HHS Announces New Partnership with State Governors to Prevent Substance Abuse
Announcing new actions to implement the President's National Drug Control Strategy, HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala has awarded a total of $15 million in grants to Governors' offices in five states to support statewide planning for coo rdinated substance abuse prevention services. Another $5 million was awarded to five regional centers, which will help the states implement well grounded, research-based substance abuse prevention strategies.
Secretary Shalala said, "We asked states to take a fresh look at how they are approaching substance abuse prevention. We asked them to look at all of the funding streams focused on preventing substance abuse -- find out where the needs and g aps are. Then we asked states to create innovative plans that combine and leverage resources and use them at the community level to reach youth, parents and families. For our part, we committed to awarding incentive grants to states with the best propos als to help them marshal additional funds and to move their programs forward."
The first five states to receive incentive grant awards are Vermont, Kentucky, Kansas, Illinois and Oregon. Each will receive about $3 million per year for three years. A full 85 percent of these funds will be directed to community prevention p rograms.
The five regional center grants were awarded to the Educational Development Center, Inc., Newton, Mass., (Northeast region); Developing Resource Education in America (DREAM), Inc., Jackson, Miss., (Southeast region); the Minnesota Institute of Pub lic Health, Anoka, Minn., (Central region); the Southwest Prevention Center at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla., (Southwest region); and the University of Nevada, Reno, Nev., (Western region). Each will receive about $1 million per year for thre e years. HHS expects to make incentive grant awards to additional states in fiscal year 1998.
"Over the years we have learned a great deal about preventing substance abuse," Secretary Shalala continued. "The challenge now is to pool our resources and put that knowledge to work in communities across America. The regional ce nters will identify and reach out to practitioners and community anti-drug coalitions to ensure they are using and applying the latest information available to reduce substance abuse in the community."
Dr. Nelba Chavez, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the lead agency for HHS' Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative, said, "Through this initiative, we are working with other federal agencies, states, communities, families, corporate America and the health care industry to bring all the nation's resources to bear on creating an environment where America's youth refuse to use illicit drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco."
The grants were announced today during the first of a series of six national teleconferences designed to provide information on effective substance abuse prevention strategies. These teleconferences are being sponsored by SAMHSA's Center for Subs tance Abuse Prevention, the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, and the National Guard Bureau. More than 150 downlink sites across the nation at universities, high schools, hotels, military and government offices, and other sites have been establis hed so that interested state and community groups may participate.
SAMHSA is the federal government's lead agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment, and mental health services in the United States, and is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Note: An audio actuality on the newly announced substance abuse prevention grants is available on the HHS Radio Hotline. The actuality features Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala. To access this clip, please call (800) 62 1-2984 or (202) 690-8317 if calling from Washington, D.C.