Skip Navigation SAMHSA News - SAMHSA's Award Winning Newsletter SAMHSA News - SAMHSA's Award Winning Newsletter
SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
September/October 2009, Volume 17, Number 5 

Photo of Dr. H. Westley Clark at Recovery Month press conference

Dr. H. Westley Clark, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, explains the importance of Recovery Month.

Recovery Month Launched, New Survey Data Released

SAMHSA, ONDCP, and A&E Network Collaborate

To launch the 20th annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, SAMHSA joined the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the A&E Network at a press conference at the National Press Club in early September.

Recovery Month began as a small, good idea, and it has grown into a mainstream, national network with multiple partners,” said Rear Admiral Eric B. Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H., SAMHSA’s Acting Administrator, in his introductory remarks.

Photo of Dr. Eric B. Broderick at Recovery Month press conference

Acting SAMHSA Administrator Dr. Eric Broderick highlights significant findings of the 2008 NSDUH.

At the heart of the recovery movement are the individuals who are facing down their addictions one day at a time. Two of those people offered a glimpse of their experiences. (See Testimonials.)

Recovery Month provides a venue to recognize the tremendous successes of recovery support services and treatment providers that have helped people achieve and maintain their recovery from the disease of addiction,” said H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). Recovery Month is one of five recovery-related programs funded by CSAT. (See Recovery: A Philosophy of Hope and Resilience.)

The event included the release of SAMHSA’s 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which presents data showing the overall level of current illicit drug use holding steady at about 8 percent with certain areas of serious concern. (See National Survey Shows Overall Drug Use Steady at 8 Percent.)

The press conference focused on successes, challenges, and future directions for substance abuse treatment and prevention.

Photo of R. Gil Kerlikowske at Recovery Month press conference

ONDCP Director R. Gil Kerlikowske talks about the Obama Administration’s drug control strategy.

Collaboration Is Key

Partnering with SAMHSA to overcome challenges, such as reaching the some 21 million people who need treatment but don’t perceive that need, is ONDCP and its newly appointed Director, R. Gil Kerlikowske, M.A.

“Treatment can be so much more effective when we all work together,” he said.

Mr. Kerlikowske explained that the Obama Administration’s first drug control strategy would de-emphasize the “war on drugs” and strive to improve substance abuse prevention and treatment systems.

“In war, we only have one tool—force,” he said. “We’re not at war with people who use drugs. We’re all in this together.”

Photo of Bob DeBitetto at Recovery Month press conference

A&E’s President and General Manager Bob DeBitetto describes A&E’s Recovery Project and the network’s collaborative partnership with SAMHSA.

Entertainment Industry’s Role

The A&E Network is partnering with SAMHSA and doing its part to raise awareness of the problems of addiction and the promise of recovery, most notably with the Emmy-nominated television show “Intervention.”

“We believe A&E has a responsibility to enlighten and inform as well as entertain,” said Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel.

Dr. Broderick cited research that shows that getting the message right is critical because viewers learn from and act on what they see.

The personal stories of addiction and recovery over the past 7 years have made “Intervention” A&E’s top-rated television program. The show has won a national PRISM Award 4 years in a row (see SAMHSA News online, May/June 2009).

A&E also promotes CSAT’s Treatment Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP.

Going Forward

The entertainment industry’s involvement, along with the efforts of SAMHSA, ONDCP, and Federal and private partners, may help make a dent in the overall level of illicit drug use.

“We need to raise awareness among people who don’t believe they need treatment,” said Dr. Broderick. “We also need to reach populations that are difficult to reach, such as 18- to 25-year-olds and the baby boomer generation. We need to reach them in a way that makes them question their behaviors.”

Download the 2008 NSDUH. Find out more about Recovery Month.


Photo of James Gillen, LCDP“I watched my dad die from alcoholism. By breaking that chain, I honor him, and I honor my children,” said James Gillen, LCDP, now 11 years in recovery. Based in Rhode Island, Mr. Gillen is an active recovery leader in the New England area.

