What is SAMHSA?

SAMHSA stands for Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which was created in 1992 to replace the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration.

SAMHSA seeks to improve the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses. This agency works on expanding access to mental health care, promoting safe and effective programs for people suffering from or at risk of developing mental conditions, advocate for families of those suffering from mental disorders and facilitate greater mental healthcare overall. At times SAMHSA has taken public stances on controversial issues such as homosexuality and transgender identity and treatment of heroin addiction. In addition, SAMHSA makes grants to various agencies to prevent and treat addictive and mental disorders and furthers its work through public campaigns, system reform, policies, and program analysis.

With more than 22 million Americans aged 12 or older diagnosed with some type of substance abuse or dependence in 2005, and an additional 25 million American aged 18 years or older living with a serious mental health condition, SAMHSA seeks to reduce the physical and emotional toll of these illnesses by prevention and early intervention, through research, services, and support.

Three centers and five offices comprise SAMHSA:
The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

With respect to Substance Abuse, SAMHSA provides a resourceful link where individuals seeking addiction treatment or their loved ones can search for private and government based treatment options. Although generally, the first step in starting a search for either private or government addiction treatment programs is the on-line search, due diligence is a must in deciding the most appropriate rehab center. Online reviews about the treatment facilities are highly recommended. Check the link below for more information about what you should be looking for when choosing a drug or alcohol addiction rehab facility and treatment program.