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SAMHSA News - March/April 2004, Volume 12, Number 2

President's 2005 Budget Proposes Increase for SAMHSA Services

President George W. Bush's Fiscal Year 2005 budget for SAMHSA proposes increases for the President's Access to Recovery Initiative for drug treatment and bold new investments to transform mental health care across the Nation as recommended by the President's Commission on Mental Health. The budget also calls for a new Strategic Prevention Framework.

Overall, the proposal calls for a 6-percent increase in both mental health and substance abuse services, expanding SAMHSA's budget to $3.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2005—a net increase of $199 million over Fiscal Year 2004.

"This budget request underscores the support SAMHSA is receiving from both President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "At SAMHSA, we structure our work around the vision of a life in the community for everyone, and our mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery." He added, "The Administration's actions clearly support SAMHSA's efforts."

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Substance Abuse

The President's budget seeks to expand treatment and recovery support services to people with drug and alcohol problems. It includes $2.5 billion, a net increase of $148 million—or 6 percent, for substance abuse treatment and prevention activities.

Expanding Access to Treatment. The budget represents the fourth year of the President's commitment to expand drug treatment and recovery support services over 5 years. The request proposes to double funding for the "Access to Recovery" State Voucher program to $200 million. The initiative allows individuals seeking treatment and recovery support services to exercise choice among qualified community provider organizations, including those that are faith-based. The program places strong emphasis on results measured by specific outcomes. These outcomes include no substance use, no involvement with the criminal justice system, becoming employed or enrolling in school, improved family and living conditions, social support, access to care, treatment capacity, and retention in services. The Access to Recovery program is expected to serve approximately 100,000 people in Fiscal Year 2005.

Promoting Effective Prevention. The budget proposal includes $196 million to implement SAMHSA's new Strategic Prevention Framework, which is designed to promote the use of performance measures and evaluation tools by substance abuse prevention providers. It also is intended to support the implementation of effective prevention programs in states and communities across the Nation. Through the Strategic Prevention Framework, SAMHSA builds and strengthens the capacity within states and the prevention field to promote resiliency and decrease risk factors in individuals, families, and communities. In Fiscal Year 2005, this program will focus on promoting the replication of effective programs at the community level, with an emphasis on preventing underage drinking.

"The Administration's actions clearly support SAMHSA's efforts."
–Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W.
SAMHSA Administrator

Substance Abuse Block Grant. The proposal requests $1.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, an increase of $53 million over Fiscal Year 2004. The SAPT Block Grant provides treatment services to more than 425,000 individuals. It also supports more than 10,500 community-based organizations and accounts for at least 40 percent of each state's prevention and treatment funding.

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Mental Health

The President's budget also calls for bold new investments in mental health services. The Fiscal Year 2005 budget for mental health—$913 million—represents a net increase of $51 million over Fiscal Year 2004.

Transforming the Nation's Mental Health System. Specifically, the budget earmarks $44 million for State Incentive Grants for Transformation. These funds are being proposed in response to the recommendations and the final report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which called for a fundamental overhaul of how mental health care is delivered in the United States. These new grants will support the development of comprehensive state mental health plans to reduce system fragmentation and to increase services and support available to people with mental illness.

In the first year, states will establish a planning dialogue across multiple service systems and agencies such as criminal justice, housing, child welfare, labor, and education. In subsequent years, 85 percent of grant funds may be used to support community-based programs identified in the state plan, while the remaining 15 percent will support state planning and coordination activities.

Homeless Services. The President's request includes a $10 million contribution for the Samaritan Initiative, a Presidential priority designed to reduce chronic homelessness. The program is jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The initiative is intended to help service providers increase access to the full range of services that chronically homeless people need, including housing, outreach and support services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and primary health care.

The budget request also includes $55 million for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH),
a $5 million increase over Fiscal Year 2004. The funds will allow grantees to reach out to 154,000 homeless individuals and to help these individuals obtain mental health, substance abuse treatment, and housing services.

Overall, the proposal calls for a 6-percent increase in both mental health and substance abuse services, expanding SAMHSA's budget to $3.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2005.

Other Mental Health Programs. A total of $436 million is requested for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Program, which provides community-based mental health services for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances. The budget also supports assistance to states in developing programs for people with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, as well as efforts to continue support for Federal partnerships focusing on youth violence.

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Program Management

The President's budget provides $92 million to maintain SAMHSA staffing levels and to support effective administration of the Agency. As part of the President's Management Agenda, SAMHSA has revamped its grant announcement process to make the application process easier and simpler for potential grantees.

For more information, visit the SAMHSA Web site at, which includes the Fiscal Year 2005 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees as well as information on the Government Performance and Results Act. In addition, a "Budget in Brief" is available at the HHS Web site at End of Article

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Inside This Issue

SAMHSA Helps Bring Buprenorphine to the Field
  • Part 1
  • Part 2
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  • From the Administrator: How Is Buprenorphine Treatment Working?
  • Resources
  • Training Available for Counselors
  • In Action: One Community's Story

    President's 2005 Budget Proposes Increase for SAMHSA Services
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    SAMHSA News Gets a New Web Address

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    Treatment Admissions Rise for Narcotic Painkillers
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    SAMHSA News

    SAMHSA News - March/April 2004, Volume 12, Number 2

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