The Nrepp Policy Under the Trump Administration: How It is Preventing and Treating Substance Abuse and Mental Illnesses

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The article that I found is called “Trump administration ends registry for substance abuse, mental health programs.” In this newspaper, the policy that is under discussion is the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). In January 4 2018, Trumps administration ended the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a database of more than 400 resources and programs geared toward the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illnesses. NREPP began in 1997 and it include treatment interventions to help people, agencies and organizations. The Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration has information about evidence practice meaning what’s implemented in treatment programs to help clients that has evidence of working. They are no longer being funded. Due to this the database is not going to be updated anymore.

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The National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), stated that the registry contract was discontinued. The article mentions how SAMHSA is focused on the development and the process of putting a plan of programs in communities across the nation.

Many people have questioned if ending the national registry was a good idea. For example, the democrats were one of the few. Five democratic senators stated “We are concerned that freezing NREPP means individuals and communities that may benefit from these new programs will not be able to learn about them or access them, and that the freeze also may hamper the work being done around the country to develop important interventions at a time when we are in the midst of a heroin, fentanyl and opioid epidemic and we need them more than ever.” (Hellmann, J. (2018, January 17). Dems question the decision to end registry for substance abuse, mental health programs. One person who argue that the SAMHSA did not provide good services for people who needed the help was Elinore McCance Katz. McCance argued that it was a flawed and it did not address the peoples need with serious mental illness drug abuse disorder, especially the opioid addiction that’s currently an ongoing issue. As she stated “we have an emergency going on, and we in the Trump administration are not going to sit back and allow Americans to die while we simply leave things up on our website that don’t help people.” (Hellmann, J. (2018. January 17)

The department of Human Health Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and specifically its new National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory, or Policy Lab, are involved with the ongoing issue of this policy. The Policy Lab is a program funded through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama in December 2016. The lab aims to promote evidenced based practices. The Trump administration had a big involvement in this policy too.

Many people are affected by the ending of the registry for substance abuse and mental illness programs. People who are struggling with any kind of substances and mental illness issues are not getting what they need. By ending the database those people are more capable to give up on their journey to seek help. Just like other people didn’t want the programs to come to an end, others believe it was a good idea. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use believes it was not helping and programs did not provide useful information for clients. The Trump administration also believes that the programs were not helpful for the people. Leading them to just end the registry.

There are many things that can be gained and lost since the registry ended. Trump is stopping a program that proves if different models are useful or not useful for the client. Although now it’ll be harder to regulate if the different modalities utilized in the substance abuse treatment and mental illness programs are effective. Without them being studied and followed up on, we aren’t going to know what is working best and clients are at risk of getting treatment that isn’t relevant to them. In a way clients also have other opportunities to find other programs that actually provides information that fits them within what they are going through. In the other hand other clients who had the opportunity in NREPPP, probably had a successful experience and might be shock and upset that database was discontinued.

I am currently working in an outpatient substance abuse program. I believe that people who are going through addiction or have mental illness history should be provided with the appropriate programs. Many of these individuals have a hard time asking for help, but with a website that provides and shows the right recommended treatment they would be happy to start a new journey. In a way I do see how NREPPP could have not provided the clients the right programs for their ongoing personal issues. For example, it’s like giving someone a false diagnosis. The clients would not be happy about that. Just like the programs we don’t know what works best for the clients. In this case, if people have online programs they should make sure with the clients that they are getting a successful outcome. At the end of the day many people are affected by this policy.

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