Photo of Neil Kaltenecker, M.S.“My recovery is at the very core of who I am today,” said Neil Kaltenecker, M.S., in recovery for 19 years. Ms. Kaltenecker is the Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, which builds community collaborations to promote recovery.

Photo Gallery

Photo of Dr. Clark and Dr. Broderick and Recovery Month press conference Photo of Recovery Month panel listening to a speaker
Photo of audience at the Recovery Month press conference Photo of state recovery advocates

Photos by Martín Castillo and Paola Sanmartin

A press conference officially kicked off the 20th annual Recovery Month and set the stage for the Recovery Rally in New York City.  SAMHSA officials, including CSAT Director Dr. H. Westley Clark and SAMHSA Acting Administrator Dr. Eric B. Broderick (top left photo), joined ONDCP, A&E Network, and state recovery advocates (bottom right photo) to commemorate the event.

Photo of Recovery Rally participants crossing the Brooklyn Bridge Photo of Recovery Rally participants crossing the Brooklyn Bridge
Photo of Recovery Rally participants Photo of Smokey Robinson performing at the Recovery Rally

Photos by Seth Webb

More than 10,000 people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to celebrate Recovery Month in September.  SAMHSA partnered with A&E to support the Recovery Rally event and raise awareness about recovery.

  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Recovery: A Philosophy of Hope and Resilience

Recovery: A Philosophy of Hope and Resilience

  Treatment Updates  
Treating Alcohol Disorders with Medication

Treating Alcohol Disorders with Medication

A set of guidelines for use of effective medications, such as naltrexone.

Guidance for Change

Guidance for Change

Substance abuse treatment programs: Here’s a way to integrate evidence-based practices into their services.

Treating Opioid Addiction

Treating Opioid Addiction

Three new educational brochures for patients on medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction are available.

  Suicide Awareness  
Dealing with Suicide Loss

Dealing with Suicide Loss

To help support survivors of suicide loss, a new guide for funeral directors.

National Study on Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

National Study on Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Nearly 8.3 million adults had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year.

Recent Awards

Recent Awards

Millions of dollars in SAMHSA funding is heading to state and community programs.

Tips on Writing a Winning Proposal

Tips on Writing a Winning Proposal

Boost your chances of crafting a winning grant proposal by following an expert’s advice.

Highlights of Recent Conference

Highlights of Recent Conference

New ways to engage partners and the public in improving health through an ongoing dialogue.

Strategic Communications Framework

Public health practice aligns with evidence-based communications to help establish “a common language.”

  Recovery Month  
Recovery Month Launched

Recovery Month Launched

20th anniversary events across the country marked this year’s celebrations, which included a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Photo Gallery

SAMHSA’s Dr. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, joined other VIPs to celebrate.

  New Survey Data  
National Survey Shows Overall Drug Use Steady at 8 Percent

National Survey Shows Overall Drug Use Steady at 8 Percent

Among 12- to 17-year-olds, a significant decline was reported in past-month illicit drug use.

  Prevention Update  
FASD Awareness Day

FASD Awareness Day

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day emphasized the message, “If you’re pregnant, don’t drink alcohol.”

  Special Populations  


An annual average of 2.6 million Hispanics age 12 or older needed alcohol use treatment in the past year.

American Indians

A recent report examines the 335 identified facilities serving the American Indian and Alaska Native population in 2007.

Race and Ethnicity

New data focus on the need for treatment for substance use and depression among adults age 18 or older by race/ethnicity.

  Also in this Issue  
Statistics on Mental Health Groups

Statistics on Mental Health Groups

Of the 28.8 million adults who received mental health treatment in the past year, about 5.5 percent also received support from a self-help group.

Science and Service Awards

Science and Service Awards

Categories for this year’s awards to 27 organizations included substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery support services, and more.

GlassBook Project

GlassBook Project

Trauma awareness through art was the topic of a recent presentation as part of SAMHSA’s Consumer Affairs Seminar Series.

Sign up for SAMHSA email updates on topics of your choice, including SAMHSA News.


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
AdobeTM PDF and MS OfficeTM formatted files require software viewer programs to properly read them.
Click here to download these FREE programs now.