Nineteen Complete Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training

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Guam – Nineteen participants were invited to participate in the Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST), a 5-day online and in-person training hosted by the Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The training, held on October 15 through 19, 2012, is a pilot course program specifically designed for the Pacific jurisdictions to include Guam, CNMI and FSM.

The goal of SAPST is to develop a community-serving workforce that can implement effective data-driven and culturally-specific services that promote behavioral health and prevent the use, misuse and abuse of substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and prescription and illicit drugs.

The training was attended by representatives of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse – Prevention and Training Branch, and Drug and Alcohol Treatment Branch, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities (DISID), Oasis Empowerment Center, Just Say No Dance Crew (Underage Drinking Prevention Program), Guma’ Mami, Inc., Southern Christian Academy, the Governor’s PEACE Council, Inafa’Maolek and Youth for Youth LIVE! Guam.

During the 5-day training, the participants learned a refreshed approach that incorporates substance abuse prevention into all aspects of services provided to the community. Guma’ Mami, Inc.’s program coordinator and FSM Community President, Sam Ilesugam, shared, “We may not all realize it, but everyone plays a role in preventing substance abuse among our people. Aside from the skills to incorporate prevention as my agency prepares individuals with disabilities into their reintegration back into the community, this training has also given me the competence to address substance use and abuse in my own family and within the FSM group.”

The Prevention and Training branch of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse currently receives the State Prevention Enhancement Planning (SPE) grant, aimed on creating a 5-year strategic prevention plan for Guam as one community. “With nineteen additional individuals who have a deeper understanding and commitment to preventing substance abuse, our branch is able to collaborate more efficiently with existing community groups who have a common goal of promoting a healthier lifestyle and providing resources to address the needs of our people,” said  Prevention and Training branch supervisor Bobbie S.N. Benavente.

The DMHSA branch is scheduled to host a conference on February 2013 to introduce and gather feedback on the 5-year strategic prevention plan draft for Guam.  

For more information on services and resources regarding substance abuse prevention, contact the DMHSA Prevention and Training branch (PEACE office) at 477-9079 through 83, visit www.peaceguam.org.