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Press Release

October 19, 2007
Contact: Stephen E. Schatz
(202) 395–5744 / (202) 340–3054



(Washington, D.C.)—Today, the Deputy Director for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Dr. Bertha K. Madras, was in Warwick, Rhode Island to highlight the progress in the national effort to reduce drug use in the United States—23 percent reduction in teenage drug use over the past 5 years. While in the Ocean State, Dr. Madras announced a new, multi-million, Federal grant for the State of Rhode Island to provide individualized drug treatment and recovery support services.

The new Access to Recovery (ATR) grant, administered by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will total approximately $8.3 million over the next three years. The grant will be awarded to the Governor's Office, in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals' Division of Behavioral Healthcare. The $8.3 million will be used to begin Rhode Island's first ATR program, which provides vouchers to individuals seeking drug treatment and recovery.

"Rhode Island is on the forefront of substance abuse prevention and recovery," said Deputy Director Dr. Bertha K. Madras. "By implementing an ATR program, Rhode Island can get help to those who need it most—through an individually-structured and organized treatment and recovery regimen—and help more Rhode Islanders achieve and maintain recovery from addiction."

The ATR grant individualizes substance abuse treatment and recovery care, and permits faith-based and community-based organizations and providers to help those Rhode Islanders in need. The target population for the new Federal money will be individuals recently released from the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institution and the Rhode Island Training School for Youth, as well as parents/guardians involved with the Department of Children, Youth and Families. The new Federally supported grant program will serve 3,400 people over the course of 3 years.

"By targeting at-risk individuals like parolees, youth offenders, and endangered families, the new ATR grant can support a continuum of care for the people of Rhode Island," concluded Dr. Madras. "ATR increases the number of individuals in substance use treatment and recovery by tailoring services to one's own individual preferences—be it community-based or faith-based. ATR allows communities to unite behind the holistic care and recovery of individuals in the greatest need."

The Federal Access to Recovery grant was first announced by President George W. Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address. Since then, the ATR program has provided grants totaling $300 million, and provided 170,000 Americans with treatment and recovery services.

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Last Updated: October 23, 2007

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