 2010, Volume 18, Number 5

Behavioral Health is Essential to Health                              •     Prevention Works         •      Treatment is Effective         •     People Recover

                                                                                          What You Need
                                                                                          To Know About
                                                                                           Health Reform
                                                                                                            What the Affordable
                                                                                                               Care Act Offers
IN THIS ISSUE                                                             Imagine a shift from “sick care” to true health care. That’s how U.S. Department
                                                                          of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, M.P.A., describes the
From the Administrator:
Leading Change                                             2              transformation that health care reform is bringing to our health care system.
                                                                             An emphasis on prevention pervades the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “Focusing
Voice Awards Honor Rosalynn Carter                         3
                                                                          on prevention rather than waiting until people get to the point where they have to be
Suicide Prevention: Action                                                treated for some sort of acute illness just makes good sense,” said Secretary Sebelius.
Alliance Convenes                                          9              “We want to take down the barriers that are keeping folks from being as healthy as
                                                                          they can.”
Backpacks Help Break the Silence
of Suicide                                               10                  Signed into law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act will bring health insurance
                                                                          coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured. For those who
Hip-Hop Culture and HIV Awareness                        12
                                                                          already have insurance, the law offers new benefits, plus an end to practices that have
NSDUH Data Show Drug Use Rising                          14               kept people from being able to access health care just when they need it the most.

About the New                                 19
                                                                                                                                      continued on page 4

        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES                                         Read SAMHSA News online.                          Get SAMHSA
        • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
        • Center for Mental Health Services
                                                                                                                                               Email Updates!
        • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
        • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
                        From the Administrator

    Leading Change                                the context in which we are moving            everyone deserves a healthy life, a home,
    By Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.                       SAMHSA’s agenda forward.                      a purpose, and a community.
                                                                                                    We also talk about how prevention
                                                  THE PLAN                                      works, treatment is effective, and that
    As a national leader in behavioral health,        Details of SAMHSA’s agenda are            people recover. Those messages guide our
    SAMHSA has a key role to play in Health       included in the draft paper, Leading          work. You’ll see each of those messages
    Care Reform—one of the Agency’s eight         Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and         reflected in the Strategic Initiatives.
    Strategic Initiatives. Our job is to ensure   Actions: 2011-2014. The paper, posted             This issue of SAMHSA News
    that mental health and addiction services     on SAMHSA’s redesigned website at             highlights the Strategic Initiative on
    are an integral part of health care reform, describes the plan to use         Health Care Reform. In the coming
    efforts. (See cover story.)                   eight Strategic Initiatives to maximize       months, SAMHSA News will feature
        The Agency is taking a lead role in       the impact of available resources in these    the other initiatives, including:
    shaping policies regarding home- and          critical areas. I’m happy to report that by   •	 Prevention of Substance Abuse and
    community-based services for individuals      the close of the public comment period           Mental Illness
    with mental and substance use disorders.      on Leading Change, more than 2,900            •	 Trauma and Justice
    Those policies include integrating primary    individuals had cast more than 26,000         •	 Military Families
    care and behavioral health, and creating      “votes,” offered 687 ideas, and posted        •	 Housing and Homelessness
    “health homes” to improve health services     1,752 comments. On the final day for          •	 Health Information Technology
    to individuals with chronic conditions        comments (October 22), we received a          •	 Data, Outcomes, and Quality
    (see pages 6 and 7).                          total of 8,500 votes. Thank you all for       •	 Public Awareness and Support.
        Changing the Nation’s health care         your participation!
    system will be complex and challenging.           In developing Leading Change, we          REALITY CHECK
    But it’s worth the effort.                    tried to think about the context we’re            Recognizing that SAMHSA is not the
        Here at SAMHSA, we are very clear         living in right now. SAMHSA for a long        only player in these eight strategic areas, it
    that behavioral health is essential           time has used the phrase “A Life in the       is critical that we partner and collaborate
    to health. That key message creates           Community for Everyone,” meaning that         with others and stay focused on the
                                                                                                people we serve, not just the systems
                                                                                                we’re trying to change. We are trying to
                                                                                                ensure what we’re doing makes a positive
                                                   Strategic Initiatives                        and measurable difference. It’s really
                                                                                                important that we get this right. I’m
                                                                                                interested in hearing your feedback,
                                                                                                which will help guide SAMHSA’s present
                                                                                                and future work.
                                                                                                    At SAMHSA, we frame our mission
                                                                                                as “Reducing the impact of substance
                                                                                                abuse and mental illness on America’s
                                                                                                communities.” There’s a lot in that phrase.
                                                                                                    It is about community, yes. But it’s
                                                                                                also about how all of us from the Federal
                                                                                                Government to states to communities are
                                                                                                making sure our priorities are working
                                                                                                for stakeholders.
                                                                                                    For more information on the eight
                                                                                                Strategic Initiatives, visit SAMHSA’s
                                                                                                website at

2   SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
At this year’s star-studded Voice Awards
celebration, SAMHSA Administrator
Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., presented a special
achievement award to former First Lady              At this year’s Voice Awards, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter (right) graciously accepted SAMHSA’s Lifetime Leadership in
                                                    Behavioral Health Award from SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde (left).
Rosalynn Carter. For her work over
many years as an advocate for mental                   This year, the celebration recognized                       LaVerne Miller, Delmar, NY; and Janet
health, Mrs. Carter received the Agency’s           the countless contributions of America’s                       Paleo, San Antonio, TX. The honor
Lifetime Leadership in Behavioral Health            military men and women. Many face                              acknowledged their work to promote
Award (see photo at right).                         behavioral health issues as they return                        community acceptance and to support the
    The Voice Awards honor writers                  home from the battlefield to their                             recovery of people with mental illness.
and producers of hit film and television            communities and their families.                                Lorrin Gehring, Provo, UT, received the
productions for increasing awareness                                                                               Young Adult Leadership Award.
of mental health and substance use                  CONSUMER LEADERSHIP                                               “Thanks to these leaders, more
issues. In addition, consumer leaders                  Consumer Leadership Award                                   people know the power of recovery,” said
are honored for their outstanding work              recipients included Gayle Bluebird,                            Administrator Hyde.
in promoting community acceptance for               Gainesville, FL; Fredrick Frese, Akron,                           For a complete list of winners, visit
people with mental illnesses.                       OH; Clarence Jordan, Nashville, TN;                            SAMHSA News online.

Oil Spill Distress                                            Individuals Affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon
Helpline Available                                                Oil Spill Can Call 1-800-985-5990 for Help

A new toll-free helpline provides information, support, and counseling for
families and children affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Part of the Obama Administration’s long-term oil spill recovery plan, the Oil
Spill Distress Helpline—1-800-985-5990—links callers to behavioral health
services. The helpline serves as an important resource for the localized oil
spill outreach efforts in the Gulf Coast states.
Administered by SAMHSA, the helpline will route callers to the nearest Gulf
Coast area crisis center, where trained staff from the region will answer calls
and provide assistance. In addition, these crisis centers are working to
provide support via text messages.
“History tells us that the emotional impact of the devastating losses
experienced by individuals and families as a result of the oil spill will continue
to play out over the years to come,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S.
Hyde, J.D. “Now that the immediate response phase has come to a close,
we are shifting our focus to long-term recovery and being there for Gulf
Coast residents in need of emotional strength as they rebuild their lives.” 
The helpline is funded by BP’s contribution to SAMHSA. For more
information, visit the HHS BP Gulf Oil Spill web page at http://www.hhs.
gov/gulfoilspill/index.html. And watch for the text-messaging launch!

