SAMHSA to Launch New 'Office of Recovery'

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is launching an Office of Recovery, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to advance the agency's commitment to, and support of, recovery for all Americans. SAMHSA will now have a dedicated team with a deep understanding of recovery to promote policies, programs and services to those in or seeking recovery.

"We have identified recovery as a crosscutting principle throughout SAMHSA's policies and programs," said Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the leader of SAMHSA. "In standing up this new office, SAMHSA is committed to growing and expanding recovery support services nationwide."

Recovery is enhanced by peer-delivered services. These peer support services have proven to be effective as the support, outreach and engagement with new networks help sustain recovery over the long term. Peer services are critical, given the significant workforce shortages in behavioral health.

Finding Long-Term Recovery

SAMHSA's new Office of Recovery will promote the involvement of people with lived experience throughout agency and stakeholder activities, foster relationships with internal and external organizations in the mental health and addiction recovery fields and identify health disparities in high-risk and vulnerable populations to ensure equity for support services across the Nation.

"SAMHSA believes in recovery and recognizes the importance of including families, loved ones and allies," said Assistant Secretary Delphin-Rittmon. "If people are struggling, they don't need to struggle alone – services and supports are available across the country, which can help people find long-term recovery."

SAMHSA has a long history of advancing Recovery Support dating back to the 1980s with the Community Support Program and the 1990s, when the first Recovery Community Support Programs were funded. SAMHSA defines recovery as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives and strive to reach their full potential.

Alcohol Can Cause Immediate Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

A single glass of wine can quickly and significantly raise the drinker's risk for atrial fibrillation, according to new research . The study provides the first evidence that alcohol consumption substantially increases the chance of the heart rhythm condition occurring within a few hours. The findings might run counter to a prevailing perception that alcohol can be "cardioprotective," say the authors, suggesting that reducing or avoiding alcohol might help mitigate harmful effects.

Continue reading

Cravings Stronger for Those Who Smoke and Drink

People who drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes may have stronger cravings and greater drug-seeking responses, which could explain why those who use multiple substances find it more difficult to quit. Researchers at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York have explored the motivational impact of cigarette and alcohol "cues", with important implications for understanding and treating addiction and relapse. Over time, individuals who drink heavily and smoke cigarettes frequently begin to associate simple stimuli in their environment – such as the sight or smell of a lit cigarette or their favorite drink – with the rewarding effects of the substance.

Continue reading

Half of ADHD Adults Have Had a Substance Abuse Disorder

Half of adults aged 20-39 diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have had a substance use disorder (SUD) in their lifetime according to new research. This is markedly higher than the 23.6 percent of young adults without ADHD who have had a substance use disorder in their lifetime. Even after considering factors such as age, race, income, education, childhood adversities and other mental illness, young adults with ADHD were still 69 percent more likely to have had a substance use disorder when compared to their peers without ADHD.

Continue reading

Even 2 Drinks a Day Increases Cancer Risks

Scientists have found an association between alcohol and a substantially higher risk of several forms of cancer, including breast, colon, and oral cancers. Increased risk was evident even among light to moderate drinkers (up to two drinks a day), who represented 1 in 7 of all new cancers in 2020 and more than 100,000 cases worldwide.

Continue reading

Infrastructure Bill Would Attack Drunk Driving

One of the provisions in the proposed bipartisan infrastructure bill being considered by the U.S. Senate contains a provision that has been long sought after by an anti-drunk driving advocacy group. The requirement beginning on page 1,067 of the 2,700-page, $1 Trillion bill provides that new cars contain "advanced drunk and impaired driving technology."

Continue reading

Primary-Care Consultation Can Help Problem Drinkers

Few patients with alcohol-use problems who might benefit from either pharmacotherapy or specialized addiction treatment actually receive care. A pilot study which examined the feasibility of providing a real-time video consultation resource in primary care could increase the number who seek treatment.

Continue reading

Covid Side Effects: Increased Drinking, Weight Gain

As growing vaccine demand signals a potential turning point in the global COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's health crisis is far from over. One year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, many adults report undesired changes to their weight, increased drinking and other negative behavior changes that may be related to an inability to cope with prolonged stress, according to the American Psychological Association's latest Stress in America™ poll.

Continue reading

Restricting Malt Liquor Sales Reduces Crime

Restricting the sale of malt liquor beer can help reduce crime in some communities, according to research. Malt liquor beer — high in alcohol content, low cost, and widely sold in liquor stores and convenience stores — is linked to heavy drinking, public inebriation, disorderly conduct, drug activity and other crimes. Consequently, since the 1990s, some cities have restricted its sale.

Continue reading

Blood Pressure Drug Can Ease Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

A drug once used to treat high blood pressure can help alcoholics with withdrawal symptoms and reduce or eliminate their drinking, Yale University researchers report. In a double-blind study, researchers gave the drug prazosin or a placebo to 100 people entering outpatient treatment after being diagnosed with alcohol use disorder. All of the patients had experienced varying degrees of withdrawal symptoms prior to entering treatment.

Continue reading

Page top