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SAMHSA Director Comments on Prevention in Native Communities

SAMHSA Director Comments on Prevention in Native Communities

Several months ago, Frances Harding, the director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), wrote an article about the measures taken by American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes to address youth substance abuse. 


One of Harding’s major goals as the director of SAMHSA has been to prevent substance abuse and promote wellness in the nation’s Native communities. Harding deems this especially important because AI/AN communities have generally had a difficult past in relation to addiction and alcoholism and most government assistance in this area is generally rejected. Additionally, AI/AN youth “had the highest rate of substance abuse and suicide compared to other racial/ethnic groups” (Lavitt, 2016). 


Harding’s work with SAMHSA has allowed the organization to work with AI/AN communities to “build cultural awareness” and “select, implement, and evaluate effective, culturally appropriate, and sustainable prevention practices” (Lavitt, 2016). 


You can read Harding’s article by clicking here.







Lavitt, J. (2016). SAMHSA focusing on preventing youth substance abuse in native communities. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/samhsa-focusing-preventing-youth-substance-abuse-native-communities