Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Policing on the web
Article Type: Policing on the web From: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Volume 34, Issue 4
In 1992, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was to “target effectively substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need and to translate research in these areas more effectively and more rapidly into the general health care system”. In the nearly 20 years since its creation, SAMHSA has successfully demonstrated that “prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders”.
SAMHSA’s website (www.samhsa.gov/index.aspx) has the potential to be a valuable resource for law enforcement officials. Through the grants section of its website, law enforcement officials can learn about and take advantage of some of the many grant opportunities offered by each of its four centers: the Center for Mental Health Services, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. For example, at the time of this writing, these grants offered funds to support such efforts as campus suicide prevention, peer-to-peer recovery support services, Drug Free Community Mentoring and Support Programs, and youth suicide prevention programs.
The publications section of SAMHSA’s website offers law enforcement officials the opportunity to download various publications related to substance abuse and mental health. For example, one can download a series of quick guides concerning various issues related to substance abuse, guides related to managing stress in crisis response professionals, reports from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health which detail the prevalence of substance abuse, or even brochures aimed at educating teens about the risks of hallucinogens.
Finally, via the SAMHSA website, law enforcement officials can also access a vast number of statistical reports, both detailed reports and executive summaries, concerning current substance abuse trends. Reports are available at both the state and national levels.
Overall, the website is extremely user friendly and provides links to other governmental agencies along the same lines as the SAMHSA. In conclusion, when it comes to issues related to substance abuse and mental health, regardless of whether one needs information concerning available funding opportunities, a brochure to hand out to teens at the next law enforcement outreach event or even statistical data, the website for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is an excellent place to start.
J.W. CarterCollege of Mount St Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA