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It’s a big week for the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse as they continue their fight. They are calling on Georgia’s two U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to co-sponsor the Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act. And today, they are joining with 14-plus advocacy organizations serving people affected by mental health and their caretakers in presenting their Unified Vision for Transforming Mental Health and Substance Use Care for the 2023 Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership will present the Unified Vision during a press conference this morning at the State Capitol.

According to information from members of the Partnership, the Unified Vision sets out a transformational roadmap which will significantly improve the lives of Georgians with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.

“The next pandemic is Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder medical issues following the impact of COVID-19 on this medical issue impacting millions of Georgians. During the 2023 Georgia Legislative Session, this coalition is dedicated to working to reform policies impacting mental health and Substance Use Disorder. We will share our United Vision for Mental Health Care with the General Assembly to continue to build on the historic success of HB 1013,” according to a press statement released this weekend.

The goal of the Unified Vision is to “Improve the lives of people with mental health and substance use conditions through a transformed system of care.”

The advocacy organizations making up the Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership serve people affected by mental health and caretakers representing the largest constituency of Georgians in the public policy community.

Late Friday, the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse made a plea to Senators Ossoff and Warnock to co-sponsor the Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act. This legislation will authorize a 10 percent set-aside for recovery support services in the Substance Use Block Grant – the first dedicated funding stream for recovery.

“Individuals, families and communities across Georgia are suffering from surging overdoses and other medical and social issues related to substance misuse,” said Neil Campbell, Executive Director, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse. “This legislation will be a vital component to supporting millions of Americans in finding and sustaining recovery from substance use disorders. We will have the opportunity to develop and sustain life-saving community-based supports by increasing the Substance Use Block Grant authorization to $3.2 billion and establishing a 10 percent set-aside for community-based recovery support services.”

Jeff Breedlove, Chief of Policy and Communications for the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, added, “A dedicated funding stream for peer recovery support services that has not previously existed will be a transformational positive change which will help save lives. Regrettably, due to the absence of a dedicated funding stream, recovery has been woefully underfunded, thus resulting in an astonishingly low number of recovery support services. Addiction is as deadly serious as COVID and we need Congress to take action and demonstrate their support for recovery with a dedicated funding stream.”

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