Roundup: A&D Prevention Saves Money (Lots); Study Shows Providers Can Safely Cut Paperwork (Lots); Treatment Fellows Meet, and More


  • A new Iowa State University study shows that $1 invested in prevention saves $10, according to JoinTogether.
  • JoinTogether also reports on a study from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment that treatment providers can cut up to 6 hours of paperwork per client, without compromising quality of care. Interestingly enough, the researchers teamed up with the director of the Delaware agency overseeing alcohol and drug treatment to survey and work with all substance abuse treatment programs statewide on reducing their paperwork burden. The six-month effort yielded significant positive results - not least an improved relationship between providers and the state.
  •  Got a Drug-Free Community coalition in your jurisdiction that's been around 5 years? $1.2 million is now available from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The purpose? Mentor new drug-free coalitions.
  • Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times this week, defending the chewing of coca leaves. The editorial says that this is an indigenous practice of many cultures in the Andes, and that unprocessed coca leaves have been unfairly criminalized. The most interesting part? The author is none other than the President of Bolivia. (This item courtesy of a Reclaiming Futures fan.)
  • Drug-testing in the schools: does it work? An overview of the research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Substance Abuse Policy Research Program.
  • Video on the use of chain gangs by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, AZ. Unfortunately, the video incorrectly suggests that no one knows what works in changing offender behavior (and one thing we do know is that shame and incarceration are not effective deterrents). There's also a chilling moment toward the end when the Sheriff says he wants to be the first to put juveniles on a chain gang. Why is it that our society is so eager to punish juveniles for being adolescent? Hold them acountable, yes; but let's stick to methods that have data behind them, such as sanctions and treatment.
  • Reclaiming Futures Treatment Fellows Treatment Fellows from almost all of the 23 Reclaiming Futures sites (click on photo at right for larger link) gathered recently in Washington, D.C. to share their progress and hear from experts. Randolph D. Muck, Chief of the Targeted Populations Branch at the Center for Substance Aubse Treatment (CSAT), updated the group on advances in the use of evidence-based practices; Doreen Cavanaugh, Ph.D. ,  Associate Professor at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, provided insights into strengthening the adolescent treatment system. One great outcome: the North Carolina Treatment Fellows in attendance decided to meet regularly via conference call to synergize their work in their separate communities.
  • While following links on restorative justice, I ran into a touching story from someone working with a man who showed up at a Victim Impact Panel drunk. It's not teen-focused, but it demonstrates that people often use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate; and boy, how people can change

Got a news item we might be interested in on juvenile justice, treating adolescent substance abuse, or a related topic? Leave a hyperlink in the comments, or email me.

Updated: March 20 2009