                                                             . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                                          3
The Affordable                                      2010
Care Act Timeline                                   March 23: President Obama signs              September 23: The following are in effect
The Affordable Care Act doesn’t go into effect      the Affordable Care Act, a set of            (for health plan years beginning on or after
overnight. While some key provisions have           comprehensive health insurance reforms.      this date):
already taken effect, other changes will be         April 1: States can receive Federal          Young adults can stay on their parents’
phased in gradually through 2014 and beyond.        matching funds to cover additional low-      plans until they turn 26.
Year by year, this timeline shows you what’s        income individuals and families.
                                                                                                 Insurers can no longer deny coverage to
happening when.
                                                    July 1: A temporary Pre-Existing Condition   children under 19 because of pre-existing
                                                    Insurance Plan provides coverage options     conditions.
                                                    for people who have been uninsured for
                                                                                                 Plans must cover certain preventive
                                                    at least 6 months because of pre-existing
                                                                                                 services without requiring copayments or

     Health Reform                    <<p.1         IN 2014                                          It’s not just the uninsured who
                                                    Beginning in 2014 (see timeline),            will benefit from the Affordable Care
         The law is especially good news            insurers will no longer be allowed to        Act, however.
     for individuals with behavioral health         deny consumers coverage because of               The law’s emphasis on prevention,
     disorders, said SAMHSA Administrator           pre-existing conditions or raise their       for example, means that consumers
     Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.                           premiums if they develop problems.           purchasing new plans will no longer
         “Right now, estimates show that            Until then, consumers can turn to ACA’s      have to face copayments or other forms
     one-fifth to one-third of the uninsured        new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance         of cost-sharing for preventive services,
     are people with mental and substance           Plan for help.                               such as depression screening, drug and
     use disorders,” said Administrator Hyde.          In addition, coverage options will        alcohol misuse screening, and smoking
     “Of the estimated 32 million people we         expand. An expansion of Medicaid             cessation efforts.
     anticipate gaining coverage, about 6 to 10     will bring coverage to an estimated 16
     million will have untreated mental illnesses   million new enrollees, said Mr. O’Brien.     NO LIFETIME CAPS
     or addictions we can actually help.”           “Forty percent of them will be under             In addition, the law eliminates
                                                    30 years old,” he said. “That means we       lifetime caps on benefits and restricts
     NEW BENEFITS                                   need to think about ways to engage that      insurers’ use of annual caps for all new
         Finding health insurance can be            generation in treatment.”                    plans issued after December 2010.
     difficult for people with mental health           Starting in 2014, individuals can         That’s huge, said Steven Randazzo, a
     and substance use disorders, explained         also seek coverage from state-run            special assistant in SAMHSA’s Office
     Administrator Hyde. For one thing,             exchanges—a new competitive                  of the Administrator.
     insurers typically exclude individuals         marketplace for private health insurance         “Having a chronic condition or caring
     with pre-existing conditions. In addition,     that’s designed to give individuals and      for someone with a chronic condition is
     people with serious behavioral health          small businesses access to affordable        expensive,” he explained. “This change
     problems may not be employed and thus          coverage.                                    means that you can keep going back to the
     lack the insurance coverage that often            Essential mental health and substance     doctor and keep your coverage.”
     goes along with employment.                    use disorder services must be covered            ACA also puts a stop to rescission—
         The result has been a widespread lack      as part of the benefits package by all       the practice of dropping patients from
     of health insurance among many of the          insurance policies offered through the       coverage, usually when their medical
     people who need it the most, said John         exchanges and Medicaid.                      expenses are high—except in cases of
     O’Brien, M.A., Senior Advisor for Health                                                    misrepresentation or fraud.
     Financing at SAMHSA. “Thirty-nine              RIGHT NOW
     percent of the individuals who are now            One group is already enjoying             ROLE OF STATES & PROVIDERS
     served by state mental health authorities      expanded coverage: adult children of the         Reform means big changes to those
     have no insurance now,” he pointed out.        already-insured. Since September 2010,       providing services, too. “States are going
     “And 61 percent of individuals served by       parents who purchase or renew insurance      to be involved more than ever,” said Mr.
     state substance abuse authorities have         plans can obtain coverage for their          Randazzo. For one thing, states must
     no insurance.” ACA changes that.               children up to age 26.                       establish their insurance exchanges and

4    SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
Insurance companies can no longer impose           flexibility in offering home- and community-   January: States can opt to receive
lifetime limits on essential benefits and face     based services under Medicaid.                 enhanced Federal funding to support health
new restrictions on annual limits.                                                                homes to coordinate care of persons with
                                                   A new $15 billion Prevention and Public
                                                                                                  chronic illnesses, including those with
Insurance companies’ use of annual dollar limits   Health Fund begins investing in proven
                                                                                                  mental and substance use disorders.
on coverage is restricted for new plans in         prevention and public health programs,
the individual market and in all group plans.      such as smoking cessation and combating        October 11: A new Community First
                                                   obesity.                                       Choice Option allows states to offer home-
Insurance companies can no longer use
                                                                                                  and community-based services to people
innocent errors on customers’ applications         New funding will support the construction
                                                                                                  with disabilities via Medicaid rather than
to deny payment for services when                  and expansion of services at community
                                                                                                  institutional care in nursing homes.
customers get sick.                                health centers, allowing them to serve 20
                                                   million new patients.
October: All state Medicaid programs
must cover smoking cessation programs
for pregnant women. States gain more

have them ready for operation in 2014.             have to figure out how to direct the dollars   Council for Community Behavioral
They must also prepare for the expansion           differently,” said Mr. O’Brien.                Healthcare. In these long-term
of Medicaid.                                           Integration of behavioral health           relationships, consumers select providers
   That expansion will also trigger                and primary care is another major              who will be responsible for coordinating
changes in SAMHSA’s Mental Health                  theme within the Affordable Care Act.          all of their care, sharing information
Services Block Grants and Substance                    For example, the law allows states to      electronically with other providers, and
Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block               add a “health home” option to their            handling tasks like followup that often fall
Grants. With more people receiving                 Medicaid coverage (see page 6). Health         through the cracks.
coverage for behavioral health services            homes “fit all the pieces together” for            That concept is especially helpful for
via Medicaid and the new exchanges,                individuals with chronic conditions,           people with behavioral health issues, said
SAMHSA will redirect that funding to               explained Charles Ingoglia, M.S.W., Vice       Mr. O’Brien. “Studies have shown that
whatever gaps in service remain. “We               President for Public Policy at the National                              continued on page 6’s “Search and Compare” Feature
Looking for a health insurance plan? New           The idea is to put consumers, not their        what health coverage options are available
information about private insurance benefits       insurance companies, in charge and take        to them,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen
and pricing is available on,        the guesswork and confusion out of buying      Sebelius. “The search and compare feature
the website established in July by the             health insurance.                              will help Americans find coverage that meets
U.S. Department of Health and Human                                                               their needs and that gives them value for their
                                                   To help individuals make more informed
Services (HHS) for information about the                                                          dollars now.”
                                                   choices, includes two
Affordable Care Act.
                                                   notable metrics for the public. Insurance      Created under the Affordable Care Act,
“To improve competition and lower costs,”          providers are required to post:       is the first website of its
the new tools will make the health insurance                                                      kind to bring information and links to health
                                                   •	 The percentage of people who applied
market more transparent. For example,                                                             insurance plans in one place to make it easy
                                                      for insurance and were denied coverage.
for the first time ever, price estimates for                                                      for those searching for a plan to learn about
                                                   •	 The percentage of applicants who were
private insurance policies are available.                                                         and compare their insurance choices. 
                                                      charged higher premiums because of
These estimates allow individuals to
                                                      their health status.                        For more information and resources,
compare prices as they take advantage
of “one-stop shopping” for an affordable           “Millions of Americans have logged on to
health insurance plan.                   ’s Insurance Finder to see

                                                        . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                  5
The Affordable                                     2012                                        2013
Care Act Timeline                                  January 1: Physicians receive               January 1: States receive new funding
Continued . . .                                    incentives for coming together in           to cover preventive services for
                                                   “Accountable Care Organizations”            Medicaid patients at little or no cost.
                                                   to better coordinate care, improve
                                                   quality, prevent disease, and reduce
                                                   unnecessary hospitalizations.

