MHCADSD, through these contracted agencies, will support a policy change that requires substance use and mental health providers in King County to screen for and actively treat nicotine dependency. Starting in 2012, all MHCADSD provider contracts will include a provision for tobacco-free campuses, meaning that clients and staff will not be able to use or possess tobacco while on agency grounds or conducting agency business. Interventions for nicotine recovery will also be implemented at each location. These changes will support client and staff freedom from tobacco use and protect agency employees, clients and visitors from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Hopes for the future
This MHCADSD work will create an increased awareness of the need to address nicotine addiction amongst individuals with mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders. As a result, tobacco interventions will become a natural part of the treatment that is provided in mental health and substance use settings, increasing the quit rates of persons seeking treatment.
Over time, requiring treatment sites be tobacco-free and offering intervention and support for tobacco users to quit will change norms regarding tobacco use among persons with mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders. Ultimately, this will lead to lower rates of preventable disease caused by tobacco in these communities.
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The King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division is sponsoring a 2-day mental health conference on September 9 and 10, 2011, titled, "Recovery and Resiliency: Stepping Stones to Wellness". The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at Seattle Central Community College. …Continue