White House Drug Czar John P. Walters honors Phoenix House founder Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal
WASHINGTON, DC, October 16, 2007 – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY) was joined by Representatives Tim Bishop (NY), Barney Frank (MA), Michael McCaul (TX), Grace Napolitano (CA), Richard Neal (MA), Charlie Rangel (NY), Pete Sessions (TX), Brad Sherman (CA), and John P. Walters, the Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as well as congressional staff and substance abuse treatment representatives at a celebration in the nation’s capitol honoring Phoenix House, one of the nation’s leading non-profit substance abuse treatment and prevention organizations. The event celebrated the introduction of a congressional resolution by Representative Maloney saluting Phoenix House’s 40 years of helping American men, women and teens to overcome addiction. In addition, Director Walters honored Phoenix House Founder Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal with the Director’s Award for Distinguished Service.
“It seems that almost every family has been affected by the dark demons of substance abuse in one way or another,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Fortunately, Phoenix House has served as a beacon of hope and recovery for thousands over the past forty years. I am proud to have Phoenix House in my district and sincerely thank them for their service.”
ONDCP Director John Walters said, “Youth drug use has decreased 23 percent over the last five years, due in large measure to the efforts of organizations like Phoenix House. Long a leader in helping raise awareness about the disease of addiction, Phoenix House has been a key partner in the effort to synchronize public policies with science, and has saved thousands of lives across the country through their innovative and effective prevention and treatment programs.”
“For the past four decades Phoenix House has been a leading provider of substance abuse treatment and prevention services to men, women, and children throughout the country,” said Howard Meitiner, president and CEO of Phoenix House. “As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, Phoenix House continues to innovate and expand, making treatment more accessible to more people – engaging families, broadening our range of treatment services, and empowering those we serve with tools they need to change for life.”
In August, Congresswoman Maloney introduced a resolution to Congress celebrating the success and contributions of Phoenix House with respect to the treatment and prevention of substance abuse, and the significant role that the organization has played in raising public awareness and formulating public policy. To-date, co-sponsors of the resolution include Representatives Doggett, Filner, Gillibrand, Israel, Hodes, Hall, Hastings, Johnson, King, Lowey, McCaul, McGovern, Napolitano, Neal, Poe, Roybal-Allard, Serrano, Sessions, Sherman, Sanchez, Smith and Weiner.
“During the past 40 years the Phoenix House has provided thousands of people with the help they need to recover and get on with a healthy life,” stated Congressman Michael McCaul (R – Texas). He went on to say, “Those who have made the Phoenix House such a success deserve America’s heartfelt thanks and admiration. They all certainly have mine. I wish all those who rely on the Phoenix House and its staff continued success.”
“Phoenix House does a wonderful job of providing women afflicted by chemical dependency with the help and support they need to break the cycle of addiction and gain acceptance in society,” said Representative Grace Napolitano (D – CA). “I wish such places were not necessary, but they are, and Phoenix House has been a Pioneer in informing and educating youngsters and providing them with the services that they need.”
“Substance abuse has impacted nearly every community in our nation – including my district in Dallas, Texas where homemade drugs such as “cheese” heroin endanger the lives of children and teens,” stated Congressman Pete Sessions (D – TX). “As a leading-edge substance abuse treatment and prevention organization, Phoenix House serves as a pillar of hope in my community and across America. I congratulate Phoenix House for 40 years of service as they empower teens and adults to overcome addition and lead dynamic, accomplished lives.”
Congressman Tim Bishop (D – NY): “The devastation caused by substance abuse is painfully evident in America today. Phoenix House deserves strong recognition for leading the way to recovery and assisting individuals who are trying to break free from the destructive grip of substance abuse. The fruit of their efforts is borne out in the healthy lives of thousands of Americans today.”
“For 40 years, Phoenix House has helped give thousands of men and women across the country a second chance. Through substance abuse treatment and prevention, the professionals at Phoenix House have helped people overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol. I have seen their good work first hand at their office in my hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts. As a strong supporter of Phoenix House in the United States Congress, I congratulate them on 40 years of turning American lives around,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal (D – MA).
Phoenix House has touched the lives of adolescents, adults, and their families for 40 years, helping those with the least resources to help themselves to overcome the problems associated with substance abuse and empowering them with the skills to lead healthy, productive and rewarding lives.
From its earliest days, Phoenix House has been in the forefront of developments in behavioral health – producing ground breaking studies and providing training for a generation of clinicians who went on to start and staff programs throughout the country and the world. As early advisors to government and among the first to champion treatment as an alternative to incarceration for substance abusers, Phoenix House undertook broad programs of public education, raising public awareness of youthful drug abuse when it first emerged and stressing the parental role in prevention.
Among Phoenix House milestones was its role in creating the country’s first correctional treatment unit, a model now widely replicated in prisons throughout the country and abroad. Phoenix House was also an early provider of treatment as an alternative to prison. And, more than 25 years ago, Phoenix House opened its first Phoenix Academy, a residential high school where teens can make up schooling lost to drugs and recapture opportunities for higher education and careers. Eleven Phoenix Academies now operate in ten states and were designated a “model program” by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in 2005. The RAND Corporation, in a study published in Psychology of Addictive Behavior, cited Phoenix Academy’s program for having brought about marked reductions in drug use and unlawful behavior, while improving psychological status for youth in treatment, as compared to youth being cared for in similar residential programs.
Today, Phoenix House is one of the leading substance abuse treatment and prevention service providers in the United States, serving more than 7,000 men, women and adolescents each day at more than 120 programs in nine states, including New York, California, Texas, Florida, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.