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SAMHSA News - July/August 2006, Volume 14, Number 4

Administrator Curie To Leave SAMHSA

Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., will resign as SAMHSA Administrator effective August 5, 2006. In his nearly 5 years at the helm of SAMHSA, Mr. Curie was instrumental in pursuing the New Freedom Initiative and Access to Recovery program—both priorities of the George W. Bush Administration.

The President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, established by an executive order on April 29, 2002, articulated a goal of transforming the mental health care system.

Building on the work of the President's New Freedom Commission, SAMHSA developed a Federal action agenda. SAMHSA continues to work with representatives of multiple Federal agencies that form the Federal Executive Steering Committee to achieve the 70 action steps on the agenda.

Reshaping the Nation's approach to mental health has entailed a reshaping of the perception of mental illness. This includes the promotion of the concept that people can recover from mental illnesses and live productive and fulfilling lives in the community.

SAMHSA's substance abuse treatment priorities also focus on facilitating recovery. The Access to Recovery (ATR) Program, launched under Mr. Curie's leadership, has the goal of increasing access to treatment and enhancing choice in services in order to improve treatment outcomes. ATR expands consumer choice through a unique voucher program aimed at increasing recovery options by focusing on both clinical treatment and other recovery support services.

According to SAMHSA's 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 4.6 million people experienced co-occurring mental and substance use disorders during the year. Nearly half of the adults with co-occurring disorders received no treatment for either problem, and only 6 percent received treatment for both.

During Mr. Curie's tenure, SAMHSA published a landmark Report to Congress recognizing that people with co-occurring disorders are the expectation, not the exception, in substance abuse and mental health treatment systems.

This commitment to helping people with co-occurring disorders led to the launch of SAMHSA's Co-Occurring State Incentive Grants. These grants help states develop or enhance their treatment systems to provide accessible, comprehensive, and evidence-based treatment services to people with co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

"Its been a privilege to serve this whole Nation. I feel very fortunate and humbled."

In addition to these efforts, SAMHSA worked with First Lady Laura Bush's Helping America's Youth Initiative, which joins together the efforts of multiple Federal drug abuse prevention programs to reduce illicit drug use among the Nation's youth (see SAMHSA News, First Lady Reaches Out to Youth). These efforts include SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework, which will assist 40 states to establish a science-based approach to substance abuse prevention and to build resiliency in young people.

While at SAMHSA, Mr. Curie showed the same dedication to eliminating the use of seclusion and restraint in treatment that he displayed during his years as deputy secretary for mental health and substance abuse services at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Reflecting on his time at SAMHSA, Mr. Curie said, "It's been a privilege to serve this whole Nation. I feel very fortunate and humbled." End of Article

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Inside This Issue

Preparedness Planning

Hurricane Recovery Guides Preparedness Planning
Part 1
Part 2

Post-Disaster Response: Learning from Research
Part 1
Part 2

Schools Offer Stability for Children of Disasters

Documentary Features New Orleans High School

Disaster Readiness Resources

Administrator Curie To Leave SAMHSA

From the Administrator: Reflections, Future Directions

SAMHSA Expands Matrix

Methamphetamine Jeopardizes Children's Welfare

Afghanistan, Iraq: SAMHSA Supports Mental Health Efforts

First Lady Reaches Out to Youth

Treatment Protocol Focuses on Detoxification

Curriculum on Restraint Reduction Available

Treatment Directory Updated

Drug Abuse Linked to 1.3 Million ER Visits

Spanish-Language Fotonovela

September Is Recovery Month!

Screening for Mental Illness in Nursing Homes

SAMHSA News Information

SAMHSA News - July/August 2006, Volume 14, Number 4