Health Reform                   <<p.5         “We wanted to get ahead of the curve,”
                                              said Mr. O’Brien.
70 percent of individuals with significant
mental health or substance use disorders
                                                  SAMHSA is already involved in
                                              helping to shape specific ACA provisions.
                                                                                            What’s a
have one or more chronic conditions,” he
pointed out.
                                              States must consult with SAMHSA as
                                              they craft their plans for health homes,
                                                                                            Health Home?
    Behavioral health providers should        for example.
already be preparing for the integration          Consumers, providers, and other
of behavioral health and primary care,        stakeholders should get involved, too,        For people with serious or multiple
emphasized Rita Vandivort-Warren,             emphasized Mr. Randazzo. They should          chronic health conditions, a primary care
M.S.W., a public health analyst in the        stay informed about what’s happening,         physician often isn’t enough. To meet
Division of Services Improvement              get engaged, and share their input on such    all their needs, they may also see several
at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance              matters as what specific behavioral health    specialists. And that can get complicated.
Abuse Treatment.                              services will be included in the essential        “Trying to navigate the health care
    “It’s important for mental health and     benefits package, how the new insurance       system is like trying to find your way
substance abuse providers to develop good     exchanges are constructed, and so on.         through a tangled maze,” said Charles
linkages with primary care practitioners,”        “We want to make sure behavioral          Ingoglia, M.S.W., Vice President for
she said, adding that there are various       health is at the table,” said Mr. Randazzo.   Public Policy at the National Council
models of integration. “Sometimes it’s        “With other people’s involvement, we can      for Community Behavioral Healthcare.
the behavioral health provider doing          keep behavioral health concerns at the        “Sometimes, doctors don’t have time to
screening and brief interventions in the      forefront.”                                   talk to each other or share information.”
primary care site; sometimes it’s the                                                           “Health homes” are an attempt to
primary care provider giving services in      MORE INFORMATION                              change that. “And we need to clarify what
behavioral health organizations.”                 For more information about the            a health home is, too,” said John O’Brien,
    Providers should also ensure that         Affordable Care Act, visit http://            M.A., Senior Advisor for Health Financing
they’re ready to embrace electronic medical This site                 at SAMHSA. “Some folks are concerned
records and understand Medicaid billing       features a timeline, video chats,             that when you’re talking about homes,
procedures, added Mr. Randazzo.               and even an interactive database of           you’re talking about residential programs.”
                                              insurance options in addition to basic        Not so, Mr. O’Brien explained.
HELP FROM SAMHSA                              information about the law.                        Rather than being a physical place,
    Many details of ACA’s implementation          For more information about ACA’s          health homes are a strategy for helping
are still to be worked out. SAMHSA will       impact on behavioral health, visit            individuals with chronic conditions
play a key role in that process.              SAMHSA’s newly redesigned website at          manage those conditions better.
    To help influence what happens with and click on the Agency’s       An eligible individual—for example
provisions related to behavioral health,      Strategic Initiative on Health Care           a person with diabetes and a mental
SAMHSA crafted a white paper laying out       Reform. For related resources,                illness—selects a provider or team of
its vision for a good, modern addictions      visit SAMHSA News online.                     health care professionals to be his or her
and mental health service system.                                 —By Rebecca A. Clay       health home. That home then becomes

6    SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
 January 1: Individuals whose employers          Tax credits to make it easier for the       Insurance companies can no longer refuse
 don’t offer insurance can buy insurance         middle class to afford insurance become     to sell coverage or renew policies because
 directly in an exchange—a new competitive       available for people with incomes above     of pre-existing conditions; they can also
 marketplace for individuals and small           100 percent and below 400 percent of        no longer charge higher rates because of
 businesses to buy affordable health plans.      the poverty level who aren’t eligible for   health status or gender.
                                                 or offered other affordable coverage.
 Americans who earn less than 133 percent                                                    For more information, visit http://www.
 of the poverty level can enroll in Medicaid;    New plans and existing group plans
 states will receive 100 percent Federal         may no longer impose annual limits on
 funding for the first 3 years and 90 percent    coverage (including hospital stays and
 in subsequent years to support this             other essential benefits).
 expanded coverage.

A health home is a strategy for helping individuals with
chronic conditions manage those conditions better.

accountable for all the individual’s care,      communicate with each other and              health homes to their list of benefits,
including the following:                        who never see the whole person, only         she said. States interested in including
•	 Manage and coordinate all of the             the illnesses they treat.”                   health homes in their Medicaid programs
   services the person receives from                                                         must submit a state plan amendment to
   multiple providers.                          COORDINATING CARE                            the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
•	 Promote good health.                             The new provisions will allow            Services (CMS).
•	 Help with transitions from one kind of       Medicaid to reimburse providers for              SAMHSA will be providing assistance
   setting to another.                          the time they spend on such vital tasks      to states on prevention and treatment
•	 Provide support to both the individual       as coordinating interdisciplinary care,      services for those with mental and
   and her family members.                      whether in person or virtually, or meeting   substance use disorders. In fact, the
•	 Offer referrals to community and social      with family members to help support an       legislation requires states to consult with
   support services.                            individual’s recovery.                       SAMHSA on their proposals’ behavioral
                                                    States can begin offering the health     health aspects.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH                               homes option in January 2011. “We’ve             For more information on health homes,
    Health information technology helps         heard informally that a lot of states are    visit
link all of these services together.            interested,” said Ms. Vandivort-Warren.                         —By Rebecca A. Clay
    The health homes provision is               The legislation features a “sweetener”
especially good news for people with            —a 90 percent Federal match for the
mental health and substance use                 first 2 years—to encourage states to add
disorders, said Rita Vandivort-Warren,
M.S.W., a public health analyst in the
Department of Services Improvement
at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance
Abuse Treatment.
    “Those with these chronic illnesses
tend to have more complex, long-standing
needs and more variety of different
providers involved,” she explained.
“In other words, they have to go to
many different providers who may not

                                                    . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News             7
                                                                                                                                 THE DRILL
                                                                                                                                    During Operation Immersion,
                                                                                                                                 attendees stayed in barracks, went
                                                                                                                                 through a modified early morning
                                                                                                                                 Physical Training (PT), completed chores
                                                                                                                                 and inspection, toured a C-130 cargo
                                                                                                                                 plane and Black Hawk helicopter, and
                                                                                                                                 ate a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE).
                                                                                                                                    Opening remarks for the event
                                                                                                                                 included Major General Terry M. Haston,
    For Behavioral Health Providers:                                                                                             TDMHDD Commissioner Virginia Trotter
                                                                                                                                 Betts, and Dr. Clark.
    A Military Immersion Training                                                                                                   Other featured presentations
                                                                                                                                 included experts from SAMHSA and
    Substance abuse professionals from 19                          stigma of mental illness and substance                        Tennessee on post-traumatic stress
    states and 5 tribal organizations arrived                      use disorders in military populations.                        disorder (PTSD), homelessness, and
    at the National Guard Training Center                              The training is designed to immerse                       suicide prevention. Attendees also
    in Smyrna, TN, to participate in and                           attendees in military culture and the                         heard personal stories of deployment
    learn about a first-of-its-kind military                       deployment experience. “The ultimate                          from combat veterans of Operation
    immersion training with the goal of                            goal of this experience is to help remove                     Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring
    replicating similar programs nationwide.                       stigma and other barriers,” said SAMHSA’s                     Freedom, and from military spouses
        SAMHSA, along with the Tennessee                           H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.,                         and family members.
    Department of Mental Health and                                Director of the Agency’s Center for
    Developmental Disabilities (TDMHDD),                           Substance Abuse Treatment. “Stigma is                         INITIATIVE ON MILITARY FAMILIES
    the Tennessee National Guard, and the                          a serious problem for soldiers who are                            SAMHSA’s role in this effort is part
    Tennessee Veterans Task Force hosted this                      thinking about seeking help for mental                        of the Agency’s Strategic Initiative on
    training, called Operation Immersion, in                       health or substance use disorders.”                           promoting the behavioral health interests
    early September 2010.                                              The 2-day curriculum focused on                           of those in the military, veterans, and
                                                                   military culture and issues unique to                         their families.
    OPERATION IMMERSION                                            service members and veterans who have                             National Guard, Reserve, veterans,
        Operation Immersion, which launched                        served in combat and experienced one or                       and active duty service members as
    in June of 2009, is an effort to reduce the                    multiple deployments.                                         well as their families, who do not seek
                                                                                                                                 care from the Departments of Defense
                                                                                                                                 (DoD) or Veterans Affairs (VA), do seek
                                                                                                                                 care in communities across the Nation.
                                                                                                                                 These groups are the focus of SAMHSA’s
                                                                                                                                 Strategic Initiative on Military Families.
                                                                                                                                     For more information about
                                                                                                                                 SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiatives, please
                                                                                                                                 visit the Agency’s recently redesigned
                                                                                                                                 website at

                                                                                                                                  For more information, contact
                                                                                                                                  SAMHSA’s Linda Fulton at linda.fulton
                                                                                                                         or 240-276-1573 or
                                                                                                                                  Maggie Throckmorton at the Tennessee
                                                                                                                                  Department of Mental Health and
    Dr. H. Westley Clark, SAMHSA’s Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (third from left); Commissioner           Developmental Disabilities at maggie.
    Virginia Trotter Betts, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (fourth from right); and some or 615-532-3025.
    members of the Tennessee National Guard.

