VIDEO: Your brain and drugs [Politico]

Originally posted on POLITICO.COM

Congress recognized 25 years ago that mental health and substance abuse are connected — that was the premise behind the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, established in 1992. But researchers are still working to understand how mental health disorders affect an individual’s risk for substance abuse, and vice versa. With the nation struggling to address a country-wide opioid abuse crisis, unlocking the brain processes that cause mental health problems and substance abuse is more important than ever.

In an exclusive interview with POLITICO, Kimberly Johnson, SAMHSA’s director of substance abuse prevention, explains how genetics and early childhood trauma contribute to both mental illness and substance abuse. She notes that Americans who abuse opioids are more than twice as likely to have a mental illness as Americans with more moderate addictions to alcohol or marijuana. And that the costs of both mental illness and substance abuse are astronomical and growing.

Kim Johnson on the substantial links between substance abuse and mental illness
Kim Johnson, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, on the links between substance abuse disorders and other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

For more than 60 years, LICADD has successfully delivered evidence-based programs designed to prevent and treat substance abuse and addiction. LICADD offers crisis intervention, screenings, brief interventions, referrals to treatment and several family and parent education workshops to help Long Islanders struggling with the effects of addiction. Through our Open Arms, EAP Program, LICADD has provided targeted solution-focused support to companies all along the East Coast, serving over 60,000 employees and their families.

LICADD is Long Island’s premier non-profit agency providing life-saving alcohol and drug prevention and intervention services to at-risk children, individuals, and families across the region. With offices in Mineola, Holbrook and Riverhead, LICADD conducts evidence-based prevention programs, community outreach initiatives, and a mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents and public policy advocacy.

For more information please call (516) 747-2606 or visit us on the web at and Facebook and Instagram.

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CONTACT: Angela Brooks, LICADD