What's Happening Near You: United States

Mentor USA

The Mentor Foundation USA opened its Washington, D.C. office in 2010, with a mission to prevent drug abuse and promote health and well-being among children and youth in the United States.

Parents LEAD (Listen, Educate, Ask, Discuss)

Parents LEAD (Listen, Educate, Ask, Discuss) is an underage drinking prevention programme designed to provide resources and information to parents so they engage in age-appropriate, ongoing discussion with their children to prevent underage drinking and other risk behaviours. Parents LEAD includes an email notification system providing parents with current and relevant information about high-risk times in a child’s life and ways to guide children through them.

NDWA. National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance

The National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance is a division of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc., an international drug prevention and policy organisation dedicated to prevention of substance abuse around the world. NDWA's mission is two-fold. Firstly it is to directly assist small businesses in the state of Florida in establishing comprehensive drug free workplace programmes. Secondly, it is to support a national coalition of drug free workplace service providers.

Oregon Partnership. YouthLink

YouthLink Programs are for teenagers that care about their friends, and about their community. The goal of YouthLink programming is to provide teenagers with opportunities to make a positive difference in their home, school, neighborhood, community, city and state. Opportunities range from writing and producing radio Public Service Announcements to participating in a drug and alcohol-free, teen created event. Programs vary in the scope of work and time commitment to meet the needs of different teenager’s interests and availability.

JMU. James Madison University. University Health Center

The James Madison University Health Center supports peer education by providing substance abuse prevention programmes designed to increase knowledge and awareness of alcohol and other drug issues, and decrease the negative consequences associated with high-risk drinking and illegal drug use. The Center aims to provide consultation to ensure that substance abuse prevention programmes are science-based, comprehensive and coordinated across the University.


SafetyLit includes summaries of "scholarly" reports and journal articles about injury occurrence and risk factors. It also includes articles regarding substance misuse.


SafeLaunch, an initiative of the FreeStyle Foundation, is a youth centric, apolitical organisation focused on preventing young people from incurring brain damage or possible addiction caused by adolescent alcohol, tobacco, or drug use and thus increasing the probability that all people will reach their highest potential.

Smoke-free laws also reduce problem drinking

Earlier studies have shown that smoke-free restrictions in public places reduce smoking. This very large-scale US study asked whether ant-smoking laws reduced problem drinking as well. Researchers did discover a relationship between the two, but results were mixed and differed according to factors such as age, gender and extent of drinking problem. For example, the onset of alcohol use disorders were reduced among women and remission rates for men were improved. Young people were also affected. The study does not claim to have established causal relationships, and the authors point to limitations, but the topic is likely to see further research .


Family Education Network

The mission of the Family Education Network, launched in September 2000 is to be an on-line consumer network of the world's best learning and information resources, personalised to help parents, teachers, and students of all ages take control of their learning and make it part of their everyday lives. Family Education brings together organisations from both the public and private sectors to help parents, teachers, schools, and community organisations use on-line tools and other media resources to positively affect children's education and overall development.

SAMHSA: mixed findings on teen substance use in the US

SAMHSA's 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows some improvement in substance abuse trends across the US, but also some concerns. The findings show that for instance the number of US 12-17 year-olds using tobacco products dropped by almost 50% since 2002. The report also found slightly reduced levels of marijuana use in the same age group and a drop in prescription drug abuse among 18 - 25 year-olds. On a less positive note, however, although the overall use of illicit drugs among Americans aged 12 and older remained stable since the last survey in 2011, the use of heroin rose significantly between 2007 and 2012. Pamela S. Hyde from SAMHSA noted that 'these findings show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation'.


'Preventing Student Marijuana Use' Webinar

The FCD and Hazelden Foundation are the organisers of a webinar entitled 'Preventing Student Marijuana Use: Separating Fact from Fiction'. The aim of the webinar will be to explore some of the most common student misperceptions about marijuana, and how to combat those misperceptions to keep kids healthy. Registration is required (fee $25).


How do we reduce 1st year student drinking? 40 studies give some answers

Drinking by first year students at university and college is a problem for their health, for authorities and for communities in many countries. This research carried out a systematic review of over 40 academic studies documenting 62 interventions. The team highlighted some successful interventions and advice, recommending that universities screen all 'freshmen' within their first few weeks for alcohol risk and then offer effective combinations of interventions for those who report drinking, before the problem becomes serious. Researchers also point out that even 'small effect sizes' can have a large impact when implemented broadly, a phenomenon known as the 'prevention paradox'.

