State agency receives $11 million for programs to reduce drug abuse, underage drinking

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 237 views 

A division of the Arkansas Department of Human Services has received an $11.3 million grant to support programs working to prevent underage drinking and drug abuse by youth.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded the five-year grant to the Division of Adult, Aging and Behavioral Health Services. Arkansas Department of Human Services announced the grant Friday (Sept. 14).

“This $11 million grant will allow us to intensify our already significant efforts to guide young people away from the abuse of alcohol and drugs,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “This is a worthy project, and I applaud everyone involved in pursuing the grant. I am confident that this program will lead some students to make good choices and steer clear of drug abuse and addiction.”

The grant is expected to improve the efforts to reach more youth in programs to discourage underage drinking and drug abuse, Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane said.

“The DAABHS Prevention team will work with youth, parents, law enforcement, educators, faith-based organizations and business leaders to address the consequences associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs,” Lane said. “We also will suggest alternatives that are positive, risk-reducing and resilience-building.”

The goal is to reduce use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs by changing culture, attitudes and behaviors with programs tailored to demographic areas.