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White House Releases 2014 National Drug Control Strategy
In releasing the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, President Barack Obama stated that “Illicit drug use and its consequences challenge our shared dream of building for our children a country that is healthier, safer, and more prosperous.” The 2014 Strategy recommends the following:

  • A national prevention system that is grounded at the community level;
  • Prevention efforts that encompass the range of settings in which young people grow up; and
  • A method of developing and spreading information about youth drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.

The Strategy is designed to continue ongoing progress in reducing underage drinking. One of its specific objectives is to “Decrease the lifetime prevalence of 8th graders who have used drugs, alcohol, or tobacco by 15 percent.” More

SAMHSA Releases the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) on September 16, 2014. The key finding related to underage drinking is that prevalence rates are continuing their downward trend since 2002. In 2013, about 8.7 million 12- to 20-year-olds (22.7 percent of this age group) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Approximately 5.4 million (14.2 percent) were binge drinkers, and 1.4 million (3.7 percent) were heavy drinkers. All three of these rates are lower than those reported in the 2012 NSDUH, which were 24.3, 15.3, and 4.3 percent, respectively. The survey also found that the level of 12- to 17-year-olds with substance dependence or abuse problems decreased from 8.9 percent to 5.2 percent between 2002 and 2013.

In a press release about the survey, SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., observed that “This report shows that we have made important progress in some key areas, but that we need to rejuvenate our efforts to promote prevention, treatment, and recovery to reach all aspects of our community.” SAMHSA issued its 2013 NSDUH report on substance abuse disorders as part of the 25th observance of National Recovery Month. More

September Is Recovery Month
Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to foster public understanding and acceptance of the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery from behavioral health conditions. The observance also promotes ways that first responders, faith leaders, youth and young adults, and policymakers can recognize these issues and reach out to help others, as well as themselves.

The 25th annual Recovery Month theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out, which encourages people to openly discuss mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery. SAMHSA has created a free Recovery Month toolkit that assists communities in planning Recovery Month events and offers resources to distribute in communities and during local events. More