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

President Proposes $3.3 Billion Budget for SAMHSA

President George W. Bush has proposed a budget of $3.3 billion for SAMHSA in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 that renews the Agency's emphasis and innovation in two primary areas—Access to Recovery (ATR) and Mental Health System Transformation.

The proposed $3.3 billion budget is similar to FY 2006 funding levels in spite of a $67 million decrease that, in part, reflects a large number of grant programs coming to a natural end in FY 2006.

The budget includes:

  • $1.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, and $428 million for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant.

  • $98 million for the ATR program, which includes approximately $70 million for the Voucher Incentive Program, $25 million for the Methamphetamine Voucher Program, and $3 million to evaluate the ATR program.

  • $20 million for seven Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grants; in addition, states will be required to use part of their Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funds to support state-based mental health transformation activities.

  • More than $95 million to continue Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) state incentive grants and contracts.

"The proposed FY 2007 budget continues our commitment to making solid, lasting changes that will place consumers and families at the center of an improved delivery system," said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., at a Constituent Budget Briefing held January 9 at SAMHSA headquarters. "The budget offers a glimpse of what SAMHSA can accomplish in the next few years. It is a fiscally responsible budget that sets priorities and holds Government programs accountable for real results," he said.

"Most importantly," Mr. Curie added, "SAMHSA is not ending or terminating any grants in FY 2007."

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Substance Abuse

The FY 2007 budget includes $2.3 billion for substance abuse treatment and prevention activities. It also proposes level funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant at $1.8 billion.

Pathways to Recovery. The budget provides $375 million, a reduction of $24 million, for Substance Abuse Treatment Programs of Regional and National Significance. Of this, $98 million is for the ATR voucher program. Beginning in FY 2007, states will have incentives to use part of their Block Grant funds for drug treatment vouchers for people seeking treatment or recovery support from a qualified community provider of their choice, including faith-based organizations. In addition, $25 million in new funding will be targeted to areas with high rates of methamphetamine use to fund vouchers to cover treatment and/or recovery support services.

Other Substance Abuse Treatment Programs. The FY 2007 budget proposes to increase the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment Program to more than $31 million. It also calls for $8 million to support a new group of Addiction Technology Transfer Centers, which distribute research-based knowledge throughout the field. Several Center for Substance Abuse Treatment grant programs and contracts are coming to a natural end, including the general Targeted Capacity Expansion grants, and a few programs targeting pregnant and postpartum women, children, and adolescents. Nevertheless, SAMHSA's FY 2007 budget will support 499 grants and contracts, which include 378 continuation grants and 121 new competitive awards.

Prevention. The budget proposes $181 million for Substance Abuse Prevention Programs of Regional and National Significance, a reduction of $12 million from FY 2006. For example, the Strategic Prevention Framework, which will be funded at $95 million next year, allows states to better use prevention resources, implement effective prevention programs, and coordinate prevention among different agencies and funding streams. In FY 2007, SAMHSA will strengthen the Agency's focus on preventing underage
drinking. The budget also calls for level funding of programs to help communities prevent methamphetamine and inhalant abuse.

SAMHSA will continue working with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to support some 720 grantees funded through the drug-free communities grant program. In addition, the budget proposes nearly $40 million for the Substance Abuse Prevention and HIV Prevention in Minority Communities Services Grants program, and nearly $10 million to sustain the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence.

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Mental Health

The budget proposes $849 million for mental health services, a decrease of $35 million from FY 2006.

Mental Health Block Grant. The budget calls for continued transformation of the Community Mental Health Block Grant, funded at $428 million, consistent with the recommendations of the President's Commission on Mental Health. The FY 2007 budget seeks to encourage reform of the mental health system so that:

  • Americans understand that mental health is essential to overall health.

  • Mental health care is consumer- and family-driven.

  • Disparities in mental health services are eliminated.

  • Early mental health screening, assessment, and referral to services are common practice.

  • Excellent mental health care is delivered, and research is accelerated.

  • Technology is used to access mental health care and information.

To support these goals, states will be required to use at least $153 million for mental health system transformation. In addition, $20 million is included to continue existing State Incentive Grants for Transformation.

Other Mental Health Programs. SAMHSA's suicide prevention programs will be funded at $35 million. This includes $27 million for Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act suicide prevention activities and approximately $3 million in new funding for an American Indian/Alaska Native Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative. The Co-Occurring State Incentive Grants program will be funded at nearly $8 million, while $29 million is proposed for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. SAMHSA's school-based violence prevention activities will receive $76 million in funding, which reflects an $18 million reduction as a result of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students and Youth Violence Prevention grants coming to a natural end.

In addition, the budget proposes level funding for three other Center for Mental Health Services programs—the Children's Mental Health Services program ($104 million), Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness ($54 million), and the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness program ($34 million).

SAMHSA Data Activities. The budget includes an increase of $5 million for the Drug Abuse Warning Network. In addition, SAMHSA will continue to develop and fully implement National Outcome Measures across all Agency programs.

"We're focusing on accountability," Mr. Curie said. "We are moving past providing funding for treatment services to providing funding for the most effective, evidence-based treatment and recovery support services that move consumers and families along the path of recovery. The measures we use to define the recovery process will point to treatment failures, identify treatment improvements, and give consumers more confidence to seek care that is proven to work."

Mr. Curie added that, while states will be responsible for reporting outcomes data, SAMHSA will support their efforts with infrastructure and technical assistance through the State Outcomes Measurement and Management System.

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Online Links

SAMHSA's Web site offers downloads of the FY 2007 budget in both PDF and Word formats at Also, a "Budget in Brief" is available at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site at

SAMHSA Budget Authority by Activity
(Dollars in Millions)

  2005 2006 2007
Substance Abuse:  
Substance Abuse Block Grant $1,776 $1,759 $1,759
Programs of Regional and National Significance:  
Treatment 422 399 375
Prevention 199 193 181
Subtotal, Substance Abuse $2,397 $2,350 $2,315
Mental Health:  
Mental Health Block Grant $433 $429 $428
PATH Homeless Formula Grant 55 54 54
Programs of Regional and National Significance 274 263 228
Children's Mental Health Services 105 104 104
Protection and Advocacy 34 34 34
Subtotal, Mental Health $901 $884 $849
Program Management $94 $92 $97
Total, Program Level $3,392 $3,327 $3,260
Less Funds Allocated from Other Sources:  
PHS Evaluation Funds -123 -121 -126
Total, Discretionary BA $3,268 $3,206 $3,134
FTE 535 558 558
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site, “Budget in Brief,” at (page 40, PDF format).

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