State Agency Awarded $11.3 Million for Program To Reduce Underage Drinking, Drug Abuse

A division of the Arkansas Department of Human Services has been awarded a five-year federal grant totaling $11.3 million to support programs aimed at preventing underage drinking and the abuse of drugs by youth.

The Division of Adult, Aging and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS) received the grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“This $11 million grant will allow us to intensify our already significant efforts to guide young people away from the abuse of alcohol and drugs,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “This is a worthy project, and I applaud everyone involved in pursuing the grant. I am confident that this program will lead some students to make good choices and steer clear of drug abuse and addiction.”

Arkansas has a long history of solid support of programs to discourage underage drinking and drug abuse, and this grant will enhance efforts to reach more youth, Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane said.

“The DAABHS Prevention team will work with youth, parents, law enforcement, educators, faith-based organizations, and business leaders to address the consequences associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs,” Lane said. “We also will suggest alternatives that are positive, risk-reducing and resilience-building.”

The overall goal is to reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs by changing the culture, attitudes, and behaviors with programs tailored to certain demographic areas.