8   SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Convenes
To show unprecedented support, public                              One such group is active duty
and private sector leaders came together                       military and veterans. “The survivors
to announce the founding of the National                       of battlefield wounds often suffer
Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.                        from traumatic brain injury, post-
     Secretary of Health and Human                             traumatic stress, and other psychological
Services Kathleen Sebelius, M.P.A., and                        ailments—all factors that can increase
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Ph.D.,                      the risk of suicide,” said Secretary Gates.
joined SAMHSA Administrator Pamela                                 Native American youth also face a
S. Hyde, J.D., to announce the public and                      high risk of suicide, noted Coloradas
private sector co-chairs for the effort.                       Mangas, a 15-year-old member of the
     The public sector co-chair is Secretary                   Chiricahua Apache tribe. He related
of the Army John McHugh. The private                           the experience of losing several friends
sector co-chair is former U.S. Senator                         to suicide.
Gordon H. Smith, who was instrumental
in ensuring the passage of the Garrett                         PUBLIC-PRIVATE COLLABORATION
Lee Smith Memorial Act.                                            Out of the alliance will grow
     Secretary Sebelius emphasized,                            advancements for practitioners,
“The National Action Alliance has real                         policymakers, service providers,                                At the National Action Alliance press conference in September,
responsibility to take the steps needed to                     communities, families, and agencies                             HHS Secretary Sebelius emphasized the need for a public-private
                                                                                                                               collaboration to prevent suicide.
accelerate our work in suicide prevention,                     that play a vital role in reducing the
including better research, and better                          burden of suicide in America.                                   suffering is indescribable. If we could
training for counselors and primary                                “We’re here to bring the full force                         alleviate that suffering for all survivors of
care physicians.”                                              of our Nation’s resources to bear on                            suicide, then our time is well spent.”
     The focus of the Action Alliance                          confronting the challenge, breaking                                 Dan Reidenberg, Psy.D., Managing
will include:                                                  the silence, and stopping the pain and                          Director of the National Council for
•	 Updating and advancing the National                         suffering,” said Administrator Hyde.                            Suicide Prevention, encouraged people
   Strategy for Suicide Prevention                                 “For the last 5 years we’ve seen                            to “take five to save lives,” by spending
•	 Developing effective public awareness                       the suicide rates in the Army, frankly,                         a few minutes to become familiar with
   and social marketing campaigns,                             explode,” Secretary McHugh said.                                suicide warning signs and speaking out
   including targeted messages for specific                        “Almost 7 years ago, my wife and I                          if they see someone in trouble. Visit
   segments of the population that can                         received news that our son had taken                  
   change attitudes                                            his life,” said Senator Smith. “The loss                        for more information.
•	 Advancing suicide prevention among                          of a child, for any reason, is the most                             To learn more about the Alliance,
   high-risk groups.                                           challenging thing a parent can go through.                      visit http://www.actionalliancefor
                                                               But when the reason is suicide, the                   

 SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde (at podium) addresses the tragedy of suicide, saying, “A loss from suicide tears the soul and causes us to ask, ‘What could I have done?’ ” Other
 speakers included (left to right): Dan Reidenberg; HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Defense Secretary Robert Gates; former Senator Gordon Smith; and Secretary of the Army John McHugh.

                                                                         . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                                          9
                                           Breaking the Silence of Suicide
                                           In honor of National Suicide Prevention            “Every suicide is a tragedy, and every
                                           Week 2010, SAMHSA hosted a unique              suicide can be prevented,” said Eileen
                                           event called Send Silence Packing.             Zeller, M.P.H., a public health advisor
                                           Sponsored by the national nonprofit            at CMHS.
                                           student organization Active Minds,
                                           the outdoor display of 1,100 backpacks         TRAGEDY SPURS ACTION
                                           represents the 1,100 college students              SAMHSA invited Alison Malmon,
                                           who die by suicide each year. The story        founder and executive director of Active
                                           of a family’s tragedy accompanied              Minds, to share the story of how she
                                           each backpack.                                 came to start the group in 2001. “I lost
                                               “The statistics on suicide are chilling,   my brother Brian to suicide when he was
                                           but nothing so chilling as the sight of        just 22. I was a freshman in college when
                                           those 1,100 knapsacks, as colorful as they     he died,” Ms. Malmon said.
                                           are to catch your eye,” said Frances M.            She related Brian’s story—he was a
                                           Harding, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for       popular, active high school student who
                                           Mental Health Services (CMHS).                 went on to become a popular, active
                                                                                          college student. When he was a senior,
                                           PREVENTION WORKS                               though, he went to the campus counseling
                                               In addition to the powerful outdoor        services with signs of depression and
                                           display, SAMHSA sponsored an inservice         anxiety. Brian was diagnosed with
                                           called “Prevention Works: Suicide              schizoaffective disorder—the symptoms
                                           Prevention Successes” where attendees          of which he’d hidden since freshman year.
                                           learned about the different SAMHSA                 After a year and a half at home and in
                                           suicide prevention grant programs              counseling, Brian took his own life. “I had
                                           working to save lives across                   always been Alison of Alison and Brian,
                                           the Nation.                                    and now it was just me—I wondered, who
                                               Representatives from the following         am I?” Ms. Malmon said.
                                           SAMHSA grant programs attended                     Knowing that her brother had felt
                                           the event:                                     ashamed and embarrassed to talk about
                                           •	 Campus Suicide Prevention Program           his mental health struggles, Ms. Malmon
                                           •	 State/Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention       started Active Minds in order to engage
                                              Program                                     students in mental health education.
                                           •	 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline        Today, 272 Active Minds chapters operate
                                           •	 Suicide Prevention Resource Center          on college campuses nationwide. “Our goal
                                           •	 Native Aspirations.                         is suicide prevention, first and foremost,”
                                                                                          she said.
                                                                                              The Send Silence Packing display uses
                                                                                          backpacks that have been donated by
                                                                                          families and friends who have lost someone
                                                                                          to suicide. They can submit their loved
                                                                                          one’s story as well. In spring 2010, the
                                                                                          display traveled to 10 college campuses,
                                                                                          including SAMHSA grantee, the University

                                                                                          SAMHSA’s Lifeline has answered more
                                                                                          than 2 million calls since it was established
                                                                                          in January 2005. Lifeline provides free,
                                                                                          24-hour, confidential help to anyone in
                                                                                          suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

