The New England Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coalition is dedicated to reducing the impact of inhalant abuse among children and youth. We do this by educating parents and youth-serving professionals to apply best practices in inhalant abuse prevention.
Funded by a grant from US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
The New England Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coalition began as project of the New England Institute of Addiction Studies under the
Direction of Howard C. Wolfe and Neil Minor was funded by a three year grant from the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
from October 2003 to June 2007. To reduce the incidence of inhalant abuse, the Coalition has helped establish
Inhalant Abuse Prevention Task Forces in Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, based on the model created at
CASPAR Alcohol and Drug Education Program and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services starting in 1995. The primary goal of the project was to enhance the state's prevention infrastructure by creating local experts in inhalant abuse prevention and treatment who would then train and be a resource to other key prevention professionals, parents, children, All six New England states participated in a Coalition Workgroup to develop complementary approaches, consistent messages, and region-wide strategies.
By the end of the third year (and the end of federal funding), there was a one year 27% drop in lifetime inhalant abuse in New England among 12-17 year olds. The rate dropped from 11.3% to 8.5% (P=.05). New England went from having some of the highest rates of inhalant abuse to the lowest rates in the country. We estimate that that translated into 50,000 kids that did not start using inhalants that year. By 2009, three years after the end of federal funding, the rates have continued to decrease, reaching a new low of 6.8% (Data from the NSDUH, SAMHSA). This demonstrates the effects of two powerful principal in action: Mobilizing and strengthening prevention infrastructures with the latest prevention technology and the use the Diffusion of Innovation Model (Everett Rogers) as a framework for transmitting state of the art inhalant prevention methods.
- In the first year of the grant we obtained buy-in from each of the state substance abuse authorities and people were recruited from each state to participate in a voluntary, short-term inhalant prevention task force. The first goal of the task forces was to develop a plan for that state which contained local data on the problem from multiple sources and a plan to enhance the local prevention infrastructure to reduce inhalant abuse.
- The second year was devoted to training state task force members and leadership on the nature of the problem and specifically training them to be local experts and to provide trainings to other youth-serving professionals and parents.
- In the third year, this cadre of experts (about 95) spread out across New England providing trainings, consultation, and initiating media campaigns.
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