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
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
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
"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."
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