New SAMHSA Administrator Nominated
Last month, the agency also announced a survey that showed a continuing sharp decline in methamphetamine and a significant drop in misuse of prescription drugs.
President Obama has nominated Pamela S. Hyde, secretary of the New Mexico Human Services Department since 2003, to be administrator of SAMHSA, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within HHS. Hyde has served in management positions with the Ohio Department of Mental Health, the Ohio Department of Human Services, and the Seattle Department of Housing and Human Services, and she also has experience in the private sector as CEO of a nonprofit behavioral health care organization, according to the Oct. 2 White House announcement that said her nomination has been sent to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.
On Sept. 10, SAMHSA released results of the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. It showed good progress being made against abuse of prescription drugs and use of methamphetamine between 2007 and 2008 by Americans ages 12 and older. However, the overall level of current use of illegal drugs remained at about 8 percent.
The agency released the results during the 20th annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, which took place in September and was intended to inform the public about the national health problem of substance abuse. The U.S. Department of Labor and allied organizations will mark 2009's Drug-Free Work Week during Oct. 19-25. During the past three years, there has been a steady drop in the rate of heavy alcohol use by full-time college students ages 18-22, from 19.5 percent in 2005 to 16.3 percent in 2008. "The results of this survey underscore the progress made and challenges we face as we observe the 20th anniversary of Recovery Month," said SAMHSA's acting administrator, Rear Admiral Eric Broderick, D.D.S., MPH. "While we have made progress on many fronts, declines in marijuana use among youth have stalled out, and the rates of illicit drug use among young adults have not budged for years."