- Posted byon October 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM EDT
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, administered by ONDCP, provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. While its mission is to disrupt the market for illegal drugs and dismantle drug trafficking organizations, ONDCP understands the value of approaching the drug problem in a balanced manner and is focusing increasingly on prevention initiatives.
HIDTA staff members partner with community-based coalitions and other organizations to tailor prevention messages to youth, share their time and resources, and use juvenile justice programs to help prevent and reduce gang and other criminal activity. An example of HIDTA involvement with prevention initiatives is the partnership between the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA (W/B HIDTA) and Badges for Baseball. Created by the Cal Ripken, Sr., Foundation, Badges for Baseball teaches life lessons to disadvantaged youth through baseball and softball. Kids learn how to play our national pastime while working with police officers, who serve as mentors and role models, delivering lessons on character building, developing positive values, and drug use prevention.
- Posted byon October 14, 2011 at 6:06 PM EDT
Cross-posted from Office of Public Engagement Blog
Thanks largely to the work of organizations like MADD, most Americans today understand the terrible consequences of drunk driving. But it has become increasingly apparent that drugged driving also poses a serious threat to public safety. The problem is far more prevalent than most people realize. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of all those tested and whose test results were known one in three drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs.
President Obama is dedicated to reducing the negative impact drug use and its consequences have on public health and safety. And to help address this serious challenge, President Obama has set a goal of reducing drugged driving in America by 10 percent by 2015. To help achieve this goal, today ONDCP is convening key partners from across the Nation to find ways to make progress. This summit— a gathering of leaders in youth prevention, highway safety, law enforcement, government, and research—is an invaluable opportunity to take stock of where we are in our efforts, and where we need to go from here.
In addition, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and MADD announced a new partnership this week to raise public awareness regarding the consequences of drugged driving. MADD has launched a national effort to provide support to the victims of poly-abuse (both alcohol and drugs) and drugged driving and took time this week to recognize law enforcement officers for their achievements in drugged driving enforcement.
We’re proud of the work of organizations like MADD and the Governors Highway Safety Association are accomplishing to help us reach our goal. Working together, we can save lives and make our roadways safer. And the good news is that we’re making progress.
Seventeen states already have per se laws on the books that make it illegal for individuals to drive after using drugs and place others in harm’s way. ONDCP is also working to raise public awareness about this issue through education. As part of this effort we’ve released a toolkit aimed at teens, parents, and community leaders to help prevent drugged drivers from hitting our roads.
Jon Carson is Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
- Posted byon October 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM EDT
As President Obama said in his State of the Union address earlier this year, our country is committed to out-innovating, out-building, and out-educating the rest of the world. That’s why, during National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, it is important to recognize that alcohol, drug use, and their consequences negatively affect every sector of society vital to winning the future, including the education of our youth.
Despite periodic calls for effective prevention, college student drinking is still responsible for:
- over 1,700 deaths annually
- over 600,000 assaults and almost as many unintentional injuries
- nearly 100,000 sexual assaults
This fall, approximately 20 million students returned to college and university campuses across the U.S. This is an important time to raise awareness by supplying our Nation’s educators with information and the tools they need to help students avoid the harmful effects of underage drinking, high-risk drinking, and drug use.
The Safer California Universities Project is a randomized study of 14 college campuses, shows that environmental strategies, or approaches designed to change aspects of the environment that contribute to substance abuse, help reduce alcohol use among students. Among other things, the study showed that general principles of deterrence, combined with reductions in the availability of alcohol, resulted in less intoxication in off-campus social gatherings (including those at fraternity and sorority houses) and in settings where alcohol is sold, when compared to sites without such interventions.
