Volume X, Issue XII - March 2017

From: Maria Bruni, Acting Director
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse


I am pleased to announce that Substance Abuse Prevention, including the administration of the substance abuse prevention grants, is moving to the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA). Prevention is a critical part of the continuum of care and important to DASA's mission, especially as we work to effectively respond to the heroin and other opioid crisis in Illinois. Reducing substance misuse and overdoses is a complex problem that requires a coordinated and comprehensive set of solutions. Prevention is an important part of the solution.

Since the outbreak of the heroin/other opioid epidemic, one of DASA's main goals has been to work with other state agencies to develop a comprehensive plan to address the many facets of this crisis. Preventing the incidence of overdoses is a key part of this plan and there are new federal funding opportunities to assist us in this work. IDHS was recently awarded a SAMHSA discretionary grant aimed at preventing and reducing opioid misuse and overdoses by training first responders and bystanders and making naloxone available. This grant builds upon the work started under DASA's Drug Overdose Prevention Program.

DASA will also be administering the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants (Opioid-STR). This grant will support a statewide, comprehensive approach focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery services. New funds supporting services across the continuum will be directed at the opioid crisis through this award.

These initiatives demonstrate how prevention is connected and interwoven into DASA's system of care. On a daily basis, prevention and treatment staff members work together and coordinate opioid-focused initiatives.

As the single state authority (SSA) for substance use disorder policy, DASA is committed to creating an effective and well-coordinated continuum of care for addressing substance use disorders (SUD) that includes prevention, early identification and intervention, and treatment and recovery supports. By moving Prevention, new opportunities exist to strengthen and enhance the continuum of care focused on addressing opioids, alcohol and other drugs.

The grants supported by the 20 percent set-aside of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant as well as two discretionary grant programs, Strategic Prevention Framework - Partnerships for Success and the Illinois Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-related Deaths, will be moving to DASA effective July 1, 2017. Tobacco enforcement programs, which have been administered by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, will also be a new part of this bureau. Finally, I am happy to report that Kimberly Fornero, who is a national expert in the prevention field, will continue to manage these programs at DASA.