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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2004

'Recovery Month' Focuses On Improving Local Access To Recovery

In 2003, Iowa ranked second in the nation for methamphetamine-related activity, according to Drug Enforcement Administration officials. In addition, the number of drug-affected babies born to Iowa mothers nearly tripled last year, according to the Iowa Department of Human Services Bureau of Protective Services, and the numbers continue to climb. Increased use of methamphetamine is to blame, officials say.

September marks the 15th annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. As methamphetamine joins the ranks of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana as the most frequently abused substances in Iowa, this year's theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery...Now!" encourages communities to take immediate action to improve local residents' access to recovery.

The Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center (PATTC), based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health Department of Community and Behavioral 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.

According to Anne Helene Skinstad, Ph.D., UI assistant professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health and program director of PATTC, "Substance abuse is a disease, a behavioral disease. It's based in a genetic predisposition and can't be changed by the person without professional assistance. If treated, it has a lower relapse rate than diabetes or heart disease."

On Sept. 21, Skinstad and Candace Peters, training coordinator of the PATTC, are scheduled to appear on the public affairs radio program "Talk of Iowa" to discuss improving access to recovery among the large number of Americans who have difficulty obtaining treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders. WSUI AM-910, the UI's public radio station serving eastern Iowa, will broadcast the program at 10 a.m.

On Sept. 22, the PATTC will give a workshop titled, "Meth, Club Drugs and More" in collaboration with the Iowa Attorney General's Office in the 6th judicial district. The event will take place in the UI College of Public Health. For more information contact Judy Rohwedder at 319-335-5564 or Rosalind Hayslett at 319-335-5368.

The PATTC is part of a nationwide network of 14 regional centers. Funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the PATTC 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

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Gleeson, 319-384-4277,