Prevention Programs Receive Government Seal of Approval
SAMHSA announced the names of 25 exemplary substance abuse prevention
programs in June that received a Government "seal of approval" for
preventing and reducing illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, and other
risky behaviors in communities across America. The programs were
selected after a review of more than 200 substance abuse prevention
programs. The review was based on criteria requiring that the programs
use scientifically rigorous evaluations and achieve consistently
At a formal awards luncheon on June 7, SAMHSA's Center for Substance
Abuse Prevention in partnership with the National Association of
State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, the National Prevention
Network, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, presented
the winning programs with the Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention
"Our message today is that prevention is possible and that models
of excellence are available," said U.S. Health and Human Services
Secretary Tommy G. Thompson in announcing the awards. "Communities
across America should insist upon and work toward the same level
of excellence. As a Nation, we can settle for no less."
The 25 model programs that received the Exemplary Substance Abuse
Prevention Program Award are listed in SAMHSA's National Registry
of Effective Prevention Programs. The Registry is part of SAMHSA's
ongoing efforts to identify and disseminate information nationwide
about science-based prevention programs that have demonstrated consistently
After model programs are identified by the Registry, SAMHSA's
National Dissemination System creates materials and Web-based information;
provides training and technical assistance; and works with states,
localities, and the private sector to ensure effective implementation.
During 3 years of designating model programs, 662 programs have
been reviewed and 41 enrolled in SAMHSA's Registry.
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SAMHSA also honored five promising programs. These five were recognized
as innovative, community-based programs that have shown good preliminary
results in preventing youth from engaging in the use of alcohol
and illicit drugs. These promising programs were nominated by state
agencies and national organizations and were selected in collaboration
with the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
White House Drug Czar John Walters
At the awards luncheon, White House Drug Czar John Walters said,
"The model programs recognized today are making important differences
every day where it matters most: in our neighborhoods. Initiatives
like these help galvanize local communities in the national effort
to reduce substance abuse through sound, science-based prevention."
"Reducing risk for destructive behaviors and increasing opportunities
for safe passage to adulthood are possible when communities embrace
science-based prevention programs for young people," said SAMHSA
Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. "We are allocating
funds and forming partnerships with national, state, and grassroots
organizations to help bring about the use of model programs nationwide."
One of the exemplary programs, the Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse—Striving Together to Achieve Rewarding Tomorrows (CASASTART),
is a community-based, school-centered program designed to keep high-risk
8- to 13-year-old youth free of drug and crime involvement through
a coordinated effort of preventive services and law enforcement
activities. Impact analyses found that children in the program,
when compared to the matched control group at the 1-year followup,
were significantly less likely to use gateway and stronger drugs,
less likely to report involvement in drug trafficking, and more
likely to be promoted to the next grade in school.
SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie talks
with Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president of CASA.
"We are very pleased that SAMHSA recognizes, as we do, the need
to reach kids at a young age, and the community and family involvement
essential to keep them substance free," said Joseph A. Califano,
Jr., president of CASA, which is located at Columbia University.
"SAMHSA and CASA also share a recognition of the importance of continually
measuring outcomes to assure the maximum return on every dollar
invested. A child who reaches age 21 without using drugs, smoking
cigarettes, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do
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Another exemplary program, Family Matters, involves family members
in supervising, communicating with, and discouraging substance use
among 12- to 14-year-old adolescents. The program provides booklets
and activities to parents with oversight from a health educator.
Families are encouraged to establish rules regarding adolescent
alcohol and tobacco use.
Findings from an evaluation study reported significant reductions
in the prevalence of smoking and drinking in the intervention group
at 3-month and 12-month followups. An article on the program reported
that Family Matters was successful in changing several aspects of
the family environment regarding substances. In addition to setting
rules, parents in the program were more likely to discuss peer and
media influences on alcohol use and provide encouragement not to
"Science has taught us a tremendous amount about the factors involved
in the initiation and escalation of drug use and some of the best
ways to prevent it," said Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S., Acting
Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "The ultimate
worth of science lies in the extent to which it is useful and used.
We look forward to working closely with SAMHSA and others to determine
the most effective ways to implement these programs in the communities
that need them."
"The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducts
and supports research for two essential reasons: to understand the
causes of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol-related problems
and to develop new and improved strategies to treat and prevent
them," said Institute Acting Director Raynard S. Kington, M.D.,
Ph.D. "We are most gratified when research-based programs are put
to work to improve lives and communities."
For more information on the SAMHSA Model Programs, visit www.modelprograms.samhsa.gov.
Or, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone: 1 (877) 773-8546.
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