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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
January/February 2009, Volume 17, Number 1 

Building Healthy Communities

The grassroots efforts of community coalitions hard at work across the country set a strong example of how states and local communities can partner with the Federal Government to extend our reach and make an impact greater than any one organization working alone.

As I visit towns and cities across the Nation, I have the continuing opportunity to experience this “synergy” firsthand as community leaders come together to build neighborhood coalitions to address substance abuse and mental health issues.

photo of Dr. Eric B. Broderick

Dr. Eric B. Broderick, Acting SAMHSA Administrator

SAMHSA is an important part of this grassroots effort. The Agency’s mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery so that we can reach our vision of “A Life in the Community for Everyone.”

We know that substance abuse problems are better addressed locally at the community level because they manifest locally—sometimes, right in our own backyards.

The goal of prevention, however, is to stop substance use before it ever begins.

The Drug Free Communities Support (DFC) program is one of SAMHSA’s most successful coalition-building, prevention efforts in this regard. Working collaboratively with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, SAMHSA is currently funding more than 750 DFC grantees.

The SAMHSA News cover story highlights the success of this grant program.

Engaging young people in positive, drug-free activities takes time, planning, and commitment from a lot of people, not just parents. Local firefighters, law enforcement, volunteers, the state National Guard, shop owners, restaurant managers, coaches, and many others play their part.

Our efforts to reach young people with positive messages now include new media and social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other innovative, virtual communities on the Web.

We’re working to bring new knowledge and new technology to daily community-based practice. Emphasizing connections across disciplines helps create a larger context for the care of the whole person.

Our work is far from done. While we have made tremendous strides through prevention efforts, we still face a vast public health risk with regard to substance abuse among young people. Community coalitions are a step in the right direction.




  New Tools for the Field  
Drug-Free Workplaces: Cost-Effective Help

Drug-Free Workplaces: Cost-Effective Help

Fourteen new informational briefs can help employers address substance use problems.

Helping People with Mental Illness Live in the Community

Helping People with Mental Illness Live in the Community

Build and strengthen an Assertive Community Treatment team using a new toolkit.

TIP 48: Managing Depressive Symptoms

Managing Depressive Symptoms

Depressive symptoms can interfere with your clients’ recovery and ability to participate in treatment.


  Special Populations  
Older Adults & Substance Abuse

Older Adults & Substance Abuse

Think drug abuse is just a problem among adolescents and college kids? Many adults age 50 and older report substance abuse.


  Suicide Prevention  
Substance Abuse & Suicide: Connection Explored

Substance Abuse & Suicide: Connection Explored

Substance abuse is a major risk factor for suicide. Experts weigh in on how to address the problem.

Lifeline Partners with YouTube

Lifeline Partners with YouTube

What do you do if you think someone on YouTube may be at risk for suicide?

Dr. Phil Promotes Lifeline on YouTube

SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline took center stage when it was promoted as a resource on “Dr. Phil.”


  Recovery  
2009’s Recovery Month Web Site Launched

2009’s Recovery Month Web Site Launched

Recovery Month celebrates its 20th year in September!


  Trends and Data  
Youth & Substance Abuse: 5-Year Changes

Youth & Substance Abuse: 5-Year Changes

Youth show declines in cigarette, alcohol, and illicit drug use from 2002 to 2007.

Marijuana & Adolescents

Marijuana & Adolescents

There’s a connection between use of marijuana by young people and their perceptions of how risky that use may be.

Serious Psychological Distress

Serious Psychological Distress

In 2007, 24.3 million adults age 18 or older experienced past-year serious psychological distress.


  Also In This Issue  
Web 2.0 & Homelessness Resource Center

Web 2.0 & Homelessness Resource Center

Tune in to the new monthly Webcast series and share your opinions about things you read.

Introducing Our Print Redesign

Introducing Our Print Redesign

SAMHSA News in print has a whole new look! Find out what we changed and why.



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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road - Rockville, MD 20857
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