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

Silhouetted hiker climbing a cliff

Recovery: A Philosophy of Hope and Resilience

A person’s early days in recovery might be compared to a climber’s first steps up a great mountain. There’s a lot of work ahead. As time passes, healing occurs not only for the person in recovery but also for relatives, coworkers, business associates, and the community at large.

At its core, the philosophy of recovery embraces and encourages an individual’s capacity for change and personal transformation. But that change does not happen overnight. Challenges can and often do crop up every step of the way.

As part of its mission, SAMHSA supports the concept of recovery on multiple levels Agency-wide. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) offer specific services and support to individuals and community organizations through discretionary grant programs, Web sites, policy resources, publications, data, and more.

This issue of SAMHSA News highlights CSAT’s recovery-related programs and recent white papers on research, case studies, and lessons learned. Future issues will focus on activities related to prevention and mental health.

Programmatic support for recovery takes many forms at CSAT—clinical services, peer-to-peer support, outreach materials and Recovery Month activities, and vouchers for faith-based treatment and recovery services. At the heart of each program is the nonjudgmental, holistic, overarching concept of recovery as a means to improve quality of life for individuals struggling with substance abuse and the disease of addiction.

“We’ve come to understand that recovery is a process, different for each person,” said H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., CSAT Director. “Seeking help for a substance abuse problem is just the beginning of the recovery process.”

Person-centered and community-oriented, recovery “exists on a continuum of improved health and wellness,” according to the Guiding Principles of Recovery, which were developed at the National Summit on Recovery in 2005.

With those principles in mind, CSAT’s goal is to support individuals as they make every effort to transform their lives.

“Focusing on recovery gives us a way to conceptualize services that meet people’s holistic needs in the context of their community,” said Dr. Clark. “Whatever path individuals choose to take for their recovery, they typically need an array of services, such as access to treatment, peer support, housing, jobs, and education. CSAT programs have a lot to offer.”

Paths to Wellness

CSAT currently funds five major recovery-related programs, including the Recovery Community Services Program, Targeted Capacity Expansion/Local Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care, Access to Recovery, Partners for Recovery, and National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

In addition, CSAT runs a national helpline for treatment information and referrals for substance use disorders. That number is 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357).


  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.


  Grants  
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.


  Communications  
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  

Hispanics

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.



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