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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: October 20, 2014


NEW CASTLE (Oct. 20, 2014) - Delaware Department of Health and Social Services' Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DHSS/DSAMH) has received a $10 million grant award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the Partnership for Success (PFS) program that will provide substance abuse prevention services and programming to Delawareans ages 12 to 25. Partnership for Success services will expand on the State's efforts to reduce underage drinking and drug use by minors and young adults.

Partnership for Success services will be statewide with universal programs reaching more than 50,000 young people, selective programs reaching 5,000 young Delawareans and indicated programming reaching at least 10,000 Delawareans annually once the project has been fully implemented. Partnership for Success will focus on preventing underage drinking among 12- to 20-year-olds and the abuse of prescription drugs by Delawareans ages 12 to 25.

"To reduce the impact of addiction in our state and save lives, we must involve three areas: treatment and recovery, criminal justice, and prevention and education," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "We know we will achieve our greatest success if we can educate and prevent substance use among our young people."

According to the Center for Drug & Alcohol Studies at the University of Delaware, 35 percent of 11th-graders in Delaware reported using alcohol at least once a month in 2013, with 62 percent saying they used it in the past year and 71 percent saying they has used it in their lifetimes. Among eighth-graders, 14 percent reported at least monthly use of alcohol, with 31 percent saying they used it within the last year and 40 percent in their lifetimes.

As for marijuana, 26% of Delaware 11th-graders and 9 percent of eighth-graders reported at least monthly use during 2013, according to the UD study. And 17 percent of 11-graders and 10 percent of eighth-graders reporting using prescription drugs during the past year not prescribed for them.

"We have heard from too many young people with addiction issues that they began by using alcohol or by experimenting with prescription drugs, often from their parents' medicine cabinets," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of DHSS' Division of Public Health and co-chair of the state's Prescription Drug Action Committee (PDAC). "We need to educate young people, their parents and other adults that even one usage of alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs can have dangerous consequences."

The Partnership for Success grant award will be spread out over the course of five years with roughly $2 million used on Partnership for Success programs and services per year. DHSS will use a competitive bid process to engage potential community-based and statewide, non-profit and for-profit organizations whose mission and target populations meet the requirement of the grant.

Partnership for Success services are expected to begin later this year.

For more information, call DHSS' Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health at 302-255-9493.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.