Move over D.A.R.E., there is a new substance abuse resistance program in town.
The Alcohol and Drug Program, a division of Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, is currently seeking new organizations to sponsor in an effort to expand its substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.
The ADP, a federal- and state-funded operation, does not conduct anti-substance abuse programs itself, but rather acts as a conduit by which government resources are distributed to local groups that fight alcohol and drug abuse.
“We do not see patients directly. Acting as an administrative center, we contract dollars out to organizations like nonprofits and other institutions, who actually do the treatment and prevention work,” Nancy Vasquez, prevention coordinator for the ADP, said.
Many of the ADP’s efforts are geared specifically toward UCSB and the surrounding area. The Isla Vista Alcohol and Other Drug Council (IVAODC), a prevention coalition operating on funds provided by the ADP, focuses its attention solely on issues surrounding the UCSB campus. The IVAODC strives to make comprehensive changes to the way alcohol and drug consumption is approached in Isla Vista.
“[The IVAODC] looks at the problems of substance abuse from an environmental perspective. We strive to change the community, rather than the individual. Most college students recognize the [consequences of] alcohol and drugs, so we look to the larger problems. Can we change the environment at Del Playa? I don’t know. That’s what we are trying to examine,” Vasquez said.
Besides the IVAODC, the ADP has several other prevention and treatment programs operating in the Santa Barbara area. It provides no-cost detox and outpatient services to addicts trying to break the habit. The ADP also works to eliminate the problems of substance abuse before they develop, running intervention activities such as mentoring and school counseling.