Obama Proposes Increased Funding for Treatment and Prevention

Source: JoinTogether News Feature, 2/5/2010

The Obama administration’s first stab at crafting its own national drug-control budget priorities (PDF) adds new funding for addiction treatment and prevention, but does little to close the huge gap between spending on drug supply- and demand-reduction efforts despite promises of a “balanced” strategy.

The FY2011 National Drug Control Budget released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on Feb. 1 includes a 13.4 percent increase in spending on alcohol and other drug prevention programs and a 3.7 percent increase for addiction treatment.

“The new budget proposal demonstrates the Obama administration’s commitment to a balanced and comprehensive drug strategy,” said ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske. “In a time of tight budgets and fiscal restraint, these new investments are targeted at reducing Americans’ drug use and the substantial costs associated with the health and social consequences of drug abuse.”


However, the budget plan also calls for modest increases in spending on domestic law enforcement, interdiction, and international programs. So, the bottom line is that the Obama administration is proposing to spend 64 percent of its anti-drug budget on supply reduction efforts and just 36 percent on demand-reduction programs like drug treatment and prevention — numbers that are virtually indistinguishable from the ratio in the final drug budget produced under the Bush administration.


The centerpiece of ONDCP’s demand-reduction plan is $150 million in “new funding for creating a national, community-based prevention system to protect adolescents; training and engaging primary health care to intervene in emerging cases of drug abuse; expanding and improving specialty addiction care; developing safe and efficient ways to manage drug-related offenders; and creating a permanent drug monitoring system.”

After years of declining budgets, the new prevention funding was welcomed by field advocates, although some found the allocation of resources somewhat puzzling. Notably, the budget plan calls for spending $9.5 million less on the Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant program, which had seen steady increases in recent years and is the most popular funding vehicle for community-based anti-drug coalitions nationally.


The Obama administration is proposing a new “Successful, Safe and Healthy Students” grant program to replace the Department of Education’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools (SFDS) program, which has suffered significant funding cuts in recent years amid doubts about its effectiveness.

The new program — intended to create “an improved school climate that reduces drug use, violence, and harassment and improves school safety and students’ physical and mental well-being” —  would receive $283 million under the Obama plan, $107 million more than SFDS received in FY2010. Unlike the formula-based SDFS national grants, the Healthy Students grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to local education agencies.


The budget would establish a $15-million Prevention Prepared Communities program, a pilot project intended to create a system of evidence-based youth prevention interventions lasting throughout adolescence. Another $5.6 million would be spent on supporting community prevention specialists who would assist in developing these projects in collaboration with the states, and $2 million would be used to evaluate the project.

Click here to read the entire story
Click here to read the “National Drug Control Budget FY 2011 Funding Highlights”
Click here for more information on the “Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students” grant program from DOE
Click here to read “Proposed FY 2011 Budget HHS Priority Programs” memo from NASADAD

Short video: Protecting Reputations Online in Plain English

Source: email from Common Craft, 1/6/2009

From the web site:

Aimed at young or inexperienced Web users, this video explains the long term risks of sharing inappropriate information online. Release Date: 1/6/09. Video Length: 02:42.

From the email:

If you’re a regular user of sites like Facebook or Twitter, you’ve seen the things people share in public.  Often, especially among the young or inexperienced, the risks aren’t known.  This video is aimed at them and helps to explain the long term risks of sharing inappropriate photos, videos and stories on the Web. It’s about understanding what it means to lose control of an image once it’s shared and how they can help protect their reputation and those of their friends.
This video will be a part of our forthcoming “Internet Safety” pack.

Check it out at: http://www.commoncraft.com/protecting-reputations-video

National Survey Tracks Rates of Common Mental Disorders Among American Youth

Source: NIH News 12/14/2009

Only about half of American children and teenagers who have certain mental disorders receive professional services, according to a nationally representative survey funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The survey also provides a comprehensive look at the prevalence of common mental disorders.

The results are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a collaboration between NIMH and the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey conducted from 2001 to 2004 had 3,042 participants. These most recent results include data from children and adolescents ages 8 to 15, and were published online ahead of print December 14, 2009, in the journal Pediatrics.


Overall, 13 percent of respondents met criteria for having at least one of the six mental disorders within the last year. About 1.8 percent of the respondents had more than one disorder, usually a combination of ADHD and conduct disorder. Among the specific disorders,

  • 8.6 percent had ADHD, with males more likely than females to have the disorder;
  • 3.7 percent had depression, with females more likely than males to have the disorder;
  • 2.1 percent had conduct disorder;
  • 0.7 percent had an anxiety disorder (GAD or panic disorder);
  • 0.1 percent had an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia).

“With the exception of ADHD, the prevalence rates reported here are generally lower than those reported in other published findings of mental disorders in children, but they are comparable to other studies that employed similar methods and criteria,”said lead author Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., of NIMH.

Those of a lower socioeconomic status were more likely to report any disorder, particularly ADHD, while those of a higher socioeconomic status were more likely to report having an anxiety disorder. Mexican-Americans had significantly higher rates of mood disorders than whites or African-Americans, but overall, few ethnic differences in rates of disorders emerged.

