Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Definition - What does Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) mean?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for promoting universal awareness about mental and/or substance abuse conditions at local, state, and federal levels. Established in 1992, SAMHSA introduces and coordinates effective solutions where individuals struggling with mental health issues and/or substance abuse problems can receive the help they need. For instance, rehabilitation treatment programs and mandatory drug-free workplace policies can serve as useful methods against persistent mental health disturbances and chronic drug use.

WorkplaceTesting explains Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

From the outset, SAMHSA has consolidated its efforts to minimize or prevent significant disruptions for both federal and non-federal industries where employee health and safety is a primary concern. The disparity between the number of people undergoing remedial treatment and individuals not eligible to acquire healthcare coverage undermines safety in communities. The underlying objective of SAMHSA-based programs and services is to provide employers and employees with the fundamental information and tools surrounding mental health and/or substance abuse and its ramifications.

Drug testing is a beneficial avenue for employers to determine whether applicants and/or employees meet the criteria for filling a job vacancy. Federal and/or safety-sensitive positions underscore strict guidelines of upholding and enforcing individual and public welfare standards. For this reason, different types of drug testing can be used to identify suspected persons of casual and/or chronic drug use based on the circumstances surrounding the industry.

Mental health can influence an individual’s ability to carry out expected duties and tasks related to a job where competence, efficiency, and productivity are key elements. A mental health deficit can impose physiological and psychological impairments with marked warning signs including absenteeism, chronic fatigue, erratic or violent mood swings, indifference, concentration difficulties, and negligence. In some instances, accommodations can be afforded to individuals with mental health concerns without encroaching on the independent work habits of other colleagues.

Although mental health and substance use are critical factors in job placement, many individuals are reluctant to disclose these personal details of their lives based on cultural stigmas. However, mental illness and substance abuse are classified as disabilities, which can support applicant and/or employee candidacy if accommodations are furnished to meet job standards.

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