The Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP) serves as the single statewide council on substance abuse prevention, enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts. Executive Order (EO) 2007-12 created the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP) and recognized the Substance Abuse Epidemiology Work Group (Epi Work Group) as a formal subcommittee of the ASAP. On May 28, 2013, EO 2013-05 continued the ASAP, and further institutionalized the Epi Work Group by requiring the ASAP to maintain the previously-optional workgroup.
The ASAP and the Epi Work Group foster collaboration and data-sharing among professionals in the prevention, treatment, enforcement, and recovery arenas. Indeed, EO 2013-05 tasks the ASAP and the Epi Work Group with developing and utilizing a shared-planning process that encourages state and local partnerships to maximize existing resources and with building the capacity of local communities to meet their identified needs. Further, EO 2013-05 prioritizes integrating strategies across systems to leverage existing funding and with increasing access to services at the community level. As budgets tighten and there is a better understanding of the need to combat substance use from multiple perspectives (i.e., through prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery initiatives), we recognize that it is imperative to advance such collaborations and resource sharing.
Beginning with the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grants awarded to states by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Arizona received its award in 2004), State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) composed of epidemiologists, statistical analysts, tribal representatives, prevention providers, and representatives from departments of health, mental health, education, public safety, and criminal justice, have met with the goal of bringing data related to substance abuse and behavioral problems to guide prevention planning and to build state- and community-level monitoring systems. Additionally, SEOW has been tasked with identifying, organizing, and sharing data and with training communities to understand, use, and present them in effective ways that guide policy and community efforts (http://captus.samhsa.gov/access-resources/overview-state-epidemiological-outcomes-workgroups). The Epi Work Group serves as Arizona’s SEOW.
The Epi Work Group has four major goals, which are to:
- Compile and synthesize information and data on substance misuse and abuse and its associated consequences and correlates, including mental illness and emerging trends, through a collaborative and cooperative data-sharing process.
- Assess substance abuse treatment service capacity in Arizona and detail gaps in service availability.
- Serve as a resource to the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership and member agencies to support data-driven decision-making that makes the best use of the resources available to address substance abuse and related issues in Arizona.
Identify data gaps and address them in order to provide Arizona with a comprehensive picture of substance misuse and abuse in the state.