What's New

Read monthly updates on substance use prevention news and resources from federal agencies that make up the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD) and other national organizations working to prevent substance use and misuse.

September Is National Recovery Month

Each September, SAMHSA aims to increase awareness of recovery and to celebrate the millions of people who identify as being in recovery, their families and caregivers, and the peer workers and recovery organizations that make recovery from mental health and substance misuse conditions possible. They personify this year’s tagline: Hope is real. Recovery is real. Help spread the word that people can and do recover by using the resources in the new National Recovery Month Awareness Toolkit.

Addressing Substance Use Among Youth and Young Adults Not Attending College

SAMHSA has a campaign designed to prevent substance use among youth and young adults who are exploring their futures outside of the college setting—also called transition-age youth. The campaign is designed to be used by community prevention professionals and others working with this population, as well as those who work with senior high school students who are not planning to enter college. It provides background about the unique challenges of reaching this population, as well as resources and tips about connecting with transition-age youth who aren’t attending a four-year college.

Due to the growing concerns of marijuana’s impact on youth across the country, new information has been added focusing on creating and disseminating messages and resources to educate prevention professionals about marijuana use prevention tactics.

Red Ribbon Week 2023

Please join DEA and participate in this year’s Red Ribbon Week. Each year, from October 23-31, individuals, schools, and communities across the United States show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying a red ribbon. This annual event offers a great opportunity for parents, teachers, students, and community members to raise awareness of the problem of drug use and misuse. This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is “Be Kind to Your Mind, Live Drug Free.” The Red Ribbon Week Toolkit includes including downloadable graphics, fact cards, student and parent pledges, and ways to support  Red Ribbon Week in your schools and communities.

Several contests with prizes are being sponsored by DEA and its partners, such the Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest and the Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest. The National Red Ribbon Rally will be held virtually on October 12, 2023, and can be viewed on www.dea.gov.  

Drug and Alcohol Use in Juvenile Facilities

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released Drug and Alcohol Use Reported by Youth in Juvenile Facilities, 2008–2018 – Statistical Tables. This report describes patterns of drug and alcohol use among youth in juvenile facilities before they entered custody. It also provides findings on substance and alcohol use disorder among youth by their demographic and offense characteristics.

Key findings include:

  • An estimated 84 percent of youth in juvenile facilities reported ever using drugs and 76 percent reported ever using alcohol, according to data collected in 2008–09, 2012, and 2018.
  • More youth in juvenile facilities reported never using drugs or alcohol in their lifetime in 2018 (15 percent) than in 2008–09 (9 percent).
  • From 2008 to 2018, more than half of youth (60 percent) met the criteria for substance use disorder and more than a third (36 percent) for alcohol use disorder.

Empowering Parents and Caregivers to Raise Drug-Free Kids

The DEA has announced the next installment of its Awkward Conversations podcast. The podcast is a collaboration with the Elks Drug Awareness Program and features Full House and Fuller House actress Jodie Sweetin and Amy McCarthy of Boston Children's Hospital. They delve into crucial topics surrounding drug use prevention and parenting. In the third season, they aim to empower parents and caregivers with knowledge, awareness, and actionable insights to raise drug-free kids and navigate the challenges of modern-day parenting.

First Responders and Communities: Linking People to Substance Use Services

SAMHSA’s new guide, Connecting Communities to Substance Use Services: Practical Tools for First Responders, provides practical, evidence-based information that first responder agencies, their partners, and communities can use to implement or expand practices and programs for linking people to substance use services. Use the guide in your community to build partnerships with first responders and take advantage of the critical few minutes they interact with people who use drugs as an opportunity to bring awareness, support, and resources to someone who may not know where to turn for help.

“Talk. They Hear You.” Updates—New Newsletter!

The “Talk. They Hear You.” ® team is introducing a new bi-monthly newsletter titled “Talk. They Hear You.” Updates. This newsletter highlights campaign updates, national policy and law changes around alcohol and other substances, and other important SAMHSA news. Subscribe today.