Merikangas and colleagues also found that overall, 55 percent of those with a disorder had consulted with a mental health professional, confirming the trend of an increase in service use for childhood mental disorders, especially ADHD. However, only 32 percent of youth with an anxiety disorder sought treatment, a finding consistent with other studies. Moreover, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans were significantly less likely to seek treatment than whites, reiterating the need to identify and remove barriers to treatment for minority youth, noted the researchers.


Click here to read the complete story

Click here to access the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) homepage

MTF confirms Pride Survey findings: Use is up

Source: Pride Surveys news release, 12/14/2009 (received via email)

Results of the 2009 Monitoring the Future Surveys, released this morning in Washington, confirm findings reported in September by Pride Surveys: Youth drug use is on the rise.

“Not only is use rising, but a key belief about the degree of risk associated with marijuana use has been in decline among young people even longer, “ said Lloyd Johnston, the MTF’s principal investigator.

Just as the Pride Survey showed, increases in drug use found by MTF were minor, but persistent over the past few years.

“So far, we have not seen any dramatic rise in marijuana use, but the upward trending of the past two or three years stands in stark contrast to the steady decline that preceded it for nearly a decade,” Johnston said.

Marijuana is the most widely used of all illicit drugs among adolescents.

“The 2009 Monitoring the Future study is a warning sign, and the continued erosion in youth attitudes and behavior toward substance abuse should give pause to all parents and policymakers,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In August Pride Surveys president Doug Hall briefed congressional staff and administration officials on the upturn in teen drug use.

“Our message then was the same message being delivered today: if we take our eyes off the problem, there is a danger teen drug use could spiral out of control in the next few years,” Hall said.

Monitoring the Future news release

ONDCP news release

2009 Pride Survey National Summary

Online Tool Provides Strategies for Preventing Community Gang Violence

Source: OJJDP JuvJust email, 11/17/09

OJJDP has created an online tool that teaches communities effective strategies to address local gang problems. The tool, provided by OJJDP and BJA’s National Gang Center, is called the Comprehensive Gang Model Overview. It provides a 23-minute discussion of OJJDP’s Model for identifying target areas with high levels of gang activity, locating gangs, and focusing appropriate resources on them. The tool also describes how communities can follow proven anti-gang strategies and how to implement the Model locally.

To access the Comprehensive Gang Model Overview, visit www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Comprehensive-Gang-Model/Online-Overview.

Click the following link to see some of the resources the PIC has available for loan relating to gangs.

Students With Parents Who Set and Enforce Clear Rules Less Likely to Report Illicit Drug Use

Source: CESAR FAX, 18(41), 10/19/2009

Youths whose parents set clear rules for them are less likely to report using illicit drugs, according to data from the 2008-09 PRIDE Survey. Middle and high school students* whose parents set clear rules for them “a lot” or “often” were less likely to report using illicit drugs in the past year (12% and 21%, respectively) than students whose parents never set clear rules (49%). Similar results were found for having parents who punish them for breaking these rules (data not shown). Previous studies have found that youths living in households where parents kept track of their whereabouts and set curfews were less likely to report heavy drinking (see CESAR FAX, Volume 17, Issue 31).

Announcement: National Teen Driver Safety Week — October 18–24, 2009

Source: MMWR Weekly,58(40); 1125-1126,  10/16/2009

Motor-vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death and the fourth leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits among teens aged 15–19 years. In 2007, approximately 4,200 teens in this age group died and an estimated 387,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor-vehicle crashes in the United States (1,2). To reduce morbidity and mortality, 49 states and the District of Columbia have adopted three-stage graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems. GDL systems provide longer practice periods, restrict unsupervised driving during the initial independent driving stage, and require greater participation of parents in their teen’s learning-to-drive process. These systems have reduced the collision risk for novice teen drivers by 20%–40% (3).

This year, National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 18–24, highlights the importance of parents supervising their teen’s driving and establishing and enforcing rules of the road. Teens whose parents initially limit driving privileges have fewer traffic citations and collisions than teens whose parents do not restrict driving privileges (4). To increase awareness of the importance of parents in managing teen driver behavior and educating teens about high-risk activities that lead to motor-vehicle crashes, CDC has developed a communication campaign targeting the parents of novice teen drivers. The Parents Are the Key campaign is being pilot tested in central Arkansas and Columbus, Ohio. The campaign encourages parents to learn about and ensure that their teen adheres to their state’s GDL system requirements, establish rules of the road that limit novice teens’ nighttime driving and driving under other risky conditions, and enforce the rules with a parent-teen contract.

Information about teen driver safety and National Teen Driver Safety Week are available from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/index.html, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia at http://stokes.chop.edu/programs/injury/our_research/ydri.php.


  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) encyclopedia. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 2009. Available at http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  2. CDC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2009. Available athttp://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html. Accessed October 13, 2009.
  3. Shope JT. Graduated driver licensing: review of evaluation results since 2002. J Safety Res 2007;38:165–75.
  4. Simons-Morton B. Parent involvement in novice teen driving: rationale, evidence of effects, and potential for enhancing graduated driver licensing effectiveness. J Safety Res 2007;38:193–202.