Department of Human Services | $11M grant to guide state in substance abuse prevention
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Contact: Ellen Lovejoy

(609) 292-3703
RELEASE: November 27, 2006

$11M grant to guide state in substance abuse prevention

TRENTON – The Division of Addiction Services was awarded an $11-million federal grant to help create a statewide planning system to increase and evaluate substance abuse prevention programs, Department of Human Services Acting Commissioner Clarke Bruno announced today.

DAS has been awarded a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive

Grant (SPF SIG) of $2.3 million dollars annually for each of the next five years by the federal Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration.

The purpose of the project is to create and support a coordinated statewide, data-driven foundation to help communities prioritize, implement and evaluate substance abuse treatment programs.

The system, which will be designed to ensure that prevention programs produce the needed results, also will integrate underage drinking initiatives into the programs.

“Alcohol and substance abuse strikes people in every town in the state, and we must get a better grasp on the specific abuse issues our communities face so we can help them prevent and tackle this killer disease,” Acting Commissioner Bruno said. “This community-based prevention approach helps move the state closer to assisting citizens on how to best utilize the powers of prevention to lead healthier, longer lives.”

SPF is designed to use the findings from public health research, along with evidence-based prevention programs to build prevention capacity, which will, in turn, promote resilience and decrease risk factors in individuals, families, and communities. This five-step program is known to promote youth development, reduce risk-taking behaviors, build assets and resilience, and prevent problem behaviors across the life span.

“This grant will allow DAS to move forward with our state epidemiological outcomes work plan, which is inherently research-based and data driven, to help bring evidence-based practices to the community and municipal levels,” said DAS Acting Director Raquel Jeffers.

Initiatives to stem underage drinking will be incorporated into the plans for each of the targeted communities, which will be identified through needs assessment process.

The SPF project is a 5-Step process that requires states and communities to plan and act systematically in developing guiding principles. The steps require states to assess their prevention needs based on epidemiological data, such as research-based survey results, build prevention capacity at the state and local level, develop a strategic plan, implement effective community prevention programs, policies and practices, and evaluate their efforts for outcomes.

Some of the services will evolve, depending on the data and evidence generated during the study.

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention recently held workshops at DAS to familiarize the statewide steering committee comprised of state department representatives with the project and their oversight responsibilities.

The SPF Advisory Council, comprised of more than 30 representatives with expertise in substance and mental health treatment, criminal justice, and education, will meet quarterly during the data-gathering and planning portion of the project, and then monthly as the implementation phase nears.

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