• Need-to-Know News: Sept. 23, 2011

    September 23, 2011

    Updates from Us

    • As we said in our federal action alert earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill last week that would eliminate funding for the Second Chance Act in FY 2012, which could be devastating for reentry programs across the country. We need your help now to ensure that funding is restored for this critical legislation! Follow this link for our full alert.
    • Our director, Paul N. Samuels, was a featured speaker this week at the Connecticut Recovery Conference and testified before the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) on the importance of health care for alcohol and drug problems.
    • REMINDER: The National H.I.R.E. Network will be holding its 6th Annual NYS Reentry Policy Conference Monday in New York City. Follow this link to register for the conference, titled, "Meeting Employer and Job Seeker Needs: Criminal Record Policies that Work," which is free and open to the public.
    • In a testament to the field’s strong advocacy efforts in this extremely challenging funding environment, we’re pleased to report that a bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee recommends level funding for most drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programming through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Follow this link for the report on the funding recommendations, and stay tuned for further updates as the final funding decisions are made.

    Headlines on Our Issues

    State

    • The state's chief judge is calling for a new, less punitive approach to juvenile justice, which would focus on rehabilitation for those accused of less serious crimes.
    • With a projected deficit of $4.6 billion for the next fiscal year, New York City could soon face cuts from Mayor Bloomberg.
    • The number of new AIDS diagnoses in New York City dropped 25 percent this year, according to new statistics from city health officials.
    National

    • The New York Times editorial board weighed in on a 25 percent drop in juvenile justice populations around the nation, applauding reforms that keep the youths closer to home, reducing costs without jeopardizing public safety.
    • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has awarded a five-year, $11,250,000 grant to a Yale-led consortium focused on optimizing healthcare for aging HIV patients who also battle substance abuse and depression.
    • In a victory for mental health and substance abuse parity, a new study finds that Oregon's parity law -- one of the strongest in the nation -- did not prompt a wave of costly mental health or addiction treatment, as opponents predicted.
    • In an interview with Join Together, the former president of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry calls for more physicians to be trained in prescribing Suboxone as part of substance abuse treatment.

    From Our Partners

    • The Times Union of Albany published a letter this week from John Coppola, the executive director of the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, making the case that addiction and mental health screening is a good investment for New York taxpayers.
    • The American Society of Addiction Medicine will hold the 2011 Course on the State of the Art in Addiction Medicine Oct. 27-29 in Washington, DC. Follow this link for more information.