Thursday, January 8, 2009

Update on January 8, 2009 of the progress of: Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment Professionals

Update on January 8, 2009 of the progress of:

Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment Professionals
Letter to President Elect Obama

Regarding the Selection of Directors of the Office of National Drug Control (the Drug Czar) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA)…

As of today over 260 mental health and substance use treatment professionals and over 160 researchers, academics and other concerned citizens have signed on to our letter expressing concern about the possible choice by President-elect Obama of Rep. Jim Ramstad to direct either the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The concern is based on Rep. Ramstad’s voting record over 28 years in congress that suggests his views on substance use treatment reflect ideology and politics rather than science. The letter goes on to urge President-elect Obama to choose leaders for these agencies who will put science first in formulating drug and drug treatment policy and goes on to make six specific recommendations regarding support for treatment and criminal justice issues.

The letter is historically significant in two important ways. First, it reflects the recognition by a large cross section of substance use treatment and other professionals of the need to take political action to address social policies that negatively affect substance users in this country in addition to the work we do in our offices. It is also significant that these professionals, many of whom are national leaders in their fields, are speaking up on behalf of progressive, innovative, non-abstinence only treatments that are well supported by science that shows they effectively treat addiction and save lives. Many of these treatments have not been supported by Rep. Ramstad and previous administrations.

To date the letter has been hand delivered to President-elect Obama’s transition team by a sitting congressperson. It has been posted on President-elect Obama’s transition team website, www.change.gov. It has been mentioned in numerous blogs, most notably John Tierney’s Tiernylab at NYTimes.com and the Huffington Post and I have been interviewed about the letter on WBAI and Air America. There are several other avenues being pursued to ensure that our views are considered in the selection of these leadership positions.

You can provide more support for this important movement by forwarding this note, the press release and the letter to any journalists and others who may be interested in knowing about what we are doing. You may also have your own creative ideas for further publicizing the letter. You can also urge colleagues who have not yet signed on to consider doing so.

You can view the letter at http://www.andrewtatarsky.com/phpPETITION

I welcome any feedback, suggestions or other opinions on these very important issues.

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely, Andrew Tatarsky, PhD

2 comments:

KevinOwen said...

"The concern is based on Rep. Ramstad’s voting record over 28 years in congress that suggests his views on substance use treatment reflect ideology and politics rather than science."

Hi Andrew, nice letter but I would probably go with the statement above as the Harm Reduction Philosophy has failed miserably in New Zealand. We have just got a new government and they are not likely to to fund it like the last socialist government of 9 years did
We could be looking at a new era of rehabilitation?

http://www.rehabnz.co.nz
http://www.psychosomatic-healing.co.nz

Minh said...

Thanks, some great information there. Beating an addiction is never easy and going through rehab treatment can be a difficult experience for any person.

I would also like to recommend another site about addiction treatments. http://www.lifeworkscommunity.com