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Raising our voices for the Higher Education Center

As I'm sure you know, the U.S. Department of Education has chosen not to continue the Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention (HEC).  As of August 31st, there will be no Federally sponsored center focused on college alcohol and other drug abuse prevention.  While mandates of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act continue, there will be no resource to guide Institutions of Higher Education on compliance strategies.  There will be no agency mechanisms for disseminating evidence-based prevention methods.

Cuts have been incremental.  First, the National Meeting became sporadic and then disappeared, removing the premier meeting where colleges could gather representatives to learn from each other and experts about AOD prevention.  Then, as that happened, the grant program that spurred so much innovation in prevention strategies was discontinued.  And now the HEC will be gone as well.  It is hard not to conclude that college students' deaths, injuries, academic failure and community disruption spawned by AODs is no longer a central concern. “Between 2005 and 2012, substance abuse prevention funding was cut by 47 percent at the federal level” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

The Network asks that you consider letting decision makers know that you care about AOD prevention on college campuses, and that the resources that the HEC made available were important to you.  Here is a link to a sample letter drafted by The Network to help spark your own message.

We urge you to forward this to your colleagues and contacts throughout higher education and request that they join us in this endeavor to bring light to the need for restoration of resources and support.