The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

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SAMHSA Access to Recovery (ATR) Grants

2007 ATR Factsheet

BACKGROUND:   President Bush proposed a new substance abuse treatment initiative, Access to Recovery, in his 2003 State of the Union Address.  The program was launched in August 2004 when the President announced the first three year Access to Recovery grants to 14 states and one tribal organization to provide people seeking drug and alcohol treatment services with vouchers to pay for a range of appropriate community-based clinical treatment and recovery support services.  Since then, approximately $300 million in funds have been awarded and more than 170,000 people with substance abuse problems have received treatment and/or recovery support services, exceeding the three-year target of 125,000 people.  

After a competitive grant review of 40 applications, 24 new 3-year Access to Recovery grants were awarded in September 2007 to:  Louisiana, Hawaii, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma Cherokee Nation, California, Alaska Southcentral Foundation, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Connecticut, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Montana Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, District of Columbia, California Rural Indian Health Board, Arizona, Rhode Island, Washington, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, and Wisconsin.  Just under $100 million is expected to be awarded each year, for three years to help the grantees increase access to clinical treatment and recovery support services for an estimated 160,000 individuals.

Too Many Americans Do Not Receive Help.  In 2006, 21.1 million of the 23.6 million people needing treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem did not receive treatment.  Of the 21.1 million, only 940,000 reported that they felt they needed treatment for their drug or alcohol use problem, including 314,000 people who knew they needed treatment, but were unable to find care.

Addiction Treatment Works; Recovery is Real.  With treatment, even hard-to-reach populations reduce their illegal drug use by nearly half.  Further, addiction treatment reduces criminal activity by 80%.   Treatment markedly increases employment and decreases homelessness; results in substantially improved physical and mental health; and reduces risky sexual behaviors.  When tailored to the needs of the individual, addiction treatment is as effective as treatments for other illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

ACCESS TO RECOVERY:  establishes a Grantee-run voucher program for clinical substance abuse treatment and recovery support services built on the following three principles:

Consumer Choice.  The process of recovery is a personal one.  Achieving recovery can take many pathways: physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  With a voucher, people in need of addiction treatment and recovery support will be able to choose the programs and providers that will help them most.  Increased choice protects individuals and encourages quality.

Outcome Oriented.  Success will be measured by outcomes, principally abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and includes attainment of employment or enrollment in school, no involvement with the criminal justice system, stable housing, social support, access to care, and retention in services. 

Increased Capacity. Access to Recovery increases the number and types of clinical treatment and recovery support service providers (including faith-based and community organizations) eligible to receive Federal funding and expands the array of services available including medical detoxification, inpatient and outpatient treatment modalities, residential services, peer support, relapse prevention, case management, and other recovery support services. 

HOW IT WILL WORK:   The selected grantees have designed their approach and targeted efforts to areas of greatest need, areas with a high degree of readiness, and to specific populations, including adolescents.  Critically, Grantees are using the new funds to supplement, not supplant current funding and are building on existing programs, including SAMHSA's Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, for which the President has requested $1.759 billion in FY 2008.  The SAPT Block Grant, with its required State maintenance of effort, provides the basic national addiction treatment infrastructure. 

For more information, contact SAMHSA's Office of Communications - Phone: (240)276-2130

Last Update: 9/20/2007