About

shutterstock_224140573This website is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) 2015 Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success State grant.  In Missouri, this is administered through the Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health.  The program is designed to address two of the nation’s top substance abuse prevention priorities: 1) underage drinking among persons aged 12 to 20; and 2) prescription drug misuse and abuse among persons aged 12 to 25.  The 5-year project period runs from October 2015 through July 2020.

Through this funding a new 5-year anti-drug initiative plans to reach more than 73,700 youth aged 12 to 18 in southeast Missouri. The program will focus on preventing substance use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, including prescription drug misuse, where the highest drug misuse occurs statewide.

This program uses a “positive youth development framework” following National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) principles of effective drug prevention. Shared protective factors include family and community support, problem-solving skills, self-management, and cultural norms that favor health. Risk factors associated with substance use disorders include feelings of hopelessness, impulsive or aggressive tendencies, and lack of social connectedness. The program will address the risk and protective factors at individual, family, and community levels—including competencies of service agencies.

Dr. Kathleen Kelly is a Colorado State University professor of marketing and director of the Center for Marketing and Social Issues brought in to develop the campaign.   She says “Scare tactics seen in the old anti-drug messages may have some short-term effects, but the results don’t typically last. This program is designed to positively address root causes and bolster social support networks.” Kelly added, “Comprehensive campaigns like this one have helped reduce experimentation and use of drugs by 40 percent.”

Focus groups in a variety of southeast Missouri counties informed the creative “Be Under Your Own Influence” campaign, which used a proven process for development of anti-substance abuse messages.  This allowed us to incorporate the voices of the youth from the very beginning.

Angie Stuckenschneider, Prevention Director, Missouri Division of Behavioral Health says “We take an evidence-based approach to enhancing lives of Missourians. The program includes a significant data collection and performance management component. We’re really eager to see the outcomes and how lives will be improved as a result.”