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SAMHSA Guide: What Is It & Why It Exists

4 Sections
1 min read
The goals, mission, and tools developed by SAMHSA to improve the lives of those living with mental and substance use disorders.
What you will learn:
What is SAMHSA?
What Programs SAMHSA Has Spearheaded
Why call us?

What is SAMHSA?

SAMHSA stands for The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Established by congress in 1992, SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders, and their families. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.1

SAMHSA Tools & Programs

SAMHSA has created a variety of programs, tools, and campaigns to help those suffering from mental health issues and substance use disorders. Notable programs include:

  • Drug-Free Workplace Programs
  • Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center
  • Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI)
  • Homelessness Programs and Resources
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
  • Nationwide National Helpline for treatment referral and information
  • Substance Use Treatment Locator

SAMHSA Treatment Locator

SAMHSA has created a comprehensive treatment locator to find substance abuse or mental health treatment centers across the United States. Users can enter their location or zip code and filter by treatment type, payment options, age, languages, specialty programs, and medication-assisted treatment type.

American Addiction Centers’ rehab centers are also featured on the substance use treatment locator tool on the SAMHSA website. At least one of following are the criteria for inclusion:2

  • Licensure/accreditation/approval to provide substance use treatment from the state substance use agency (SSA) or a national treatment accreditation organization (e.g., The Joint Commission, CARF, NCQA, etc.)
  • Staff who hold specialized credentials to provide substance use treatment services
  • Authorization to bill third-party payers for substance use treatment services using an alcohol or drug client diagnosis

To find American Addiction Centers’ treatment centers, enter the zip code of the treatment center you are interested in or just explore our rehabs using our links below.

Our Treatment Centers by State

Take Our Substance Abuse Self-Assessment

Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 10 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.


  1. SAMHSA. About Us.
  2. SAMHSA. About the Locator.
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