- Posted byon October 13, 2011 at 3:14 PM EDT
According to a new ONDCP analysis of 2009 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) census, roughly one in four (23 percent) of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for drugs were under the age of 25. To combat this alarming trend, ONDCP released a drugged driving toolkit at today’s event and MADD promoted their national effort to provide support to the victims of poly-abuse (both alcohol and drugs) and drugged driving and recognized law enforcement officers for their achievements in drugged driving enforcement
“Research shows that drugs have adverse effects on judgment, reaction time, and motor skills – all vital requirements for responsible driving,” said Kerlikowske. “I can think of no greater organization with which to partner to save lives on our roadways than MADD. For decades, MADD has been a lynchpin in our Nation’s efforts to make our roadways safer and I am proud to join them to help raise public awareness regarding the devastating consequences of drugged driving.”
- Posted byon October 11, 2011 at 5:47 PM EDT
Youth to Youth International, the Cardinal Health Foundation, and the Ohio State University College of Pharmacyare working together to prevent prescription drug abuse among Central Ohio teens. With the help of a grant from Cardinal Health Foundation, a group of Youth to Youth teens have adapted a tool kit from the Generation Rx website, into an exciting, interactive and informative presentation entitled, “The pHARMING Effects.”
“The pHARMING Effects” is a great example of the necessity and effectiveness of collaboration in the prevention of drug abuse. While entertaining, this presentation also will expand awareness and teach strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse and misuse among middle and high school youth. Key components of the presentation include:
- A definition of prescription drug abuse as: More- using more of a prescription drug than prescribed; Not Yours – taking a prescription drug not prescribed for you; and Just Poor- taking a prescription drug for a reason other than you’re supposed to;
- The insidious nature of addiction;
- The impact of marketing prescription drugs as well as tips to critically view these ads; and
- Relevant statistics and strategies to impact change in their homes, schools and communities.
Youth to Youth was founded in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio, as a community-based drug prevention and youth leadership program focusing primarily on middle school and high school students. The goal of its many projects is harnessing the powerful influence of peer pressure-- making it a positive, peer led force that encourages young people to live free of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. For more information check out Youth to Youth International website.
Ty Sells is Director of Training and Development for Youth to Youth International
- Posted byon October 5, 2011 at 10:51 AM EDT
Two key pieces of legislation offer new hope for people struggling with addiction, their families, and their communities: the Affordable Care Act, which put in place strong consumer protections, provides new coverage options, and gives you the tools you need to make informed choices about your health; and the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Wellstone-Domenici Act), which ensures that, when mental health and addictions services are offered under an insurance plan, they must be covered as fully as other services, meaning special caps, access barriers, or service limits cannot be applied.
Together, these two laws have the potential to greatly expand access to badly needed addiction treatment and recovery support services. Which is why Faces and Voices of Recovery is working with key stakeholders on the details of how folks will access services, what services will be available, who will deliver them, and how they will be reimbursed. We are part of a broad coalition that is advocating for a continuum of services and supports that will help individuals initiate, stabilize, and manage their own recovery. This range of services includes peer recovery coaching, recovery community centers, and peer-led organizations that offer recovery support services. Work is also being done to include similar services in primary care settings.
These are exciting times. We are on the cusp of a substantial expansion of addiction treatment and recovery support services, and potentially revolutionary changes in how, where, and by whom services are delivered. Faces and Voices of Recovery is proud to be working with others in the addiction and healthcare fields to ensure that individuals who need help can find recovery services, and improve their overall health.This way, health reform will be able to support recovery and wellness in individuals, families, and communities.
Tom Hill is Director of Programs at Faces & Voices of Recovery
- Posted byon September 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM EDT
“At some point it is arrested, and recovery is then possible.” The disease of addiction is arrested, halted, stopped! These words speak to the disease of addiction and recovering addicts around the world. For me, my freedom from the bondage of more than 20 years of drug abuse was my arrest in April of 2004. Because I was tired of using drugs, but didn’t know how to stop, I was grateful for those angels from the 3rdDistrict of the Metropolitan Police Departmentstarting me on my journey. The disease of addiction not only cost me my freedom, but the custody of my daughter. This arrest pointed me in the direction of the DC Superior Court’s Family Treatment Court program which gave me the opportunity to save my life, and regain the custody of my little girl. I entered the program in April 2005 and it was at that point that I admitted I was powerless over my addiction, and my life had become unmanageable.
