Substance Abuse Task Force Recommendations
Governor Doug Ducey, through the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family (GOYFF), convened the Arizona Substance Abuse Task Force in Spring 2016. Debbie Moak, GOYFF Director, and Dr. Sara Salek, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) Chief Medical Officer, co-chaired the Task Force. Twenty-nine individuals were appointed to serve as task force members, and several additional people with special expertise were invited to participate in work groups. In October, the Task Force concluded its work and submitted a formal report making 104 recommendations to Governor Ducey. The report contains recommendations for Arizona to consider regarding: prevention and early Intervention programs, access to treatment, medication-assisted treatment, and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Every day, Arizona suffers the loss of another family member, friend or co-worker to prescription opioid overdose. This epidemic has gripped the nation and is having devastating effects across Arizona. Cronkite News, the student-produced news division of Arizona PBS, in conjunction with the Arizona Broadcasters Association produced this special investigative report on Arizona’s alarming rise in prescription opioid abuse.
Governor Ducey’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family is pleased to announce the preliminary results of a seventh-grade pilot drug prevention program – Healthy Families – Healthy Youth. The pilot program funded through the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Prevention Block Grant reached all fifteen counties impacting seventh-grade youth and their parents/caregivers across Arizona. The back-to-school night of education allowed participating seventh-grade families the opportunity to learn about the dangers of adolescent drug use and create a family prevention plan to stay drug free during this critical transition school year.
“We chose seventh grade because Arizona youth most often begin using alcohol or other drugs between 12 – 13 years of age,” stated Debbie Moak, Director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. “With nine out of ten addicts first drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or using other illicit drugs before the age of 18, it is imperative that we scale effective prevention programs to reach all Arizona youth and their families.”
Participating schools implemented the program during a back-to-school night, as not to interfere or detract from classroom instructional time. Many of the schools partnered with local substance abuse coalitions, county public health offices and other community resources on the night of the event to strengthen family, school and community relationships throughout the school year.
“Been here 30 years and I was amazed at the parent and students working together to form a plan for saying no,” stated one program facilitator. “I felt that the material was non-threatening and blameless which gave our parents and students the freedom to carry on serious discussions.”
Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership
The Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP) serves as the single statewide council on substance abuse prevention, enforcement, treatment, and... LEARN MORE