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$3.5 million grant will help DHSS treat persons
with co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders


November 12, 2003
Wednesday - 1:00 am

Juneau ­ The Alaska Department of Health & Social Services was awarded on Monday a grant of nearly $3.5 million, which will be disbursed over five years, for co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems. Health and Human Services SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie presented the award to Governor Frank H. Murkowski today at the governor's office in Juneau.

"This grant will help DHSS increase the capacity of state treatment systems to provide effective, coordinated and integrated treatment services to persons with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders," said Commissioner of Health and Social Services Joel Gilbertson. "Too often individuals with co-occurring disorders cycle back through our system time and time again because they aren't treated for both problems at the same time. We aim to change that with the funds from this grant by ensuring that individuals receive coordinated treatment."

These grants are part of the State Incentive Grant program in HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA). SAMHSA is awarding seven of these new grants, designed to stimulate states to provide comprehensive, evidence-based treatment to persons who have at least one mental disorder as well as an alcohol or drug use disorder. The Alaska grant will provide $1.1 million in the first year, $1,071,750 in the second year, $1,088,556 in the third year, and $100,000 in each of the last two years.

"This program builds on SAMHSA's Report to Congress on Prevention and Treatment of Co-Occurring Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Disorders," Curie said. "That report acknowledged that too often individuals are treated for only one of the two disorders, if they receive treatment at all. These grants are part of SAMHSA's action plan to help states create a system for treating people for both disorders, so any door the individual walks through for medical care will be the door to comprehensive treatment."

The Alaska grant will allow the state to improve the identification and treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders throughout a diverse service delivery system. Alaska will address improving screening, assessment, treatment, and training. Alaska will plan infrastructure development that focuses on: staffing competency, credentialing, and licensure; financial planning and reimbursement; and information sharing and data collection. The work will fulfill a state goal of integrating mental health and substance abuse services.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services
Web Site


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