The dangers of ‘Palcohol’ for young people

The possible introduction of powdered alcohol, also known as ‘Palcohol’, to the American market has sparked debates around its potential use and effects, especially on youth. Once on the market, anyone over 21 years of age would be able to buy the powder and add it to water to get their favourite alcoholic drink spanning from cocktails to hard liquor. Powdered alcohol might be particularly attractive to young adults as explored in recent debates. Policy makers suggest that ‘Palcohol’ might be appealing to young people due to its variety of flavours. Other types of flavoured alcohol such as alcopops and jelly shots have become very popular among young adults. There are several dangers linked to powdered alcohol; it could for example be used to spike drinks or be snorted or inhaled.


Tom Gee

Organisation Name: 
Job Title: 
Describe your prevention-related activities: 
Program delivery
Program development
Research / science
Policy making
Does your prevention work and efforts focus on a specific setting?: 

Registry Questionnaire

Collaboration History

I have never had any kind of international collaboration with researchers, practitioners or institutions.

Passive vaping may make smokers crave a cigarette

Passive smoking of combustible cigarettes has been found to make smokers crave cigarettes. A recent study of a group of 18 – 35 year old smokers revealed that passive e-cigarette smoking has similar effects on regular smokers than traditional cigarette smoking. Secondhand e-cigarette smoke exposure not only increased young smokers’ urge for smoking traditional cigarettes, but also for smoking e-cigarettes. Passive e-cigarette smoking has also been found to pose other risks such as exposure to nicotine. Exploring the effects of passive e-cigarette smoking is still in its initial stages and further research is needed to determine the harms of e-cigarettes on smokers as well as on non-smokers.


The role of social hosting laws in underage drinking

A new study has found that young adults are less likely to drink alcohol if strong social hosting laws are in place. Social hosting laws apply to adults if underage drinking occurs on their property by holding them responsible, even if they claim they were unaware that teenagers were drinking. The study compared teen drinking behaviour in 50 communities in California and concluded that those who live in communities with strong social hosting laws reported drinking at parties less often. These findings indicate a correlation, but not necessarily a direct relationship between the laws and underage drinking. "It does look like there is less-frequent drinking among teenagers in cities with stringent social host laws, even when other city and youth characteristics that are related to underage drinking are controlled for," said lead researcher Mallie J. Paschall from the Prevention Research Center in Oakland, California. "So these laws might be an effective strategy for reducing hazardous drinking."

Generic Parenting Programmes Should Incorporate Evidence-Based Practices

Every year almost a million parents in the United States receive parent training through child welfare services. Many of the parenting programmes used are well-tested and generally have two aims: one is to reduce child abuse and neglect and the other is to decrease children’s disruptive behaviour by changing parenting practices. However, due to low budgets child welfare agencies cannot always use such programmes or even reach as many parents as possible that could substantially benefit from them.

A recent review suggests a way to tackling both of these issues. The review’s authors argue that agencies can incorporate evidence-based characteristics of well-tested parent training programmes into generic parenting programmes because many of them have several components in common. These common components include

  • a high level of professional qualification in the provider
  • live or video-based feedback to parents
  • homework sessions
  • home-based or group options
  • role play for parents
  • a duration of roughly 14 to 20 weeks

Additionally, many of these evidence-based parenting programmes share a social learning approach. They encourage parents to focus on positive reinforcement rather than punishment and to anticipate and address triggers for problem behaviour. Incorporating evidence-based practices in generic parenting programmes will help save money as well as reach many more parents of young children.


Treatment Today

Treatment Today hosts an online directory of substance abuse treatment centers, with a section to find sober living as well as therapists and psychiatrists for counseling and mental health services. Our service is free to those who need help finding treatment. We thoroughly research each provider and center to ensure that their credentials and quality of service match national accreditation and licensing standards. Please call 1-877-866-6249 to learn more or get help now.

OSAPSS. Office of Substance Abuse Prevention and Student Support. Fordham University

The mission of the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention and Student Support is to serve as a leader in the prevention and reduction of alcohol and other drug abuse, and accordingly, partner with stakeholders across the University to cultivate an environment that fosters the intellectual, moral and religious development of Fordham students.