"There is still much work that needs to be done," Commissioner Moffatt said. "Drug use still seems to alarm people more than the use of alcohol. But between 60 to 70 percent of people who go into treatment for substance abuse are admitted with a primary diagnosis of alcohol abuse."
As part of the SAMHSA grant awarded in 2005, the Health Department established an Epidemiological Work Group and conducted a statewide needs assessment to identify Vermont's most costly substance abuse issues. An extensive review and analysis of statewide data revealed the top three priorities for Vermont are underage drinking, binge drinking, and marijuana use among people under the age of 25.
Applicants for the SPF grants will be required to develop successful programs that represent all the stakeholders in the community, including prevention service providers and community leaders.
"Behavior patterns set early in life and the decision to use alcohol and drugs can cause irreparable harm," Gov. Douglas said. "Addictions can become life-long. This funding should make a significant and lasting impact in our prevention efforts statewide."