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For Immediate Release
June 13, 2017

Julie Naughton, Public Information Officer, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-1695 or (cell) 402-405-7202,

DHHS’s Sheri Dawson named to National Substance Abuse Board

Lincoln—Sheri Dawson, R.N., director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, has been elected to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) executive board.

Dawson will represent Region VII, which includes Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
NASADAD fosters and supports the development of effective alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and treatment programs throughout every state.

In her role at DHHS, Dawson has played a leadership role in creating a centralized data system for the division, driving to expand medication-assisted treatment statewide and speaking to raise awareness of substance use disorders nationally.

“This gives Nebraska a stronger voice among national leadership and helps to spotlight the successes of our prevention and treatment efforts,” said Courtney Phillips, chief executive officer of DHHS. “Sheri will ensure that prevention will always have a seat at the table when treatment is discussed and that effective alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse prevention services are sustained in the state.”

“I look forward to ensuring that substance abuse disorders are a normalized part of the healthcare conversation,” said Dawson.  “Integrating behavioral health issues, which include both mental health and substance use, is key to treating the whole person.”


Alcohol is the most abused substance in Nebraska, with 19.3 percent of adults engaging in binge drinking, according to the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data.