On February 8th, Treatment Centers of America hosted a briefing on substance abuse treatment which included the following panelists: Dr. Katheryn Icenhower, founder of Shields for Families, Imani Walker co-founder of The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, and Dr. David Mineta Deputy Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President. The briefing was also attended by Representatives Karen Bass (CA-33), Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), John Sullivan (OK-1), Tim Ryan (OH-17), Mary Bono Mack (CA-45). The briefing focused on family centered treatment and highlighted two programs–Shields for Families and The Rebecca Project for Human Rights.
Shields for Families is a family centered long-term substance abuse treatment and recovery center in California. Shields provides wrap around services for families experiencing substance abuse. The goal of providing these wrap around services is to create a place where mothers can seek treatment for addiction without being torn away from their families. The Rebecca Project for Human Rights is a policy focused organization that advocates for justice and dignity of women and families affected by trauma and substance abuse. Imani Walker, the group’s co-founder and executive director, shared her personal history of substance abuse following separating from an abusive spouse. Walker discussed her repeated attempts to end her substance abuse through conventional treatment programs, however it was not until she was referred to a family centered treatment program that she was able to end her dependence and later go on to co-found The Rebecca Project. Dr. Mineta discussed the importance of the addressing the drug epidemic in the United States through supporting health care reform initiatives that expand access to substance abuse treatment centers. He also discussed the White House’s commitment to maintaining funding for family centered treatment programs through protecting funding streams and providing policy guidance to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.