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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
March/April 2010, Volume 18, Number 2 

Underage Drinking: Grantees Reveal Sober Truth

Reducing alcohol use among young people is the goal of SAMHSA’s Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP) program. Funded through SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), the program helps existing community coalitions across the Nation work to develop effective strategies tailored to reach not only youth but also families.

Launched in 2008, the STOP program now supports 102 grantees. Read three grantee stories — Ohio, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Environmental Factors

STOP grantees are communities that have already mobilized, built capacity, and developed a comprehensive strategy for reducing youth substance abuse under the Drug Free Communities grant program, which is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with SAMHSA. The 4-year STOP grants allow these communities to expand their efforts and focus specifically on underage drinking.

Grantees focus on changing the culture around them rather than specific individuals, using strategies from the 2007 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.

“Prevention science tells us that effective, comprehensive, substance abuse prevention strategies focus not only on strengthening the resilience of young people, but also on changing the conditions that surround them,” explained Jayme S. Marshall, M.S., Chief of the Community Grants and Emerging Issues Branch at CSAP. “Environmental factors work toward shaping the acceptability of substance use, the availability of substances, and the consequences of using illegal substances, which include alcohol and tobacco for minors.”

The coalitions use a wide variety of strategies to tackle their underage drinking problems (see grantee stories). In some communities, for example, the goal is simply to raise people’s awareness.

“There are some communities where parents are still supplying alcohol to young people or see alcohol use as a rite of passage,” said Ms. Marshall. “In those areas, coalitions are trying to help people understand that youth drinking is dangerous.” Coalitions are also enlisting the help of young people themselves.

Other coalitions are trying to change their communities’ attitudes and norms by changing practices, such as putting new restrictions on alcohol use by adults attending youth sporting events. Others are re-evaluating existing laws and policies, such as changes in judicial punishments for youth alcohol violations.

A coalition in California has even enlisted the help of local builders. “Locked medicine cabinets and locked cabinets for alcohol are built right into the homes they’re building,” said Ms. Marshall.

Grantee Highlights

The three grantee highlights are Ohio, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Take Action in Your Community

Take Action in Your Community

Three new campaigns bring powerful prevention messages to communities.

  From the Administrator  
Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.

Considering Language in Our Field

Do you use certain terms to describe our field? See terms.

  More on Underage Drinking  
Sober Truth on Underage Drinking

Sober Truth on Underage Drinking

The STOP program is making a difference. Read about grantees in Ohio, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.

Town Hall Meetings Continue To Expand

Nearly 1,800 communities across the Nation recently met to discuss underage drinking.

State Estimates on Underage Drinking

State by state, the numbers differ on children and alcohol use.

  Women & Substance Abuse  
Treatment Improvement Protocol 51

Treatment Improvement Protocol 51

Gender makes a difference. TIP 51 can help providers offer women effective, up-to-date treatment.

Pregnant Teen Admissions

Pregnant Teen Admissions

Comparing data from 1992 and 2007 on admission rates.

  Treatment Updates  
Uninsured Workers: Recent Data

Uninsured Workers: Data

Who needs treatment for substance abuse?

Free Treatment Available

Some facilities offer substance abuse treatment at no charge or a sliding scale fee.

Opioid Treatment Programs: Two Reports

Opioid Treatment Programs: Two Reports

Methadone maintenance, buprenorphine maintenance. What are the similarities and differences among OTPs?

  Evidence-Based Practices  
Evidence-Based Practices KITs

Evidence-Based Practices KITs

The Knowledge Information Transformation (KIT) series offers new KITs.

Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

Fiscal Year 2011 Budget

The Agency outlines a budget request totaling $3.7 billion.

More on the Budget . . .

Established programs, new initiatives, and SAMHSA’s Budget Authority by Activity and the Agency’s Congressional Justification.

  Grants Updates  
Promoting Mental Health Recovery

Promoting Mental Health

Five behavioral health care provider associations recently received funding.

  Media & Messages  
Art & Children’s Mental Health

Art & Children’s Mental Health

Every day is Children’s Mental Health Day: “My Feelings Are a Work of Art.”

1-800-273-TALK Is the Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK Is the Lifeline

Share the Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Minds on the Edge

Minds on the Edge

Facing mental illness is the subject of a PBS program.

  Recovery Month  
Flyers Available

Flyers Available

For 2010 celebrations, the flyers are available in print and online.

Inhalant Use & Respiratory Conditions

Inhalant Use & Respiratory Conditions

Thousands of children age 12 to 17 with pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma used inhalants.


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