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 University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Awarded Substance Abuse Grant from The Pennsylvania Department of Health

PITTSBURGH, August 8, 2002 — The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy has received a three-year grant totaling $400,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Bureau of Drug and Alcohol programs, in collaboration with the office of Governor Mark Schweiker to address alcohol and substance abuse by young people between the ages of 12 and 25 and the community at large.

In 2000, the Pennsylvania Department of Health estimated that the number of Pennsylvanians in need of treatment was more than 630,000 and the actual number who received treatment was 69,000.

Funds for the substance abuse grant were provided by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

"This is a very prestigious award," said Jan Pringle, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and scientific director of the Pittsburgh-based Institute for Research Education and Training and Addiction (IRETA), a statewide initiative dedicated to aligning research and practice through education and policy development.

"Our goal is to build a comprehensive resource center related to addictions research, health policy, prevention, intervention and treatment, and to develop effective mechanisms to transfer that knowledge to the substance abuse field and policy makers," Dr. Pringle added.

Information from the grant will be collected and catalogued by the Performance Based Prevention System database in order to manage substance abuse prevention activities, monitor performance and outcomes and evaluate performance effectiveness. The database also will be centrally hosted, providing real time data access and operation.

Eventually, the state of Pennsylvania will use the grant information to develop a research-based comprehensive prevention plan for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drug use and abuse to ensure all state-operated and federally funded prevention programs operate with a consistent, conceptual framework.

The School of Pharmacy will be collaborating with more than a dozen state, federal and community agencies on this project.

"Substance abuse is a chronic problem for thousands of young Pennsylvanians," said Dr. Pringle. "I believe through this collaborative effort, we will be able to achieve our goal of helping teens and young adults with chemical dependency problems, who often slip through the cracks."

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