Rockville, MD — Just over 22 million people (8.9 percent of this population) had a diagnosable substance abuse problem last year. To help people access substance abuse treatment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is awarding up to $379 million over the next four years for Access to Recovery (ATR) grants. The ATR program provides vouchers to people with drug and alcohol use problems to pay for needed treatment and recovery support services.
“Access to Recovery provides resources to people seeking help with conquering drug and alcohol addiction,” said Pamela S. Hyde, JD, SAMHSA Administrator. “Vouchers provide people access to treatment options that fit their needs and give them the flexibility to find the best path to recovery. Investing in treatment and recovery support not only saves lives, but every dollar invested in treatment and recovery services returns $7 in cost savings from social benefits such as reduced health costs, crime, and lost productivity.”
Both clinical treatment services and recovery support services are supported by ATR. Clinical treatment services are provided by individuals who are licensed, certified, or otherwise credentialed. Examples of clinical treatment services include screening, individual counseling, group counseling, treatment services for co-occurring mental disorders, and medication-assisted therapy.
“These grants are an important component of the Obama Administration’s balanced efforts to reduce the heavy toll of drug use and its consequences on our families and our communities,” said Director of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske. “Making treatment and recovery support services more available is a cost-effective, medically sound way to protect public health and safety.”
Recovery support services are typically provided by paid staff or volunteers familiar with how their communities can support people seeking to live free of alcohol and drugs, and are often peers of those seeking recovery. Examples of recovery support services include family services (including marriage education, parenting and child development services), employment services, transportation, housing support, relapse prevention, and self-help and support groups.
In their applications, grantees outline the process for drug and alcohol screening and determining appropriate services. Clients are assessed, given a voucher for identified services, and provided with a list of appropriate service providers from which to choose.
It is expected that $94.8 million per year will be available to fund up to 30 grants. The annual amount of each grant ranges from $2 million to $4 million. The actual amounts may vary, depending on the availability of these funds and the performance of the grantees.