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Homeland Security

06 February 2003

Text: Drug Treatment Professionals Praise Bush Rehabilitation Plan

("Recovery Now" aims to increase access and choice in drug treatment)
Drug treatment organizations are praising the new Bush administration
plan to devote $600 million next year to rehabilitation programs aimed
at helping 300,000 people with substance abuse problems.
President Bush announced the proposal in his State of the Union
message. The plan calls for the distribution of vouchers funded by the
federal government for use in locally based treatment programs. The
vouchers may be used to pay for help in a variety of care programs
such as brief interventions, counseling sessions or intensive
in-patient care. The vouchers may be paid to a range of treatment
providers, including faith-based programs.
A White House fact sheet released January 30 says that 100,000
Americans with substance abuse problems failed to receive the care
they needed last year because they did not have the money to pay for
A news release from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
February 5 expresses support from many different treatment providers.
Linda Hay Crawford, Executive Director of Therapeutic Communities of
America, said "By increasing access to evidence-based approaches to
alcohol and drug abuse treatment, we all stand to benefit by a
decrease in emergency room visits, violence, job accidents, auto
fatalities, workplace absenteeism, Medicaid and Medicare costs."
Further information about the initiative is available at
Following is the text of the ONDCP press release:
(begin text)
News and Public Affairs
February 5, 2003 
(Washington, D.C.)-Treatment providers, researchers, and advocates
nationwide are voicing support for President Bush's Recovery Now
treatment initiative. The initiative, part of the President's 2004
budget proposal submitted to Congress this week, seeks to provide
effective services to people in need of treatment for drug or alcohol
abuse through a voucher program. States will have flexibility to
design the type of voucher that is appropriate for their systems, but
the vouchers will allow treatment providers to seek reimbursement for
their services and will have no face value to the client. The vouchers
will be redeemed for care ranging in levels from brief interventions
or counseling sessions, to intensive in-patient residential treatment
by providers-including faith-based-designated by the individual
John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said the
program will "bring new levels of access, choice, and accountability
to a national treatment system that is currently challenged with
meeting the needs of 5.7 million drug-dependent Americans."
The initiative's potential to facilitate recovery for 300,000 drug-
and alcohol-dependent individuals is being heralded by prevention and
treatment leaders from across the nation. In congratulating President
Bush on the announcement of the Recovery Now initiative, Joseph
Califano, Chairman and President of the National Center on Addiction
and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, said, "It is important to
provide these funds to help close the gap between those who need
treatment and the available treatment for them." Karen Freeman-Wilson,
Executive Director of the National Association of Drug Court
Professionals said, "The President's new voucher plan will allow those
in and out of Drug Court to access treatment, and for that we commend
him and his entire administration."
Acknowledging the plan's "no wrong door to treatment" approach, Ann
Uhler, President of the Alcohol and Drug Problems Association of North
America, said, "We support spiritual development as an essential
component of treatment and recognize that social service branches of
many faith-based groups have long met science-based standards." Dr.
Lawrence Brown, President of the American Society of Addiction
Medicine (ASAM), added that "ASAM appreciates the initiative and
recognizes the importance of spirituality in recovery." Dr. Brown
continued that the President's "leadership on this issue will have an
enormous impact on people's attitudes toward addiction, as well as
increasing access to treatment."
State and local advocates, as well as methadone treatment providers
are highlighting Recovery Now's ability to direct resources where they
are needed most. Judy Cushing, President of Oregon Partnership, said,
"We know that treatment works. What we need is more of it, for more
people, through effective treatment providers. This initiative can
help to meet the treatment gap in this country and here in Oregon."
Mark Parrino, President of the American Association for the Treatment
of Opioid Dependence, said, "President Bush's proposed three-year,
$600 million plan to expand access to vitally-needed treatment
services is critical. We are strongly encouraged that the initiative
will provide greater access to opioid treatment. It builds on the
principle of supporting evidence-based practices so that drug
dependent individuals will gain access to care, leading to their
Summarizing the initiative's benefits for all Americans, Linda Hay
Crawford, Executive Director of Therapeutic Communities of America
said, "We are encouraged by the President's budget initiative to help
addicted Americans find qualified treatment. By increasing access to
evidence-based approaches to alcohol and drug abuse treatment, we all
stand to benefit by a decrease in emergency room visits, violence, job
accidents, auto fatalities, workplace absenteeism, Medicaid and
Medicare costs."
More information about the Recovery Now initiative is available at:
www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov and www.whitehouse.gov
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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