10   SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
of Nebraska at Kearney (see SAMHSA               network of National Suicide Prevention      Resources
News, May/June 2009 for details about            Lifeline crisis centers.
                                                                                             To find out about SAMHSA’s suicide prevention
their program).                               •	 Expand followup procedures for suicidal
                                                                                             activities, visit
    “The more bags we unloaded, the              callers to provide better support in days   prevention/suicide.aspx, part of the
more overwhelming and poignant the               and weeks following the initial call.       Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental
task,” said Estelle Bowman from CMHS.             To enhance followup services,              Illness Strategic Initiative.
“It reminded me how important it is to        CrisisLink is participating in a pilot
reduce the number of deaths by suicide        program for the Lifeline involving the use     SAMHSA Resources
                                                                                             •	 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,
on college campuses.”                         of text messaging.
                                                                                                1-800-273-TALK (8255)—free, 24-hour hotline
                                                                                                available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional
INNOVATION AT THE LIFELINE                    SPEAKING OUT TO HELP                              distress http://www.suicideprevention
     Another speaker at the event was             “We must end our silence because    
Marshall Ellis, M.P.A., from CrisisLink,      we know that suicide is a preventable
                                                                                             •	 We Can Help Us—national campaign for
one of SAMHSA’s National Suicide              tragedy,” said Ms. Harding. “We must              connecting youth and encouraging them to
Prevention Lifeline call centers. He          end our silence by sharing prevention             lean on one another to get through tough times
described how additional funds received       successes and sharing what we have      
from SAMHSA in early 2010 have allowed        learned with one another.”                     •	 Statistics on Suicide—reports on suicide
their services to expand.                         To learn more about Active Minds,             administered by SAMHSA’s Center for
     CrisisLink has been able to:             visit                 Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality
•	 Add a second overnight crisis counselor    For more on SAMHSA’s suicide prevention 
   for 4 hours each night.                    activities, visit http://www.samhsa.
•	 Double the number of hotline work          gov/prevention.                                •	 Suicide Prevention Resource Center—
   stations to allow an increase in daytime       For more articles on campus suicide           provides prevention support, training, and
                                                                                                other resources
   staffing by volunteer crisis counselors.   prevention, see SAMHSA News online.
•	 Create an online training resource for                            —By Kristin Blank
                                                                                             SAMHSA News Online on Campus
   crisis counselors and to share with the                                                   Suicide Prevention
                                                                                             •	 Cultural Competency Matters—Tufts
                                                                                                University, January/February 2010

                                                                                             •	 Innovation in Gatekeeper Training—Penn
                                                                                                State Altoona, January/February 2010

                                                                                             •	 Keeping Students Connected—University
                                                                                                of Nebraska at Kearney, May/June 2009

                                                                                             •	 Preventing Suicide on College Campuses—
                                                                                                Syracuse University & University of California,
                                                                                                Irvine, November/December 2007.

                                                                                             Other Resources
                                                                                             •	 National Action Alliance for Suicide
                                                                                                Prevention—public/private partnership that
                                                                                                catalyzes planning, implementation, and
                                                                                                accountability for updating and advancing
                                                                                                the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

                                                                                             •	 Indian Health Service—provides American
                                                                                                Indian and Alaska Native communities with
                                                                                                culturally appropriate information regarding
                                                                                                suicide prevention and intervention http://

                                                                                             •	 Take 5 To Save Lives—provides common
                                                                                                warning signs of suicide as well as guidance on
                                                                                                how to get help for yourself or a friend http://

                                                 . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                     11
     Hip-Hop Culture & HIV Awareness
     Reaching Youth Where They Are
     At the recent One SAMHSA meeting in          with funding from SAMHSA’s Center
     Orlando, FL, SAMHSA’s high-spirited,         for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).
     high-energy Minority Education Institution   Accepted into SAMHSA’s 2010 National
     (MEI) showcased substance abuse and          Registry of Evidence-Based Programs
     peer-led HIV prevention strategies.          and Practices (NREPP), “Hip-Hop 2
        The SAMHSA meeting convened a             Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV” also
     day after the United States Conference       received an enthusiastic reception at
     on AIDS (USCA), where SAMHSA offered         USCA. Hip-Hop 2 is now acknowledged
     several workshops. The MEI Institute         as a prevention and new-media                     Kayo found that the use of hip-hop
     highlighted specific student efforts         communications tool for MEI.                   enhances skills, especially critical
     to help prevent substance abuse, HIV,            “Hip-hop culture is an important way       thinking and writing. “Hip-hop helps in
     and hepatitis.                               to reach young people where they are,”         goal setting and decision-making, and it
        To “reach youth where they are,” these    explained P. Thandi Hicks Harper, Ph.D.,       gives us what we need to succeed in life
     prevention programs are active on the        of the Youth Popular Culture Institute,        and in the real world.”
     campuses of minority-serving schools         developer of the curriculum. “Because it          William Ridley, a university liaison for
     including Historically Black Colleges        is ingrained in our youth culture across       Bowie State, said, “We pride ourselves on
     and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-       blacks, whites, American Indians, and          non-conventional programs.” He noted
     Serving Institutions (HSIs).                 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,         that “Spread the Word Not the Virus” is
                                                  we can use elements of hip-hop to              one of Bowie State’s leading projects, as
     HIP-HOP CULTURE                              motivate young people and students.”           well as “Dance for the Cure,” as a different
        One of the strategies used, Hip-Hop       The program promotes healthy lifestyles        way to look at HIV/AIDS.
     DevelopmentTM (a theory of change and        among youth at all levels from middle
     practical application), was developed        school to high school and through college.     REACHING YOUTH
                                                  “Understanding the dominant popular                Tonia Schaffer, M.P.H., Director of
                                                  culture of youth is critical in prevention,”   the MEI Program Coordinating Center,
                                                  Dr. Harper added.                              emphasized that the program focuses on
                                                                                                 evidence-based and peer-led services.
                                                  A DOMINO EFFECT                                “We are in our fifth year of the program,
                                                      Several peer educators attended the        and we are 22 universities strong,” Ms.
                                                  One SAMHSA meeting. Nicholas Johnson           Schaffer said. The program has a strong
                                                  (a.k.a. Kayo), a student peer educator         focus on HIV testing in the schools
                                                  at Harris-Stowe State University in St.        and dissemination of information on
                                                  Louis, MO, said, “As students of color, we     substance abuse, HIV, and hepatitis. This
                                                  are trying to create a domino effect from      work involves many community partners
                                                  our programs. We are using hip-hop to          and organizations that provide testing and
                                                  tell students to know their HIV status and     other services. In 2009, 5,986 students
                                                  to play it safe.”                              were tested, and more than 17,000
                                                      Omari Williams, a student peer             students participated in peer-led sessions.
                                                  educator at Meharry Medical College                See SAMHSA News online for links to
                                                  in Nashville, TN, demonstrated his             hip-hop websites and related topics. For
                                                  technique with a microphone. He and            information and publications on HIV/AIDS,
                                                  the audience chanted together, “We             visit SAMHSA’s newly redesigned website
                                                  pledge to be a drug free community.”           at
                                                                                                                      —By Susan Cruzan

12    SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
Conferences Focus on HIV/AIDS
This year’s One SAMHSA Minority               TARGETING YOUTH
Education Institution (MEI) Institute             The need to address the impact of HIV/
recently convened in Orlando, FL, to          AIDS on young people and people of color
address myriad issues facing SAMHSA           has never been greater, according to the
grantees in dealing with HIV/AIDS in          USCA Executive Director, Paul Kawata,
their own communities. The Agency’s           National Minority AIDS Council, in a
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
(CSAP), Center for Substance Abuse
                                              letter to conference attendees. He offered
                                              data that show approximately 13 percent
                                                                                                SAMHSA Grants
Treatment (CSAT), and Center for Mental       of those diagnosed each year are between          SAMHSA has announced a recent award
Health Services (CMHS) organized a            age 13 and 24.                                    to support AIDS prevention. Funding
series of workshops.                                                                            totaling $40.4 million over 5 years goes to
                                                                                                27 community organizations across the
    At the same time, more than 3,000         SAMHSA WORKSHOPS
                                                                                                Nation. These AIDS prevention grants focus
community leaders, caseworkers,                    At the One SAMHSA workshops,                 on traditionally underserved and at-risk
advocates, health educators, policy           grantees learned about the latest                 communities. For more information, visit
makers and others recently convened in        techniques and gained insight into the  
Orlando at the United States Conference       latest information on HIV prevention              advisories/1010145459.aspx.
on AIDS (USCA). SAMHSA’s MEI                  and treatment, and evidence-based
Institute offered six workshops at USCA.      programs and practices.
    SAMHSA Administrator Pamela                    The Workshops organized by                •	 Housing Opportunities for Persons
Hyde, J.D., in a welcoming video to           SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse               with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, a U.S.
more than 500 SAMHSA grantees,                Prevention, Center for Substance Abuse            Department of Housing and Urban
acknowledged that, “HIV/AIDS continues        Treatment, and Center for Mental Health           Development (HUD) program for
to disproportionately affect racial and       Services included the following:                  persons living with HIV/AIDS
ethnic minorities in the United States.       •	 MEI: Minority Education Institution         •	 Risky behaviors and liver functions
Because people living with, or at risk for,      Initiative and HIV prevention (see          •	 Services for persons living with HIV/
HIV/AIDS often have related substance            related story on page 12)                      AIDS and co-occurring mental health
use and mental health needs, SAMHSA           •	 Methamphetamine use and prevention             and substance use problems.
is examining how to best meet the                in Indian Country                               For more information on SAMHSA’s
complex needs in a rapidly evolving           •	 Trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive        work on HIV/AIDS, visit http://www
health care environment.”                        services in substance use         
                                                                                                                   —By Susan Cruzan
    The One SAMHSA meeting welcomed
the Director of the White House Office
of National AIDS Policy, Jeffrey Crowley.
“Our vision in the years ahead is that
our Nation will be a place where HIV             For more information on HIV/AIDS . . .         HIV/AIDS PREVENTION & SERVICE
infections will be rare,” he said. Setting       WHITE HOUSE                                    PROVIDER LOCATOR
the stage for the meeting, he advised            Details of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
participants to “focus on the populations        announced in July 2010: http://www.            CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL
at the greatest risk.” He emphasized that              AND PREVENTION (CDC)
as a Nation, we need to do a better job of       /onap/nhas.
                                                                                                For “Youth and HIV: The HIV/AIDS
educating all Americans about reducing           Fact sheet on HIV/AIDS: http://www.aids.       Generation,” see CDC’s fact sheet at http://
HIV incidence, scaling up testing, and           gov/federal-resources/policies/national-
ensuring that people have immediate              hiv-aids-strategy/nhas-fact-sheet.pdf          youth.htm
links to care.

