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ALASKA Awarded $3.5 Million Grant to Treat Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced that the Alaska governor's office will receive almost $3.5 million over five years to increase the capacity of state treatment systems to provide effective, coordinated and integrated treatment services to persons with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. These grants are part of the State Incentive Grant program in HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

SAMHSA is awarding seven of these new grants, designed to stimulate states to provide comprehensive, evidence-based treatment to persons who have at least one mental disorder as well as an alcohol or drug use disorder. The Alaska grant will provide $1.1 million in the first year, $1,071,750 in the second year, $1,088,556 in the third year, and $100,000 in each of the last two years. SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie presented the award to Governor Frank H. Murkowski today at the governor's office in Juneau.

"Individuals with co-occurring disorders should be the expectation, not the exception in the substance abuse treatment and mental health service systems," Secretary Thompson said. "This grant will help individuals in Alaska obtain the coordinated treatment they need to recover and lead healthy lives."

"This program builds on SAMHSA's Report to Congress on Prevention and Treatment of Co-Occurring Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Disorders," Curie said. "That report acknowledged that too often individuals are treated for only one of the two disorders, if they receive treatment at all. These grants are part of SAMHSA's action plan to help states create a system for treating people for both disorders, so any door the individual walks through for medical care will be the door to comprehensive treatment."

Nationwide, almost 4 million Americans have co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse problems, according to SAMHSA's latest Household Survey.

The Alaska grant will allow the state to improve the identification and treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders throughout a diverse service delivery system. Alaska will address improving screening, assessment, treatment, and training. Alaska will plan infrastructure development that focuses on: staffing competency, credentialing, and licensure; financial planning and reimbursement; and information sharing and data collection. The work will fulfill a state goal of integrating mental health and substance abuse services.

Other states receiving these grants include Texas, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment and mental health service delivery systems.

CONTACT: SAMHSA Press Office, +1-301-443-8956; in Alaska: Mark Weber of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, +1-301-651-3625

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 2003
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