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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
September/October 2008, Volume 16, Number 5 

From Dr. Broderick: A Public Health Approach

Returning veterans and their families need a comprehensive set of services to support the transition from active-duty military to an engaged and healthy life in the community.

To address that need, SAMHSA recently collaborated with the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at the Second National Behavioral Health Conference on Returning Veterans and Their Families. (See Paving the Road Home Returning Veterans and Behavioral Health.)

photo of Dr. Eric B. Broderick

Dr. Eric B. Broderick, Acting SAMHSA Administrator

As Federal agencies, SAMHSA, DoD, and VA each have different roles to play, but we each hold a shared belief in the public health model to promote the health and well-being of our returning troops.

Our continuing goal is to speak with a single voice on behalf of men and women coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan bearing the “invisible wounds” of war. The public health model supports the notion that it is inherently better to promote health and prevent illness before an illness begins.

Well-being, prevention, and treatment are the cornerstones of this approach to health care. The public health model is well suited to promote an individual’s recovery from mental health and substance use disorders and the traumas that may result from combat exposure.

This model recognizes that mental health does not reside solely in the individual but within the web of interactions among the individual, the family, the military unit, the neighborhood, and the community where a returning veteran lives.

Through SAMHSA's collaborations with state mental health and substance abuse authorities, state substance abuse agencies, and community mental health centers, we can provide access to a full range of community-based services for our soldiers who choose to seek our help.

We are also committed to expanding the level of community and provider awareness, education, and capacity that will allow us to connect veterans to the DoD and the VA for services for which they are eligible.

Mental health and substance abuse issues can lead to other health and social problems. The public health approach seeks long-term solutions achieved by high-quality care, before symptoms and co-occurring conditions become severe.

I challenge us all—state and local governments, the research community, the mental health and substance abuse services field, and the private sector—to look for ways to address the needs of the men and women who have returned home.

Eric B. Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H.
SAMHSA Acting Administrator



  Grants  

Grant Awards Announced

SAMHSA recently announced grant awards for programs related to children's mental health, suicide, drug-free communities, and others.

Grant Awards Update


  National Survey on Drug Use  
  and Health  

Youth Substance Use Declines

From the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, new national data show a drop in illicit drug use among youth and an increase in adult prescription drug misuse.

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Drugs and Youth: Chart Shows 2002 to 2007 Data

Marijuana, cocaine—changes in use of selected illicit drugs among youth, 2002 versus 2007.


logo for National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Recovery Month Testimonials

Two people relate their personal stories of addiction, recovery, and hope.



  Mental Health  
photo of a hand holding a pen to paper

Making Mental Health Services Accessible

Can primary care doctors help with mental health problems? New strategies to overcome barriers associated with reimbursement.

the letter i depicted as an icon representing a friend to lean on

Pros and Cons of Self-Disclosure

What are the risks and benefits of revealing a mental health problem to friends or coworkers?

photo of a boy pointing and a girl laughing

Bullying: Starting the Conversation

Bullies are out there—SAMHSA resources can help parents and educators address the problem.


  Substance Abuse  
photo of people sitting in a circle

Mutual Support Groups: Fact Sheet for Providers

What do you know about mutual support groups? Providers can help connect clients with groups that help people achieve recovery.

photo of a sign reading “Repeated Admissions Start Line Here”

First-Time Versus Repeat Admissions

New SAMHSA data reveal characteristics of first-time and repeat admissions to substance abuse treatment.

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

Registry Posts 100th Evidence-Based Practice

NREPP reaches a milestone—find out how the Registry can link communities to interventions specific to their needs.




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