Albany, N.Y. — New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez has announced federal grant awards totaling $8.2 million to 11 New York community coalitions to address underage drinking among high school students.
Each coalition will receive up to $871,800 over the next three years.
Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "Underage drinking continues to be a serious and persistent problem across the state and nation. This funding will allow communities to implement effective prevention programs, policies and practices that best address their local needs in reducing underage drinking and its related problems."
The funding is made available through the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG). Prevention is one of the eight strategic initiatives that SAMHSA has identified to achieve its mission of reducing the impact of substance use disorder and mental illness in America's communities.
The funding, which begins March 1, was awarded to New York State through the OASAS Prevention First-NY initiative. Following a Request for Proposals application process, 11 coalitions were selected which have underage drinking prevalence rates that exceed the state average of 36 percent (or those in NYC above the city average of 30 percent) as determined by the 2008 New York State Youth Development Survey.
The coalitions also had to show they had the capacity to implement and sustain the requirements of the grant over the next three years.
The award recipients are:
- The Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth (Tarrytown)
- CARECORPS Coalition of Sullivan County (Monticello)
- Shenendehowa Community Coalition (Saratoga)
- Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Partners (ASAPP)/Fulton County (Johnstown)
- Healthy Cattaraugus County: A Drug Free Coalition (Olean)
- Partners for Prevention/ Wyoming County (Warsaw)
- UNIDOS Coalition (New York)
- Throggs Neck Community Action Partnership (TNCAP) (Bronx)
- Long Beach Medical Center's Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking (Long Beach)
- Seneca County Substance Abuse Coalition (SCSAC) (Waterloo)
- St. Lawrence County Communities That Care Coalition (Ogdensburg)
Commissioner González-Sánchez continued, "There is strong evidence that the earlier in life a person starts drinking alcohol, the more likely he or she is to have alcohol-related problems throughout life. Community leaders have a critical role in shaping the environment to prevent underage drinking, and can guide adolescents through this very important period in their lives."
Throughout the grant, which will be administered through the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, the coalitions will be responsible for the following:
- assessing their prevention needs based on current local data;
- building their prevention capacity;
- developing a strategic plan;
- implementing evidence-based environmental strategies; and
- evaluating their efforts for outcomes.
The coalitions will be required to develop a strategic plan using the federal Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), a five-step planning process known to support positive youth development, reduce risk-taking behaviors, prevent problem behaviors and increase capacity in the community to address the problem behavior. Research has shown that to effectively change attitudes, perception, and ultimately, behavior, prevention strategies must include a comprehensive approach that addresses both the individual and the environment.
OASAS oversees one of the nation's largest addiction services systems dedicated to Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, with more than 1,550 programs serving over 110,000 New Yorkers on any given day.
To get help for someone in need, call the toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day a week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY.
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