Over the decades, we have made many improvements in care for people living with mental illness.
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What is SAMHSA's position on marijuana and the use of federal program dollars to prevent its use among youth and young adults? Simply put, SAMHSA wholeheartedly supports efforts by its grantees and stakeholders to promote clear and consistent prevention messages about the dangers and levels of risk around marijuana to parents, youth, young adults, community members, and the general public.
Smoking remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable disease and death. SAMHSA recognizes the connection between behavioral health issues and tobacco use. In fact, individuals with a mental and/or substance use disorder account for 40% of all cigarettes smoked in the United States. To help address this huge disparity, SAMHSA is partnering with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their Million Hearts® Initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
A recent column in the New York Times by David Brooks (“The Psych Approach,” Sept. 27, 2012) provides key insight on how children who experience serious difficulties in youth, such as experiencing trauma, often end up as adults challenged with major obstacles to success such as failure in school, substance abuse, mental illnesses, health risk behavior, chronic disease, and each of these ultimately contribute to early mortality. Brooks cites the seminal CDC-funded Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study by Vince Felitti and Robert Anda (http://acestudy.org/) on the relationship between early adverse experiences and later behavioral and health problems.