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CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
5203 Westlawn
(319) 335-9647
e-mail: debra-venzke@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 16, 2002

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

In 2001, nearly 27,000 Iowans received treatment for a problem related to the use of alcohol or illicit drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nationwide, alcohol and drug abuse costs the economy an estimated $276 billion per year in lost productivity, health care expenditures, crime, motor vehicle crashes and other conditions, according to a 2001 report by the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at Brandeis University.

To increase awareness of this important public health issue, September has been designated National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC), based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, is taking part in the national campaign to promote public awareness about the continuing need for quality drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery services and programs.

"Recovery Month is intended to help people recognize that alcohol and substance abuse and addiction are treatable diseases and that treatment is as effective as treatments for other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure," said Anne Helene Skinstad, Ph.D.,
UI assistant professor of community and behavioral health and program director of the Prairielands ATTC. "Recovery Month also celebrates the successes of individuals who have engaged in treatment and recognizes men and women in the treatment field who dedicate their lives to helping those with addictions."

A local event highlighting Recovery Month will take place on Sept. 18, when Skinstad, Peter Nathan, Ph.D., UI professor of psychology and community and behavioral health, Arthur Schut, executive director of Mid-Eastern Council on Chemical Abuse (MECCA), and members of the recovery community take part in an "Iowa Talks" radio program. WSUI AM 910, the UI's public radio station serving eastern Iowa, broadcasts the public affairs program at 10 a.m. Fridays from The Java House at 211 E. Washington in downtown Iowa City.

Recognition of addiction as an illness is a guideline set forth in the national initiative "Changing the Conversation: The National Treatment Plan Initiative to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment." The initiative is a public and private sector endeavor sponsored by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

The Prairielands ATTC is part of a nationwide network of 14 regional centers. Funded by SAMHSA, the Prairielands ATTC is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art trainings, curricula and resources on substance use issues for counselors, health care professionals and members of the community. Currently it serves the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. More information about the Prairielands ATTC, as well as regional and national events celebrating Recovery Month, can be found online at http://www.uiowa.edu/~attc/.