Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the US Federal agency charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses. SAMHSA is a branch of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


It was founded in 1992 as part of a reorganization of the Federal administration of mental health services; the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA) was abolished and its service components were transferred to the newly-organized SAMSHA. SAMHSA provides a number of services, including grant to agencies throughout America, public campaigns, system reform, policy, and program analysis.

As of January 2007, SAMHSA's Administrator is Terry Cline, Ph.D., who reports to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt. Cline replaced Charles Curie, who resigned in May 2006. The building is located in Rockville, Maryland.

SAMHSA consists of three centers and five offices. They are:

  • Office of the Administrator (OA)
  • Office of Policy, Planning and Budget (OPPB)
  • Office of Program Services (OPS)
  • Office of Applied Studies (OAS)
  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
  • Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

Their budget for the Fiscal Year 2008 is about $3.2 billion. It has been re-authorized for the upcoming year by the current presidential administration.


In February 2004, the administration was accused of requiring the name change of an Oregon mental health conference from "Suicide Prevention Among Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Individuals" to "Suicide Prevention in Vulnerable Populations."

In 2002, President George W. Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. The resulting report would provide the foundation for Mental Health Services for the Federal Government. There remain many critics on this report "Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America" (read: Opposition of New Freedom Commission on Mental Health)

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