                                                . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                13
     New Survey Data Show Drug Use Rising
     At a press conference to kick off Recovery
                                                                                                “We must find new ways to communicate with
     Month 2010, SAMHSA officials revealed
     troubling new data on substance use                                                         our youth about the dangers of substance
     among people age 12 and older.                                                              abuse. Recovery Month activities work to make
         The National Survey on Drug Use
     and Health (NSDUH) shows the overall
                                                                                                 recovery a shared experience in every city, town,
     rate of current illicit drug use in the                                                     and village across this country.”
     United States rose from 8.0 percent of the                                                                                                                          —Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.
     population age 12 and older in 2008 to 8.7                                                                                                                        SAMHSA Administrator
     percent in 2009. This rise was driven in
     large part by increases in marijuana use,                                                    “As SAMHSA’s new survey data                         17-year-olds). Although the rate of overall
     reported H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D.,                                                   indicate, substance use is rising among                  illicit drug use among young people in
     M.P.H., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for                                                  all age groups and genders,” said SAMHSA                 2009 remained below 2002 levels, youth
     Substance Abuse Treatment.                                                               Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.                       use was higher in 2009 compared to 2008
         Other increases included the nonmedical                                              “Given the recent economic issues and                    (10.0 percent in 2009, versus 9.3 percent
      use of prescription drugs, which rose from                                              given what we know about the relationship                in 2008, versus 11.6 percent in 2002).
     2.5 percent of the population in 2008                                                    between economic challenges and certain                      The rate of current tobacco use or
     to 2.8 percent in 2009. In addition,                                                     types of substance use, perhaps these data               underage drinking among this group
     the estimated number of past-month                                                       are not surprising. But they do serve as a               remained stable between 2008 and 2009.
     ecstasy users rose from 555,000 in 2008                                                  wake-up call to the Nation.”                                 “Our strategies of the past have
     to 760,000 in 2009, and the number                                                                                                                stalled a bit with ‘Generation Next,’ ” said
     of methamphetamine users rose from                                                       RISE IN YOUTH DRUG USE                                   Administrator Hyde. “We must find new
     314,000 to 502,000 during that period.                                                      Flat or increasing trends of substance                ways to communicate with our youth
                                                                                              use were reported among youth (12- to                    about the dangers of substance abuse.”

                                            Past-Month Marijuana Use among Youth Age 12 to 17, by Gender: 2002 to 2009
       Percent Using in Past Month

                                                                                                                                                                   Male                        Female
                                     9                                    8.6
                                     8                                                                              7.5                                 7.5
                                                     7.2+                 7.2+                 7.1                                                                         7.3+
                                                                                                                                                 6.4    5.8                6.0


                                                    2002                 2003                 2004                  2005                 2006          2007               2008                 2009
                                     Among youth age 12 to 17 in 2009, males had a higher rate than females of current marijuana use (8.3 percent for males versus 6.3 percent for females).
                                     +   Difference between this estimate and the 2009 estimate is statistically significant at the .05 level.
                                         Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (September 2010). Figure 2.9. Past-Month Marijuana Use among Youth Age 12 to 17, by
                                                 Gender: 2002 to 2009. Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Volume I. Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD.

14    SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
    Of particular concern are data on
marijuana, the most commonly used illicit
drug in 2009. There were 16.7 million
past-month users. Among people age 12
or older, the rate of past-month marijuana
use and the number of users in 2009 (6.6
percent or 16.7 million) were higher than
in 2008 (6.1 percent or 15.2 million) and in
2007 (5.8 percent or 14.4 million).
    Among youth age 12 to 17, the rate of
                                               (Left to right) As part of the Recovery Month launch, actress Roxy Olin described her experiences with drug abuse and
current marijuana use decreased from 8.2
                                               her recovery as SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, ONDCP Director R. Gil Kerlikowske, and Tom Coderre, Chief of
percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006,        Staff for the Rhode Island Senate President, listened to her story. “Over 3 years ago, I woke up in a hospital after having
remained unchanged at 6.7 percent in 2007      just flat-lined from an overdose,” Ms. Olin said. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show a rise in drug
                                               use by young people.
and 2008, then increased to 7.3 percent in
2009. For information by gender, see chart.
    Moreover, the level of youth
perceiving great risk of harm associated           Recovery Month 2010
with smoking marijuana once or twice a
week dropped from 54.7 percent in 2007             From “Active Addiction” to Recovery
to 49.3 percent in 2009, marking the
                                                   Two people in recovery spoke at the press conference about their experiences. Tom
first time since 2002 that less than half
                                                   Coderre is the Chief of Staff for the Rhode Island Senate President and an Advocate for
of young people perceived great harm in            Recovery. Roxy Olin is an actress in MTV’s reality show “The Hills” and ABC’s “Brothers
frequent marijuana use.                            and Sisters.” Selected excerpts follow.

                                                   Restored Hope                                                   “I Felt Invincible”
                                                   “In my active addiction, I was stuck in a                       “Addiction is the only disease that convinces
    R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the            crippling dead end, void of hope. Recovery                      you that you don’t have a disease,” said
White House Office of National Drug                restored that hope,” said Mr. Coderre.                          Ms. Olin. “Over 3 years ago, I woke up in
Control Policy (ONDCP) said, “I cannot             “I haven’t used alcohol or drugs to cope                        a hospital after having just flat-lined from an
rule out that the constant discussion              with stress, escape from life, or change the                    overdose. My story may not be typical; I had
in the media of so-called medical                  way I feel in more than 7 years. Through                        a privileged upbringing, I’m very close to both
                                                   recovery, I’ve regained the things in my life                   of my parents, and I had a great education.
marijuana and marijuana legalization
                                                   that are most important to me—politics,
and the downplay of marijuana dangers                                                                              “But my first word was ‘more,’ so I think
                                                   family, and friends.
                                                                                                                   addiction was in my blood from a very
sends the wrong message to teens.”
                                                   “In addition to educating people about                          young age. I tried marijuana first, and then
    In 2009, during their most recent              the dangers of drug abuse, we must also                         my friend’s mom’s OxyContin. The first time
treatment in the past year, 1.2 million            educate them about the reality of recovery.                     I tried it, I felt invincible. I started to use
people age 12 or older reported receiving          Sharing stories of recovery is an important                     almost on a daily basis. Lucky for me, my
treatment for marijuana use. That number           part of broadening social understanding                         parents realized I had a problem.
                                                   and building public support.
is up from 947,000 people in 2008.                                                                                 “I asked for help and was in rehab for
    The complete survey findings from              “Wouldn’t it be nice to know just as much                       almost 9 months. I heard the stories of
SAMHSA’s Center for Behavioral Health              about how people are recovering as we do                        people around me who had made a life for
                                                   about how they’re using? We need data                           themselves after being sober. I was not
Statistics and Quality are available on the
                                                   on how many people are in recovery, the                         ambitious in my addiction—sobriety made
SAMHSA website at http://oas.samhsa.               services and supports helping people, and                       me ambitious. My actual life began once
gov/nsduhLatest.htm.                               the duration of their recovery.”                                I was able to get sober.”

                                                      . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                                             15
     Conference Update
     Communications and Behavioral Health

     Health Communication, Marketing, and Media:
     Why Behavioral Health Matters
     Joining with the Centers for Disease          academia, government, non-governmental         The five “change” presentations
     Control and Prevention (CDC), SAMHSA          organizations, and the private sector.    highlighted the following:
     recently helped sponsor the fourth                Conference participants were asked    •	 SAMHSA’s Store and groundbreaking
     annual National Conference on Health          to examine the impact of more holistic       behavioral health publications
     Communication, Marketing, and Media.          thinking on processes and outcomes.          dissemination (SAMHSA)
         Other partners included the National                                                •	 Content syndication of the Quick Guide
     Cancer Institute and the National Public      AT THE CONFERENCE                            for Healthy Living (Office of Disease
     Health Information Coalition. The                 For SAMHSA, the conference provided      Prevention and Health Promotion)
     conference convened at the Omni Hotel         an energetic venue for a meeting of the   •	 Mobile “apps” and consumer health
     in Atlanta, GA, August 17 to 19.              Agency’s National Advisory Council and       information (NIH, Office of Dietary
         This year’s theme, Convergence:           a special session, “Behavioral Health        Supplements)
     Purpose, Programs, & Partners, invited        is Essential to Health—A New National     •	 Clinicians’ screening tools (NIH,
     a “meeting of the minds” among the fields     Communication Opportunity” (see page         National Institute on Drug Abuse)
     of health communication, marketing,           17). In addition, the Agency offered 21   •	 New technologies for reaching
     and media in synergistic discussions          scholarships to the conference.              consumers and health professionals
     with distinct sciences, methodologies,            One of the four conference tracks,       (IQ Solutions, Inc.)
     and technologies.                             “Exploring Innovations,” offered               See SAMHSA News online for details
         Offering a forum for collegial dialogue   attendees a chance to experience “the     about these presentations.
     across disciplines, the conference brought    case for change,” including new ways to        Is there a difference between
     together individual researchers and           expand outreach to communities across     eliminating health disparities and
     communications professionals from             the Nation.                               achieving health equity? How do we
                                                                                             improve our mental and physical health?
                                                                                             How does storytelling help? Special
                                                                                             sessions below addressed these topics
Scholarships Awarded to State,                                                               and many others.

Local Public Health Professionals                                                            •	 SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health is
                                                                                                Essential to Health—A New National
More than 20 public health professionals      “The conference was a great opportunity           Communication Opportunity
at the state and local levels received        to meet with peers, discuss new ideas, and     •	 Hug’em, Nudge’em, or Slug’em: The
scholarships from SAMHSA to attend            learn from a wide range of experts,” said         Unique Role of Behavioral Economics
the 2010 National Conference on Health        Clay Butcher, Communications Manager at           in Health Behavior Change
Communication, Marketing, and Media           the Alaska Department of Health and Social     •	 Mobilizing a Nation to Achieve Health
in Atlanta.                                   Services, in Anchorage.
                                                                                                Equity: Getting Beyond the Rhetoric
The purpose of the scholarships is to         SAMHSA received nominations from CADCA         •	 Connecting to Communities through
support public health professionals           (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)
                                                                                                Partnerships with Ethnic Media.
who are seeking to learn and expand           and NASMHPD (National Association of State
their knowledge of health marketing           Mental Health Program Directors).                   For more on the conference, visit
and communications to plan, put into                                               
                                              The scholarships provided conference
action, and evaluate programs designed
                                              registration and accommodations for 2          nchcmm2010.
to encourage positive changes in                                                                  For a complete list of scholarship
                                              days. For more quotes and a complete list
health-related behaviors in their
                                              of scholarship recipients, visit SAMHSA        recipients to the conference, visit
home communities.
                                              News online.                                   SAMHSA News online.

16    SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
SAMHSA’s Special Session:
Behavioral Health is Essential to Health
To help highlight the important
connection between physical health and
behavioral health, SAMHSA presented
a special session at the Atlanta
conference, “Behavioral Health is
Essential to Health—A New National
Communication Opportunity.”
    Five panelists, including SAMHSA’s
Mark A. Weber, M.B.A., Director of the     Panelists at SAMHSA’s special session, “Behavioral Health is Essential to Health—A New National Communication
                                           Opportunity,” included (left to right) Lynn Cooper, David W. Price, Saul M. Levin, Mary Jane England, SAMHSA’s Mark A.
Agency’s Office of Communications,
                                           Weber, and session moderator Thomas E. Backer.
were introduced by session moderator
Thomas E. Backer, Ph.D., President,        alcohol was my biggest problem,” she said.                    primary care practitioner this message of
Human Interaction Research Institute. In   “I was sent for brain scans for headaches,                    universal screening for mental health and
addition, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela      sent to gastro-endocrinologists for                           substance use. “We have to incorporate
S. Hyde, J.D., offered her comments from   stomach problems. Nobody ever asked                           into our medical education strategies
the audience.                              how much alcohol I was drinking every                         to help doctors. Number 1: screen
    How does a key message from            day. If my doctor had known I was                             efficiently. Number 2: help docs do this
SAMHSA, particularly “Behavioral           drinking six or seven goblet-size glasses                     in a time-efficient manner, because they
Health is Essential to Health,” make       of wine every day, he might have had a                        have a waiting room full of patients.”
its way to primary care physicians and     different referral for me.”                                       Saving money. “I was privileged to
their patients? According to Dr. Backer,       Integrating behavioral health.                            chair the Institute of Medicine’s Quality
health care and behavioral health          “I believe mental health and substance                        Chasm Report on Mental Health and
care providers, employers, insurance       abuse issues are exactly like any other                       Substance Use Disorders,” said Mary Jane
companies, Government agencies, health     primary care illness or disorder that                         England, M.D., President, Regis College,
communications professionals, and          you may have,” said Saul M. Levin,                            Weston, MA. “The conclusion in that
the media all need to work together        M.D., M.P.A., Vice President, American                        study says we will never have quality
“to deliver messages that change minds     Medical Association. “It’s just like                          health care until we integrate mental
and change behaviors.”                     diabetes; it’s just like hypertension, and                    health and substance use disorders into
                                           it should be treated as such.” Physicians                     primary care.” In most cases, employers
PANELIST COMMENTS                          need to understand that no matter what                        are willing to provide measures for
    Each panelist discussed gaps in the    specialty—surgeons, pediatricians,                            integrated care if they see it is cost
health care system and ways improved       family practice doctors, internists,                          effective, Dr. England added.
communications could address those         psychiatrists—they should be asking the                           Meeting the unmet need.
gaps. The following comments are a         same questions of everyone who comes                          “Marketing is all about identifying
sample of their responses. SAMHSA          into their practices. Dr. Levin added:                        an unmet need and then developing a
News online includes a transcript of       “Ask, how much do you smoke? How                              strategy to meet it,” said SAMHSA’s Mark
the SAMHSA special session.                much do you drink? What’s your food                           Weber. He emphasized that his role as a
    Focusing on primary care and           intake like? Are you depressed? What are                      panelist was to listen to the concerns of
screening. “We need to communicate         the signs and symptoms of depression?                         Agency stakeholders who could inform the
to health practitioners that substance     Are you anxious? What drugs may you be                        direction of SAMHSA’s communication
abuse and mental health screening needs    on, both prescription and illicit drugs?”                     efforts. “What we’ve just heard from each
to take place as a routine practice in         Communicating this message.                               of our panelists is that there’s clearly an
almost every medical setting,” said Lynn   “It’s our problem,” said David W.                             unmet need here.” Mr. Weber welcomed
Cooper, Deputy Director, Pennsylvania      Price, M.D., Medical Director, Kaiser                         the panelists to help SAMHSA develop a
Community Providers Association.           Permanente National Continuing                                strategy and respond to this challenge.
    Ms. Cooper framed her response         Medical Education Program. “It’s not                          “It is critically important to advance the
through her experiences as a person in     just the psychiatrist’s or the social                         health of our Nation,” he said.
recovery. “In my medical health care       worker’s problem.” Dr. Price addressed
treatment, we never got to the fact that   ways of communicating to the average

