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10-22-09 Chesterfield County-VCU Partnership Wins Award For Drug-Addiction Treatment and Recovery
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Executive Director, Community Services Board
Debbie Burcham

Community Services Board 

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2009 News Releases

For Immediate Release

Chesterfield County-VCU Partnership Wins Award For Drug-Addiction Treatment and Recovery

October 22, 2009
Mental Health Support Services

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — A research team of professionals from the Chesterfield Community Services Board Substance Abuse Services Division and Virginia Commonwealth University has received a 2009 Science and Service Award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The program is one of only seven in the nation to be recognized in the category of “Treatment of Substance Abuse and Provision of Recovery Support Services.”

The team was honored for research and for the development of practices that have helped change and shape the quality of drug addiction treatment and recovery services in the Richmond area. Now in its third year, the Science and Service Award recognizes public and private-sector organizations and community-based coalitions that work to improve their communities and the lives of individuals by providing the best addictions treatment and services possible.

For more than a decade, the Chesterfield Substance Abuse Services Division has had a partnership with researchers from VCU and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This partnership is through the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network, which operates at 27 major universities or research centers and more than 160 community treatment programs nationwide.

The goal of the network is to implement science or evidence-based practices into community-based programs that provide “real life” drug-abuse treatment and recovery.

Chesterfield Substance Abuse Services is a public treatment program that provides outpatient substance-abuse treatment to a diverse, urban, suburban and rural population in Central Virginia. Clients are generally working class or impoverished, and most have co-occurring physical or psychiatric disorders as well as substance abuse or dependence. Services are never denied for inability to pay but are issued on a sliding scale. Most client fees are reduced to 1 percent of actual costs.

Drug addiction is a chronic, life-threatening condition that can be fatal without lengthy treatment. Nationally, individuals who seek help spend an average of one day in treatment. By implementing evidence-based practices, such as motivational interviewing with clients, Chesterfield Substance Abuse Services has shattered that average. Currently, the average length of stay for clients is 318 days.

In addition to implementing evidence-based practices, Chesterfield Substance Abuse Services partnered with the local recovery community in 2008 to open a peer-based recovery community center in Chesterfield County, the SAARA Center. Funded by a 2007 grant from SAMHSA, this effort provided another path for individuals experiencing addiction to get help and access recovery.

For more information about the Science and Service Award or treatment programs, contact Ned Snead, manager of Chesterfield Substance Abuse Services, at 804-768-7208 or sneadn@chesterfield.gov.

For research-related information regarding the award, contact Dace Svikis, principal investigator for Virginia Commonwealth University and deputy director of VCU’s Institute of Women’s Health-Center for Excellence Leadership, at dssvikis@vcu.edu.

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