Conference Paper

Using data in State substance abuse prevention decision making

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Since 2004, 62 States, Jurisdictions, and tribal organizations have received federal funding from SAMHSA/CSAP to establish epidemiological workgroups, a network of people/organizations bringing analytical and other expertise to strengthen outcome-based thinking for substance abuse prevention. Epidemiological workgroups are involved in describing and drawing inferences from State substance use and related consequence data. In 42 of these cases, epidemiological workgroups are also part of broader Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grants (SPF SIG) that use data to identify prevention priorities and subsequently use data about priorities to inform community funding decisions. SPF SIGs, guided by a public health, outcome-based approach, aim to reduce substance use and related consequences by taking this kind of data-guided, systematic approach to State planning and decisions about resource allocations. The purpose of this session is to highlight features of a data-guided approach that seeks to shift and enhance State substance abuse prevention assessment and planning decisions. Presenters will (a) describe a sentinel set of epidemiological data on which to begin assessment, (b) outline a process and set of epidemiological parameters for using such data to determine State substance abuse prevention priorities, and (c) identify other empirical criteria (e.g., capacity) on which decisions about priorities are often based, noting challenges in balancing their use with epidemiological implications. Presenters will also propose data-guided considerations for State planning, including State Planning Models, using resource allocation indicators about priorities to apply them, and community application/review processes for ensuring that such data-guided State planning strategies are put into place.

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