Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Prevention, Tx: A Continuum. (Treatment)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Prevention, Tx: A Continuum. (Treatment)

Article excerpt

The federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, together with states, community based service providers, and national organizations, is working to reduce the number of people who become dependent on substances of abuse, and to deter substance abuse in the first place.

We want to "reengineer" how we approach substance abuse prevention by creating a strategic framework built on both science-based theory and evidence-based practices. That framework includes no walls to segregate prevention from treatment. After all, in the lives of our clients and patients, substance abuse prevention and treatment are part of a continuum.

To encourage more cooperation between prevention and treatment professionals, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will develop grant programs enabling prevention and treatment providers to apply for funding together. These grants will supplement both State Incentive Grants (SIG), which are allocated solely for prevention, and SAPT Block Grants (20% of these funds is allocated for prevention).

As CSAP director, I want the center to act as a "superconnector," linking providers and drawing prevention and treatment within communities. A simple illustration suggests the significant benefits of the kinds of connections and integrated programs we're creating through our strategic framework for prevention. Consider a family with a substance abuse problem. Both the parent and child may abuse drugs, the child alone may abuse drugs, or the parent alone may abuse. Does this family need treatment? Of course. Does it need prevention services? Absolutely. A program that spans prevention and treatment could address the needs of all members of all three family types. It's time for both grant and service programs to come together to achieve that same goal.

A Wyoming program provides an example of this kind of thinking. The state combined a SAMHSA SIG with funds from education and juvenile delinquency prevention to create a comprehensive prevention and early-intervention system. Such programs have led states to be called the "laboratories of reinvention," helping to identify ways in which the federal sector can "braid funding" with states and communities. …

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