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SAMHSA News - March/April, Volume 14, Number 2

"Partners for Recovery" Posts Web Site

SAMHSA recently announced the launch of a Web site dedicated to building partnerships that support the advancement of prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance use and mental health disorders.

The new Partners for Recovery (PFR) Web site, at, offers a central resource for organizations and groups that work to help individuals and families achieve and maintain recovery.

Sponsored by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the recovery initiative provides technical resources, including important journal articles and reports, and support through the new Web site.

In 2005, Partners for Recovery was broadened from a focus on addiction treatment to a SAMHSA-wide initiative. The initiative's Steering Committee, which guides and provides leadership to the effort, now includes Agency representatives from all three disciplines: substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment, and mental health.

Five key priorities are highlighted on the Web site:

Recovery is an ongoing process that starts before sustained abstinence is achieved (see SAMHSA News article, Consensus Statement Defines Mental Health Recovery).

Collaboration occurs when organizations and systems that help people with (or at risk for) substance abuse disorders work together to create a continuum of recovery support services, including prevention, intervention, and treatment.

Stigma reduction is a top priority for the initiative. Training sessions are under way to inform individuals and organizations about their rights under Federal and state laws. A national public education campaign is being coordinated through the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Workforce development addresses complex issues facing the addiction treatment field, such as recruitment, retention, and staff skills development.

Leadership development includes the sponsorship of regional leadership institutes to focus on developing a cadre of emerging leaders. Many current leaders who work in the field of addiction services are preparing to retire.

National leaders in the field identified these five topics as the most important and compelling issues for the growth and advancement of treatment and recovery across the Nation. Focusing on these topics furthers SAMHSA's mission to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with alcohol and drug problems or mental illnesses.

In addition to links to related Web sites and reports, resources include the Know Your Rights brochure for people in treatment for (and recovery from) alcohol and drug problems. Other Web site features include presentations on issues facing the addiction treatment workforce, peer-reviewed papers on developing new leadership, the President's New Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health, the Annapolis Coalition on Behavioral Health, and other state and Federal resources on developing recovery-oriented systems of care.

"The Web site's content currently reflects its original focus—substance use disorders. However, over time, the content will include the initiative's broadened focus on substance abuse prevention and mental health issues as well," said Donna M. Cotter, M.B.A., Partners for Recovery Coordinator at CSAT.

Goals of the initiative include defining recovery and providing models and tools to support it; fostering collaboration among the various systems that affect people with substance use disorders (such as mental health, primary care, and child welfare); and reducing the stigma associated with addiction.

Individuals as well as organizations and states working on recovery issues, stigma reduction, workforce development, and leadership development in the areas of addiction prevention, treatment, and mental health are invited to share information so it can be made available on the Partners for Recovery Web site.

For additional information on Partners for Recovery, visit

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