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Access To Recovery—Taking Action To Heal America's Substance Users

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FY 2004 Grants Awarded
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Access to Recovery—In his State of the Union Address, President Bush announced a new three-year, $600 million federal treatment initiative, Access to Recovery to help Americans suffering from substance abuse and addiction find needed treatment by providing vouchers to individuals needing assistance. This new investment in our nation's communities will broaden the base of recovery support and make treatment services available to help 300,000 more Americans combat their addiction over the next three years.

Last year, approximately 100,000 men and women seeking treatment for drug addiction did not receive the help they needed. The President's plan is designed to ensure that Americans without private treatment coverage and struggling with addiction have access to a comprehensive continuum of effective treatment services and recovery support options, including faith- and community-based programs, and ensure that these options are more readily available.

Access to Recovery will ensure access and accountability for alcohol and drug abuse services by allowing individuals greater choices among appropriate programs. It would enable eligible individuals to use federal alcohol and drug abuse vouchers to obtain help at all effective treatment organizations, including faith-based and community-based organizations. This would expand treatment utilization and accountability, thereby broadening and strengthening the current system.

Access to Recovery will provide a way for the Federal Government to monitor state implementation of the program to prevent fraud and abuse; ensure quality of care; and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. It would also enable nonprofit and proprietary organizations to have a greater opportunity to participate through full and open competition.

Under the President's plan, people who are seeking drug and alcohol treatment and support services will be assessed, presented with a voucher to pay for a range of appropriate care and services, and then referred to a variety of providers who offer that care.

States will work with a consortium of public and private entities to jointly administer the program, including health care providers, faith-based and community-based organizations, workplaces, and schools to help alcohol and drug abusers receive vouchers for the treatment and support services that are best suited to their individual needs. States would be required to monitor the outcomes and costs of the voucher program and to make adjustments based on the extent to which improved client outcomes are or are not achieved in a cost-effective manner.

For many Americans seeking treatment, the transforming power of faith will now be available to heal those suffering from alcohol and drug abuse. Access to Recovery will serve as a model for states in administering other Department of Health and Human Services alcohol and drug abuse grant funding permissible under proposed Charitable Choice regulations.

Access to Recovery will:

  • Help 100,000 individuals per year who need and want drug and alcohol treatment services, but lack the financial resources to access them.
  • Ensure that a comprehensive continuum of effective drug and alcohol treatment and support service options, including faith- and community-based programs, become more readily available. This includes any Medicaid beneficiary who has been excluded from receiving treatment in residential treatment settings.
  • Allow health care providers, faith-based groups and other community service organizations, workplaces and schools to assist drug users in receiving the treatment and recovery support services best suited to their individual needs.
  • Require state leadership, treatment delivery improvements, and encourage full and open competition among public and private providers, in order to better reach and serve those in need.
  • Require states to create a system to monitor program costs and outcomes and establish accountability for delivery of effective treatment.
  • Serve as a model for administering other Department of Health and Human Services alcohol and drug abuse grant funding.

How Access to Recovery will work:

  • Those individuals seeking drug and alcohol treatment and recovery support will be assessed and receive a voucher to pay for a range of appropriate services.
  • The states will work with a consortium of public and private entities to jointly administer the program, distribute vouchers and deliver alcohol and drug treatment and other services.
  • States will be required to monitor client outcomes and to make adjustments based on the cost effectiveness of services received.
  • The key to accountability of this new treatment initiative will be in the linking of reimbursement for services to demonstrated abstinence from drug and alcohol use by clients following discharge.

Text from the President's 2003 State of the Union Address

"Another cause of hopelessness is addiction to drugs. Addiction crowds out friendship, ambition, moral conviction and reduces all the richness of life to a single destructive desire. As a government, we are fighting illegal drugs by cutting off supplies and reducing demand through anti-drug education programs. Yet for those already addicted, the fight against drugs is a fight for their own lives.

Too many Americans in search of treatment cannot get it. So tonight I propose a new $600 million program to help an additional 300,000 Americans receive treatment over the next three years.

Our nation is blessed with recovery programs that do amazing work. One of them is found at the Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La. A man in the program said, "God does miracles in people's lives, and you never think it could be you." Tonight, let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this message of hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you.




Last Updated: August 12, 2004