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SAMHSA funds expanded services for children affected by methamphetamine

October 11, 2010
by Press Release
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Rockville, MD — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will award a total of up to $16.8 million for the next four years in grants to expand and enhance services to help provide greater support to children affected by methamphetamine use in their families.

The program will focus primarily on the children (0-17 years old) of parents who use or abuse methamphetamine who are enrolled in a Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC). Grantees must identify a Service Coordinator with the role of establishing and identifying linkages for necessary services to promote the well-being of the child.

These services include providing substance exposed newborns with the proper medical care as early as possible as well as delivering medical and dental and mental health services to affected children in families recovering from methamphetamine problems.

A large body of research has demonstrated that the highest risk factors for child abuse and neglect are parental substance abuse, parental mental health problems, and domestic violence. Over the last several years, there has been a tremendous interest on prevention strategies that focus on promoting protective factors such as parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support, nurturing and attachment, and social connections.

“Children of substance abusing parents are likely to experience guilt, anxiety, embarrassment, inability to have close relationships, confusion, and anger,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, JD. “This program offers children help early on which is important in preventing more serious problems for the child later in life, including substance abuse and mental disorders. The key is helping children understand they are not responsible for the problems of their parents.”

It is expected that approximately $4.2 million per year will be available to fund up to 12 grants. Awardees are eligible for up to $370,000 per year for up to four years. The total program is expected to provide a total of nearly $16.8 million over its four year course. The actual amounts may vary, depending on the availability of these funds and the performance of the grantees. The grants will be administered by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

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