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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
March/April 2010, Volume 18, Number 2 

Treatment Update: Uninsured Workers, Free Treatment

Households across America are talking about health insurance coverage these days. According to SAMHSA’s 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the most common reason why people with substance use problems do not seek treatment is the financial burden resulting from a lack of health insurance, insurance without a behavioral health benefit, or insufficient means to pay for treatment.

Cover of Substance Use Treatment Need among Uninsured Workers - click to view publication

Two reports from SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies examined data dealing with substance abuse treatment need among uninsured workers as well as free substance abuse treatment.

Uninsured Workers

More than 18.4 million full-time employees age 18 to 64 (15.5 percent of the full-time adult workers in that age range) had no health insurance coverage, according to data averaged for 2007 and 2008.

An estimated 3.0 million uninsured full-time workers (16.3 percent) needed substance use treatment in the past year. Specifically, 13.3 percent needed alcohol use treatment, 5.6 percent needed illicit drug use treatment, and 2.7 percent needed both alcohol and illicit drug use treatment.

But of the uninsured workers who needed substance use treatment in the past year, only 12.6 percent (378,000 persons) received treatment at a specialty facility.

For more, download Substance Use Treatment Need among Uninsured Workers at

Read about new SAMHSA data on free treatment.

  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Take Action in Your Community

Take Action in Your Community

Three new campaigns bring powerful prevention messages to communities.

  From the Administrator  
Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.

Considering Language in Our Field

Do you use certain terms to describe our field? See terms.

  More on Underage Drinking  
Sober Truth on Underage Drinking

Sober Truth on Underage Drinking

The STOP program is making a difference. Read about grantees in Ohio, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Town Hall Meetings Continue To Expand

Nearly 1,800 communities across the Nation recently met to discuss underage drinking.

State Estimates on Underage Drinking

State by state, the numbers differ on children and alcohol use.

  Women & Substance Abuse  
Treatment Improvement Protocol 51

Treatment Improvement Protocol 51

Gender makes a difference. TIP 51 can help providers offer women effective, up-to-date treatment.

Pregnant Teen Admissions

Pregnant Teen Admissions

Comparing data from 1992 and 2007 on admission rates.

  Treatment Updates  
Uninsured Workers: Recent Data

Uninsured Workers: Data

Who needs treatment for substance abuse?

Free Treatment Available

Some facilities offer substance abuse treatment at no charge or a sliding scale fee.

Opioid Treatment Programs: Two Reports

Opioid Treatment Programs: Two Reports

Methadone maintenance, buprenorphine maintenance. What are the similarities and differences among OTPs?

  Evidence-Based Practices  
Evidence-Based Practices KITs

Evidence-Based Practices KITs

The Knowledge Information Transformation (KIT) series offers new KITs.

Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

The Agency outlines a budget request totaling $3.7 billion.

More on the Budget . . .

Established programs, new initiatives, and SAMHSA’s Budget Authority by Activity and the Agency’s Congressional Justification.

  Grants Updates  
Promoting Mental Health Recovery

Promoting Mental Health

Five behavioral health care provider associations recently received funding.

  Media & Messages  
Art & Children’s Mental Health

Art & Children’s Mental Health

Every day is Children’s Mental Health Day: “My Feelings Are a Work of Art.”

1-800-273-TALK Is the Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK Is the Lifeline

Share the Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Minds on the Edge

Minds on the Edge

Facing mental illness is the subject of a PBS program.

  Recovery Month  
Flyers Available

Flyers Available

For 2010 celebrations, the flyers are available in print and online.

Inhalant Use & Respiratory Conditions

Inhalant Use & Respiratory Conditions

Thousands of children age 12 to 17 with pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma used inhalants.


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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