CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Release: Sept. 16, 2002
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
In 2001, nearly 27,000 Iowans received treatment for a problem related to
the use of alcohol or illicit drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. Nationwide, alcohol and drug abuse costs the economy an
estimated $276 billion per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures,
crime, motor vehicle crashes and other conditions, according to a 2001 report
by the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University.
To increase awareness of this important public health issue, September has
been designated National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The Prairielands
Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC), based in the University of Iowa
College of Public Health, is taking part in the national campaign to promote
public awareness about the continuing need for quality drug and alcohol addiction
treatment and recovery services and programs.
"Recovery Month is intended to help people recognize that alcohol and
substance abuse and addiction are treatable diseases and that treatment is
as effective as treatments for other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes
and high blood pressure," said Anne Helene Skinstad, Ph.D.,
UI assistant professor of community and behavioral health and program director
of the Prairielands ATTC. "Recovery Month also celebrates the successes
of individuals who have engaged in treatment and recognizes men and women
in the treatment field who dedicate their lives to helping those with addictions."
A local event highlighting Recovery Month will take place on Sept. 18, when
Skinstad, Peter Nathan, Ph.D., UI professor of psychology and community and
behavioral health, Arthur Schut, executive director of Mid-Eastern Council
on Chemical Abuse (MECCA), and members of the recovery community take part
in an "Iowa Talks" radio program. WSUI AM 910, the UI's public radio
station serving eastern Iowa, broadcasts the public affairs program at 10
a.m. Fridays from The Java House at 211 E. Washington in downtown Iowa City.
Recognition of addiction as an illness is a guideline set forth in the national
initiative "Changing the Conversation: The National Treatment Plan Initiative
to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment." The initiative is a public and
private sector endeavor sponsored by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
The Prairielands ATTC is part of a nationwide network of 14 regional centers.
Funded by SAMHSA, the Prairielands ATTC is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art
trainings, curricula and resources on substance use issues for counselors,
health care professionals and members of the community. Currently it serves
the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. More
information about the Prairielands ATTC, as well as regional and national
events celebrating Recovery Month, can be found online at http://www.uiowa.edu/~attc/.