                                                  . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                                        17
 We’d Like To                  Hear From You
 We appreciate your feedback! Please send your comments, article ideas, and requests to:               EDITOR
 Kristin Blank, Associate Editor–SAMHSA News, IQ Solutions, Inc., 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 901,     Deborah Goodman
 Rockville, MD 20852. Send email to or fax to 301-984-4416.
                                                                                                       SAMHSA News Team at IQ Solutions, Inc.
                                                                                                       MANAGING EDITOR
 Comments:                                                                                             Meredith Hogan Pond
                                                                                                       ASSOCIATE EDITOR
                                                                                                       Kristin Blank
                                                                                                       SENIOR DESIGNER
                                                                                                       A. Martín Castillo
                                                                                                       SAMHSA News is the national newsletter of the Substance
                                                                                                       Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
                                                                                                       U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The
                                                                                                       newsletter is published six times a year by the Agency’s Office
                                                                                                       of Communications. SAMHSA News is free of copyright.
                                                                                                       SAMHSA News online has a convenient, new “feedback”
                                                                                                       button for you to send us a comment or suggestion. You
                                                                                                       can also use the space at the left to write your comments
 I’d like to see an article about:
                                                                                                       by hand. Either way, we look forward to hearing from you!

                                                                                                       SAMHSA’s Administrator and Center Directors
                                                                                                       Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.
                                                                                                       Administrator, SAMHSA
                                                                                                       A. Kathryn Power, M.Ed.
 Name and title:                                                                                       Director, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
                                                                                                       H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.
 Affiliation and field of specialization:                                                              Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
                                                                                                       Frances M. Harding
                                                                                                       Director, Center for Mental Health Services
 Address, city, state, ZIP:                                                                            Peter Delany, Ph.D.
                                                                                                       Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality

 Email address:

 In the current issue, I found these articles particularly interesting or useful:

 Health Care Reform                                    Military Families

 ❏	   What You Need To Know                            ❏	 A Military Immersion Training for
 ❏	   The Affordable Care Act’s Timeline                  Behavioral Health Providers
 ❏	   What’s a Health Home?
 ❏’s “Search and Compare”            HIV/AIDS

                                                       ❏	 Hip-Hop Culture & Awareness
 From the Administrator
                                                       ❏	 Recent Conferences
 ❏	 Leading Change                                                                                    SAMHSA’s Blog Is Here
                                                       Behavioral Health & Communications
                                                                                                      Located on the Agency’s redesigned website
 Suicide Prevention
                                                       ❏	 In Atlanta: Why Behavioral Health Matters   at, the new SAMHSA
 ❏	 Action Alliance Convenes                           ❏	 SAMHSA’s Special Session: Behavioral        blog includes relevant commentary and updates
                                                          Health is Essential to Health               on timely events and happenings related to
 ❏	 Breaking the Silence
                                                                                                      SAMHSA’s 8 Strategic Initiatives and other news.
                                                       ❏	 Scholarships Awarded
 Drug Abuse & Recovery                                                                                What’s a blog?
                                                       Embracing Change
 ❏	 New Survey Data on Drug Use                                                                       A blog is a contraction of the term “web log.”
 ❏	 From “Active Addiction” to Recovery                ❏	 Your Redesigned                  Entries are usually displayed in reverse-
                                                                                                      chronological order. “Blog” is also used as a
 ❏	 Oil Spill Distress Helpline Available
                                                                                                      verb, e.g., “many Federal agencies are blogging
                                                                                                      today.” SAMHSA is one of those agencies!
                                                                                                      Read the latest entry at

18     SAMHSA News . SEP/OCT 10 .
Your Redesigned
New Store Makes Ordering Publications Easy                                                                      Access the treatment
                                                                                                                  locators, Suicide
                                                                                                                 Prevention Lifeline,’s new look is a first           Watch for updated breaking news in this revolving window!                 and more.
(but critical) step to provide a user-
centered and unified web presence
for the Agency. Our goal is to be
your main source for behavioral
health information.
    The new home page at is
built around the Agency’s eight
Strategic Initiatives. The eight
categories are prominently
displayed and each links to a web
page describing the critical work
being done in each area.
                                                                                                                               Sign up for
                                                                                                                            SAMHSA’s email list.

            Strategic Initiatives
            are listed clearly for                                                                                               Read press
             your convenience.                                                                                               releases, the latest
                                                                                                                               on grants, and
                                                                                                                             featured resources.
             Watch for updated
             video spots in this
             changing window.

                                                                                               SAMHSA’s goal is to create a web presence that
                                                                                                is unified, user-centered, and recognized as the
                                                                                                  leading source for expertise and innovation in
                                                                                               behavioral health information services. Be a part
                                                                                                    of reaching that goal. Send your feedback!

                                                   ABOUT SAMHSA’S STORE
                                                   SAMHSA has a new “store” for free               By becoming a registered user on the
                                                   publications and product needs—                 website, you have advantages:
                                                   manuals, brochures, videos, public
                                                                                                   •	 Track	previous	and	current	orders.
                                                   service announcements, and more.
                                                   From the SAMHSA home page, click on             •	 Save	your	shipping	addresses.
                                                   “Publications.” Or you can link directly        •	 Create	“favorites”	or	a	“wish	list.”
                                                                                                   •	 Receive	notification	when	a	product	is	
                                                   Find Publications By Topic                         back in stock.
                                                   Find resources by substance, condition,         SAMHSA’s Store replaces the National
                                                   or research topic area. There are hundreds      Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug
                                                   of useful topics to choose. If you can’t find   Information, the National Mental Health
                                                   what you’re looking for, call SAMHSA at         Information Center, and the SAMHSA
                                                   1-877-SAMHSA-7 for assistance 24/7.             Health Information Network.

Visit SAMHSA’s Store at!

                                                 . SEP/OCT 10 . SAMHSA News                     19
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Rockville, Maryland 20857

                                      Subscribe to the SAMHSA News eNewsletter! You’ll
                                                                                                Order SAMHSA Publications!
        GO GREEN                      receive links to a color PDF (same as print), HTML
                                      (online), and extra articles and resources. Send your
                                                                                                Call 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (toll-free)
                                      email address. That’s all we need!
                                         Fax: 301-984-4416 (attention Rudy Hall)               Visit SAMHSA News online at
                                      Phone: 1-888-577-8977 (toll-free) or 240-221-4001
                                                 in the Washington, DC, area

                                                                                        There’s       More
                                                                                        Go online to read more from SAMHSA News
                                                                                        Read about . . .

                                                                                                      Adolescents & Violence
        And the Winner Is . . .
                                                                                                      A new national study reveals that
        Thanks to everyone who entered their videos and essays
                                                                                                      nearly 7.8 million adolescents
        to SAMHSA’s “What a Difference a Friend Makes” contest.
        Your entries demonstrated the importance of peer support                                      age 12 to 17, almost one third
        and acceptance in a friend’s recovery from a mental health                                    (30.9 percent), participated in
        problem or through a tough time.                                                              any of three violent behaviors
                                                                                                      over the past year.
        Grand Prize and Runners-Up
        Francesca Pileggi of Glen Mills, PA, is the grand prize winner                                Veterans Day
        for her video, “Always Be There.” She received a trip for two
        to attend the recent Voice Awards celebration in Los Angeles,                                 On November 11, 2010, Veterans
        CA. Her video was showcased at the event.                                                     Day events honor members of
        The runners-up—Jonathan Ehinger for “Supreme Teens” and                                       the military who have served
        Diane McDaniel for “Friendship: Hope for Mental Illness”—and                                  or are currently serving our
        essay contest winners Susan Putnins for “A Promise” and John                                  Nation. Read more about
        Rundle for “Norma” each received a Flip MinoHD™ video camera.                                 SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiative
        Check out the winning submissions at                                                          on Military Families.

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