Kennesaw State’s CYAAR director tapped for White House drug forum

  Office of National Drug Control Policy gathering draws 40 experts  KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb….

Georgia (Feb 6, 2015)


Office of National Drug Control Policy gathering draws 40 experts 

KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb. 6, 2015)  The leader of Kennesaw State’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery (CYAAR) was among a small group of experts convened by the White House for its first Office of National Drug Control Policy Meeting on Treating Substance Use Disorders Today: Access, Recovery, and the Affordable Care Act.

The gathering, which was co-hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), was orchestrated by Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. It brought together the nation’s leading experts in the fields of substance use disorders and mental health treatment to discuss the latest programs, policies and how the Affordable Care Act is expanding coverage and access.  

The event included speakers David Mineta, deputy director of Demand Reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Tom Coderre, who was appointed by President Obama to serve as senior adviser in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

Teresa Wren Johnston, director of Kennesaw State’s CYAAR was one of 40 experts who attended the summit, which was held late last month in the Eisenhower Room. Johnston had the opportunity to meet directly with Mineta and express her views.

“The premise of this event was to discuss the opportunities of the Affordable Care Act to help improve behavioral health outcomes, particularly in the recovery community,” said Johnston, who in addition to her CYAAR duties also serves as state coordinator of the GA NETWORK. The GA NETWORK coordinates statewide efforts in higher education to address alcohol and other drug issues on college campuses.

Following the meeting, Johnston was asked to become a National Partner for Recovery with SAMHSA. One her responsibilities will be to help in the planning for SAMHSA’s 2015 National Recovery Month, which will be held in September. A national public service announcement promoting the month will be filmed soon at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Established in 1992 as arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA works to improve substance abuse and mental health treatment services to those who are most in need of them through grants and research.

The agency’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

— Robert S. Godlewski



Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit