Monthly Archives: March 2011

SAMHSA Webinar

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Partners for Recovery Initiative is offering a free webinar on March 31 at 1pm. “What’s Happening in 2011?” is designed for States, providers, consumers, and other interested stakeholders, will highlight important provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are being implemented or are planned for implementation in 2011. Register now.

New MAPPA Initiative

IC&RC is supporting our Member Board, Maryland Association of Prevention Professionals and Advocates (MAPPA), in its Dorchester Recovery Initiative (DRI). The effort is committed to strengthening the recovery community in Maryland, as well as and supporting the services and structures that underpin recovery (such as childcare, transportation, employment, sober recreation, and housing). To learn more, check out the YouTube channel, Facebook page, or website.

Sponsorships Available

For the first time, the Administrators Meeting will be broadcast to Member Boards who cannot send staff to Denver. IC&RC is making a special sponsorship opportunity available to organizations in the field who want to promote a product or service to the IC&RC membership, while supporting our work. Contact Kay Glass, Marketing Director, for detals.

Building a New Treatment System in South Africa


During a month-long training and consulting project in South Africa, I witnessed first-hand the overwhelming addiction treatment needs of that country. Rampant addiction in South Africa affects many other aspects of its citizens’ lives, including HIV, domestic violence and abuse, with a strong impact on the criminal justice system. South Africa’s current treatment structure is not meeting the vast needs of the population.

Fortunately government officials and treatment professionals are recognizing that fact, and invited Johnson to identify and establish specific areas of reform. As a result, a comprehensive strategic plan was developed to cost-effectively expand or redesign current treatment programs. Some treatment programs are operated illegally, with untrained staff using outdated models and charging exorbitant admission fees. I believe that new strategies are needed, including a more comprehensive, cost-effective approach.

These new strategies include adding trained addiction professionals to other programs and agencies and integrating addiction treatment into primary health care and other agencies such as private physician offices, primary care clinics, public health clinics, schools, hospitals and court service offices. As a result of adding these addiction professionals to non-traditional treatment sites these agencies can share facilities, staff, expenses and resources to expand services for those needing treatment.

In addition to these expanded non-traditional sites for services, I helped train and work with Comprehensive Care Centers that are placed in high-risk areas. These care centers will offer not only addiction treatment but mental health services, medical care for HIV and other physical issues, vocational training and court service staff. These Comprehensive Care Centers will be a one-stop shop for those needing assistance. Since these programs will also share facilities and resources, it can be done in a cost-effective manner and serve more individuals and families.

Treatment programs will also be established in some of the most needed schools, which will assist those children being able to access services. I also provided training for all of those professionals included in the new redesign of services including, doctors, nurses, social workers, court staff and law enforcement.

The training and consultation will be on-going. I will be returning the later part of this year to provide further services and trainings as well as on-going assistance.  I am also assisting in establishing an addiction credentialing board to set international standards for addiction professionals through IC&RC. Trained and credentialed staff will also add to the success and expansion of these new programs.

Advocacy Corner

By Andrew Kessler, Federal Policy Liaison

First, the good news: SAMHSA has set aside $50 million for prevention in tribal areas, as a result of funds taken from the Affordable Care Act. This money will go directly to the tribes and not through IHS. There’s also another $395 million in prevention for the states, but there will be new mechanisms in place that make the prevention block grant a little different than in the past. I’ll share more details as they become clear.

On another front, the advocacy community for addiction prevention and treatment has followed the review process that is examining whether a merger between the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is in the best interests of research and the public. Both institutes are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), located in Bethesda, MD. The task of investigating whether a merger is in the best interest of science and the NIH falls to the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB.)  

Not less than once each seven years, the Board must provide advice to the NIH Director and other appropriate agency officials, through a report to the NIH Director, regarding the use of organizational authorities reaffirmed by the NIH Reform Act of 2006. A working group of the Board, the Substance Use, Abuse, and Addiction workgroup, has been charged with investigating the plausibility of a merger.  The working group spent close to a year soliciting comments from experts in addiction research, from the public, and experts in NIH administration. Their work to date has been transparent and open.  Recently, the SMRB voted 12-3 in favor of combining the two institutes.

Several complex steps remain in the process.  Their recommendation will be sent to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.  Dr. Collins may then decide to accept or ignore the recommendation.  If he chooses to ignore the recommendation, he must explain his reasons in writing.  If he accepts the recommendation, he will notify Congress via the Office of the HHS Secretary.  Congress then may refute the recommendation, or accept it by taking no action. This procedure is guided by statute, the aforementioned NIH Reform Act of 2006, which is also responsible for the creation of the SMRB. 

IC&RC has made comments to the SMRB, both written and oral, in support of creating one institute in the place of the two that currently exist.  We believe that one institute handling one disorder (substance abuse and addiction) will increase the profile of the field that works on this issue.  Also, due to the high frequency of patients who suffer from the abuse of both alcohol and narcotics, this process will increase the research profile for such co-morbidity.  We have received a letter from the NIH in response to our efforts.

Flashback to 1981

Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, Prince of Wales, the year that IC&RC was founded. Remarkably, another royal wedding is slated for the organization’s 30th Anniversary year.

1981 was also the year of Luke and Laura on “General Hospital,” Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Major League Baseball strike. “Jessie’s Girl” and “Kiss on My List” dominated the airwaves. MTV  launched 30 years ago, and IBM released the original personal computer.
Three decades have passed since assassination attempts against U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II rocked the world. Sandra Day O’Connor was named the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history. After 19 years hosting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time.

Where were you in 1981?

From the Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,

In the Mid-Atlantic, spring is gearing up, and we’re seeing crocuses and the buds of daffodils. That also means that the IC&RC staff is gearing up for our Spring Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Slated for April 26 to 28, the first meeting of our 30th Anniversary year promises to be an exciting, productive one. Three notices have gone out with meeting information, but if you haven’t submitted your registration forms or booked a room yet, we’re providing the details again below.

Speaking of the Anniversary, we are viewing this year as an opportunity to capture as much of IC&RC’s history as possible, and we hope you can help us. We will be emailing an invitation to the IC&RC History Survey shortly, and I ask that you give it your highest attention.


Mary Jo Mather

Executive Director