Division of Behavioral Health

The Iowa Department of Substance Abuse was created on January 1, 1978, through a merger of the Division of Alcoholism (Department of Public Health) and the Iowa Drug Abuse Authority. The department became a division of the new Iowa Department of Public Health on July 1, 1986, as a result of state government reorganization.

The Division of Behavioral Health supports a broad range of programs under two bureaus and two offices:

The Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis works to reduce the impact of communicable diseases in Iowa and to eliminate illness and deaths associated with these diseases. Prevention and care services target chlamydial infection, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, and viral hepatitis. Program staff guides community-based prevention planning, monitors current infectious disease trends, prevents transmission of infectious diseases, and provides access to medications for these diseases. The bureau also partners with local public health departments, private health care agencies, regional disease prevention specialists, and community-based organizations to provide hepatitis A and B immunizations for adults, behavioral prevention programming, testing, treatment, case management, and other supportive services for persons at risk for or living with these diseases.

The Bureau of Substance Abuse provides technical assistance to individuals, groups, and contracted agencies and organizations; coordinates and collaborates with multiple state agencies and organizations for assessment, planning, and implementation of statewide prevention initiatives; and coordinates, trains, and monitors funding to local community-based organizations for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention services. In addition, the bureau regulates licensure for all substance abuse/gambling treatment programs and administers federal-funds for treatment.

The Office of Disability, Injury and Violence Prevention coordinates unintentional injury programs within IDPH and houses programs that aim to prevent or reduce interpersonal violence in Iowa. Program staff collaborates with other programs, state agencies and community organizations to address injury and violence using public health strategies. Healthy Iowans 2010, Chapters 22 and 23, have guided activities to prevent unintentional injuries and violent/abusive behavior in Iowa.

The Office of Gambling Treatment and Prevention works to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling by funding a range of services for Iowans. These services include: outpatient counseling for problem gamblers, concerned persons and family, housing services for problem gamblers in treatment and with no other housing options, financial counseling including budgeting and debt reduction plans and a state-wide help line that provides information and referral services. In addition, the program funds prevention and education services for schools, community groups, casino employees, and other at-risk groups. In addition to the two bureaus and offices, the division is responsible for:


Contact Information

Sarah G. Reisetter, J.D.

Lucas State Office Building

Des Moines, IA 50319-0075