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Synopsis of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)

Write a brief review of the assessment tool, describe any psychometric qualities of the test, any required credentials or training to use the assessment tool, intended population, and list its strengths and identify any weakness.

Synopsis of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)

The SAMHA is a departmental agency within the US Health and Service Unit that play a crucial role in improving behavioral health of the citizens by implementing prevention programs, treatment and rehabilitation services (SAMHSA, n.d). The primary mandate of the agency is to reduce the effects derived from substance abuse and mental health problems. Over the years, SAMHSA has been effective in reducing crimes among the juveniles through the implementation of substance abuse and mental health education programs (Cuellar, Markowitz & Libby, 2004). The programs are implemented together because there is a high level of correlation between substance abuse and poor mental health, as well as involvement in crimes among the juveniles due to curiosity and peer influence.

The county juvenile courts have the mandate to refer youths involved in criminal activities to a rehabilitation center or custody for treatment. The court usually assesses the youth by following the prescribed sentencing procedures to establish which one suit the juvenile rehabilitation center by reviewing the offense committed. Juveniles committed to the institution usually undergo assessment before commencing the rehabilitation program with the aim of controlling and managing drug abuse habits and eventually improving on mental health through education. Some of the available programs are integrated treatment, juvenile justice therapy and vocational industries arrangements.

SAMHSA has many players involved in its activities, and all of them must have received the highest qualification and competence for effectiveness. First of all, juvenile detention counselor must have a relevant degree; state mandated training and a clean criminal record. The occupant of the post/s performs an essential job that includes treating and rehabilitating the juvenile offenders to prevent them from future involvement in crimes. Juvenile courts must also have highly trained judges in juveniles deliquescent to preside over their cases, and provide relevant and effective advice that would help the youths to grow responsibly.

SAMHSA agency plays a critical role in improving the behavioral health of the US youths through its treatment and rehabilitation programs (Hyde, 2015). Substance abuse in adolescents has severe impacts not only to the individual juveniles but the family and the entire society. The agency has helped to reduce the costs incurred by US residents for problems associated with underage drinking. Through SAMHSA programs, children and teens education has improved, and injuries associated with substance abuse have as well reduced. For instance, suicide cases have dropped as most teens under drug influence usually commit the act.

According to CSAT (2006), admission of juveniles in the rehabilitation centers is an easy task but once treatment has begun, retention becomes a critical issue as the clients sometimes are unwilling to adhere to the program procedures. In the end, relapse occurs which leads to dropouts and frequent admissions. Continued readmission increase the number of juveniles in the rehabilitation custody meaning that the state must construct more institutions and employ additional personnel to provide the treatment. Admission of a high number of juveniles to the center renders the program ineffective because of the huge population hence follow-up plans are minimized. Maintenance of the centers is costly to the government, and; therefore, other investment budgets have to be reduced to carter for the operation of the centers. To this end, therefore, SAMHSA is credited for its role in promoting behavioral health of the juveniles and encouraging the development of upright and educated youths in the US society.


Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, CSAT. (2006). Substance abuse: Clinical issues in intensive outpatient treatment. Retrieved from

Cuellar, A. E., Markowitz, S., & Libby, A. M. (2004). Mental health and substance abuse treatment and juvenile crime. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 59-68.

Hyde, P. S. (2015). Joint CMCS and SAMHSA Informational Bulletin. Retrieved from

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, SAMHSA. (n.d). Retrieved from

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