While in rehab (treatment), I heard something that has kept me here almost 7 years: “you don’t have to do this anymore, if you just don’t use.” I don’t have to put myself or my daughter through the pain and humiliation of my disease ever again, if I just don’t use drugs. During the21 months in the FTC program, I learned how to live, to really live, to live sober; during my stay in treatment, I made the commitment not to ever use narcotics again. I’m not going to say it’s not a daily struggle, but like with any other disease-- diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension and many others - life changes are required in order to thrive.
Stopping drug use is the beginning, but staying stopped is daily work. You must take certain steps to protect your recovery. Your recovery, if you are serious about it, becomes your most prized possession. You have control over what takes place in this area of your life; to use or not to use. I have found this to be where 12 Step Meetings -- a network of people who are just like me, actively working on recovery, and a sponsor who has working knowledge of the 12 steps - is the formula to fight the disease of addiction one day at a time and keep me focused on my recovery.
Today, I love my life, and I am grateful for the challenges that have come my way. Successfully overcoming these challenges has made me so much stronger and have given me confirmation that if I don’t use drugs, I can and will be able to deal with anything that comes my way. My daughter and I have a bond that I can only describe as grace from God. She is a very happy 10 year old who has very little recollection of the time before I got sober. I wish more suffering addicts could experience the joy that I feel when I wake up in the morning and I am not going through withdrawal - freedom from bondage.
- Posted byon September 27, 2011 at 11:49 AM EDT
Our first priority at the MARS Project is to educate patients about opiate addiction, how medications work, and recovery. Many do not realize or have been told not to believe that opiate addiction is a chronic brain disease and not a symptom of a lack of character or moral fiber.
Located in Bronx, New York, the Medication Assisted Recovery Support Project (MARS) is a collaborative endeavor of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The program offers recovery support services to patients in the outpatient methadone treatment program. These services are designed and delivered by recovering peers who have a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities one encounters on the road to recovery. The services provided by MARS complement those provided in the treatment program, focusing on giving participants the tools they need to be more effective facilitators of their own recovery and affirming that they are, indeed, bona fide members of the recovery community, and not individuals who are, as a common myth has it, substituting one addiction for another.
As of December 31, 2010, the MARS project served 532 individuals for six months and, as a result of the program, many participants’ lives were improved. The program was able to:
- Nearly triple employment;
- Decrease homelessness by more than 20 percent; and
- Increase the rate of abstinence from drugs and alcohol by 26 percent.
MARS is proud to be the first program that serves persons in medication-assisted recovery to receive a Recovery Community Services Program grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA). These grants are made available to peer-led organizations that provide community-based recovery support services, such as recovery coaching, peer mentoring, housing and employment support. Through the MARS program, we teach those we serve that there are many pathways to recovery, and that all are worthy of celebration.
Walter Ginter is Project Director at the Medication Assisted Recovery Support (MARS) Project
- Posted byon September 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM EDT
We know that the most effective way to reduce substance abuse is to prevent addition before it starts. That’s why drug prevention efforts, such as the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and Drug-Free Communities Support Program, are important tools in our goal to reduce drug use and its consequences. Sometimes prevention can be as simple as spending time with your kids over a home-cooked meal.
To help spread this message, we are please to join The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse’s in celebrating Family Day. The purpose of the day is to encourage parents to spend time – through family dinners – with their kids, talk to them about their friends, interests, and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Prevention is the most cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting safe and healthy communities. Get involved today!
- Posted byon September 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM EDT
Tomorrow, watch live as Director Kerlikowske delivers remarks and participates in the 2011 PRO-ACT’s Recovery Walks. Serving as a national hub for events around the country, Saturday’s event in Philadelphia will celebrate individuals who have sustained long-term recovery and honor people and organizations who make recovery possible. Tune in beginning at 9 am EST to watch the event live.
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