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Outreach for addiction treatment highest in tribal communities, study says

April 3, 2012
by News release
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A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that 81% of substance abuse treatment facilities run by tribal governments provided outreach services to persons in the community who may need treatment.

The report shows that the level of outreach services provided by tribal substance abuse facilities was notably higher than the levels among other private- and public-run facilities. Overall, 51% of all treatment substance facilities provided outreach services.

These services include programs such as behavioral health education, language services, and transportation to treatment for members of the community. These services are especially important to traditionally underserved populations, such as people experiencing homelessness, people in rural areas, and members of certain racial and ethnic groups.

“It is encouraging that half of all substance abuse treatment facilities, and a large majority of tribal treatment facilities, are offering outreach services. Increasing the numbers of outreach services is critical so people are not denied access to treatment because of socio-economic, logistical, and other reasons,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “We need to do everything in our power to make access to substance abuse treatment easier and open the door to hope and the opportunity for a bright and thriving future.”

The following facilities have reported these outreach service levels:

  • Federal government facilities – 56%
  • Local, County or community government  – 55%
  • Private, non-profit organization  – 53%
  • State government  – 50%
  • Private, for-profit – 43%

SAMHSA has several programs that promote outreach services to those in need of treatment—particularly to traditionally underserved communities. These programs include Access to Recovery (ATR) grants, which employ a voucher management system that provides eligible clients the opportunity to choose clinical treatment and recovery support services from a list of providers.

The six ATR tribal grantees operating in nine states provide extensive outreach services to rural reservation communities and remote villages as well as major metropolitan areas.

The report Half of All Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities and More than Three Quarters of Those Owned By Tribal Governments Offer Outreach Services is based on SAMHSA 2009 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). The N-SSATS report is a survey of 13,513 substance abuse treatment facilities across the U.S. 

The Spotlight report is available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/spotlights/CBHSQ_Spot045_Outreach_2012.pdf.

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