The Mississippi Department of Mental Health administers the public system of alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment services in Mississippi through the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services. These services are provided through a statewide network, which includes state-operated facilities, regional community mental health centers, and other nonprofit community-based programs.
The Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services is responsible for establishing, maintaining, monitoring and evaluating a statewide system of alcohol and drug abuse services, including prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The Bureau has designed a system of services for alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment reflecting its philosophy that alcohol and drug abuse is a treatable and preventable illness.
The goal of this system is to provide a continuum of community-based, accessible services. The Bureau is committed to quality care, cost-effective services, and the health and welfare of individuals through the reduction of alcohol and other drug abuse.
A variety of outpatient and community-based residential alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment services are provided by Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC). The Department’s goal is for each CMHC to have a full range of treatment options available for the citizens in its region.
Most CMHCs provide the following substance abuse services:
- Prevention services
- Employee assistance programs
- Individual, group, and family counseling
- Outreach/aftercare services
- Primary residential services (including detoxification services)
- Transitional residential services
- Vocational counseling
- Emergency services (including a 24-hour hotline)
Many centers also provide a 10-week intensive alcohol and drug outpatient program for individuals who are in need of treatment but are still able to maintain job or school responsibilities. In addition, some centers offer day treatment and specialized services for children and adolescents, elderly persons, and women. Preference is given to pregnant women at all DMH certified programs.
The Department’s inpatient chemical dependency units are located at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield and East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian. Currently, EMSH also provides chemical dependency treatment and dual diagnosis (mental illness and substance abuse) treatment for adolescent males. Individuals may enter the hospitals via a voluntary or involuntary commitment.
DUI Diagnostic Assessment
Assessment services for individuals with multiple DUI offenses indicating the most appropriate type of treatment.
Employee Assistance Programs Services
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-site focused program designed to assist organizations in addressing productivity issues employee clients in identifying and resolving personal concerns including but not limited to marital, family, financial, substance abuse, legal, emotional, work stress, and other personal issues that may affect job performance.
An EAP is typically a voluntary, confidential service which provides referrals to professional services designed to help employees with personal issues before they reach a critical point.
In addition EAPs provide a positive and proactive management tool to employers as an alternative to other actions such as firing employees and allows managers to assist employees exhibiting declining job performance to return to a more acceptable level of productivity.
Chapter 7 of the MS State Code (Sections 71-7-1 through 71-7-33), which provides guidelines and procedures for drug testing in Mississippi, cites EAPs as a possible source of assistance in assessment, referral and/or counseling for employees who are found in violation of the testing procedure. In Senate Bill 3167, the MS Legislature charged the Department of Mental Health to consult with and provide technical assistance to other state agencies or concerned parties interested in establishing their own employee assistance programs.
For more information on how your organization can establish an employee assistance program or for consultation and/or technical assistance, please contact the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services, Employee Assistance Programs Services, at (601) 359-1288.
The SYNAR Amendment
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services (BADA) is the agency responsible for compliance with the Synar Amendment. The Annual Synar Report is submitted to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)/Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). In accordance with the tobacco regulation, Mississippi is required to provide detailed information on progress made in enforcing youth tobacco access laws and future plans to ensure compliance with the Synar requirements to reduce youth tobacco access rates.
Prescription Drug Abuse
In 2008, Mississippi’s only recorded increase in drug use involves substances that are not typically peddled on the street, but instead are commonly found in medicine cabinets throughout the state.
Past year abuse of prescription pain killers now ranks second, only behind marijuana, as the Nation’s most prevalent illegal drug problem, more than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined, according to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Because these drugs are so readily available, and many teens believe they are a safe way to get high, teens that wouldn’t otherwise touch illicit drugs might abuse prescription drugs. More than 70% of people who abuse prescription painkillers say they get them from family or friends.