ADAMHA Budget Stresses Research

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ADAMHA Budget Stresses Research

With significant increases requested for NIDA and NIMH research, the overall budget for the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA), the final Reagan budget reflects the philosophy of its Administrator, Frederick Goodwin, MD, that the agency's "fundamental, defining mission" is research (AR, Sept. 27). This position was affirmed in an HHS budget document which stated that the FY-90 request "emphasizes the Administration's continued resolve to address the biological and behavioral aspects of substance abuse and mental illness. Within this context, ADAMHA's primary focus is research, including the development of new methods to treat both ailments."

ADAMHA is still responsible for the big alcohol, drug abuse and mental health services (ADMS) block grant program, beefed up by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, the primary federal service delivery mechanism.

Goodwin has expressed concern about ADAMHA's role in the treatment area, stating that if the agency's "investment in the services arena continues to expand because of public health exigencies, not only will the field be deterred from testing the feasibility of mainstreaming services for mental and addictive disorders into the general health care system, but our research mission will be diffused at the cost of current scientific momentum and future advances."

Response to Waxman

Goodwin made the statement in response to a letter from Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) of the House Health Subcommittee who sought clarification of reports that Goodwin had initiated discussions to determine whether the services blocks administered by ADAMHA could be shifted elsewhere at HHS (AR, Oct. 11).

In the Reagan Administration's final budget submission, the ADMS block would be cut back by nearly $6 million to a flat $800 million next fiscal year. The actual amount of funds going for services would be reduced even more by a tap of 5 percent from the total -- or $40 million -- which would be allocated for data collection, services research and technical assistance.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 provides that from 5 percent to 15 percent of the overall ADMS block grant appropriation can be set aside for data collection and other activities. …