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Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
Section Newsletter
Fall 2003

From the Chair

It has been a challenging year. Economic recession, fear of terrorism, and war, have bred a climate of fear and unease. ATOD issues are as pressing as ever, but they have not been foremost in the public's mind, and as public health professionals, we must remain diligently committed to our public policy priorities.

The post 9/11 atmosphere of fear has also generated changes in governmental procedures and priorities. A sobering example for public health is a recent attempt by Congress to de-fund several NIH, NIMH, and NIDA research grants. Had the attempt to de-fund been successful, scientific research that had already begun would have been cut off because the subjects being studied (including reproductive health and Native American GLBT health issues among others) were considered by some to be politically undesirable. Although advocates were successful in thwarting the action this time, there remains the dangerous potential to undermine the peer review process and further politicize scientific research.

Now, more than ever, we can benefit by joining forces and supporting each other in moving our issues forward. Please join us for the 131st Annual Meeting in San Francisco from Nov. 15-19, 2003. We have an excellent program, and the ATOD awards ceremony/business meeting (on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.) is the best networking you will find. Our ATOD program is available online at the ATOD Section Web site, and we will have our hard copy version of ATOD sessions available at the ATOD booth in the exhibit hall.

The ATOD Section would like to increase its advocacy efforts this year. If you have issues you would like us to work on, please contact me at <>.

Diana Conti

Nominations Committee Report

On behalf of the other members of the Nominating Committee, Diana Conti and Frances Stillman, and myself, I am very pleased to extend our thanks to our colleagues who agreed to run for leadership positions for the 2003 election. The results of the 2003 election will be available prior to the APHA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Candidates for 2004 Election

The deadline for collecting candidates' names and pertinent information comes very early in the new year.

In 2004 the Nominations Committee will be seeking names for six positions:

  • Section Council — two positions

  • Governing Council – two positions

  • ATOD Section Secretary – one position

  • Chair-elect — one position

Therefore we are looking for 12 candidates – two names for each position.

If you wish to run or would like to suggest the name of a colleague, please call me early and often. My contact information is provided below. Thank you for your interest in participating in ATOD leadership activities.

Norman Giesbrecht
Nominations Committee Chair
Ph: 416-535-8501 ext. 6895

Join Us in San Francisco!

Join us in discussing Behavior, Lifestyle and Social Determinants of Health at the APHA 131st Annual Meeting & Exposition, Nov. 15-19, 2003, in San Francisco. Discounts are available for students! Please check the APHA Web site, <>, for more information.

ATOD Section Preliminary Program Available

The 2003 ATOD Section preliminary program for the 131st Annual Meeting in San Francisco in November lists sessions and individual papers and authors and is available at the ATOD Section Web site.

The ATOD sessions will be held at the Marriott in San Francisco. When you register for the meeting, please go to the ATOD Booth in the Exhibition Hall to pick up your final copy of the ATOD Program in Brief. Only this final copy will have room locations.

Special Events in San Francisco

Our Section council meetings will be held on Saturday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and they are open to all ATOD members.

Monday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Another “Evening with ATOD Funders” event is being organized, which will provide an opportunity to meet representatives of government and non-government organizations.

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Breakfast with SAMHSA.

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Awards Ceremony and ATOD Business Meeting.

For information about event or meeting locations, please check the APHA Web site, the 2003 meeting program, or the ATOD Section Web site.

ATOD Council and Business Meetings in San Francisco

All Section members are encouraged to attend these meetings. They provide an opportunity to discuss Section activities, developments with regard to APHA and the Inter-Sectional Council, emerging issues and plans for future events. During ATOD Council Meetings there will also be an opportunity to hear from persons running for executive and governing positions for APHA and discuss issues with them.

The Annual Business Meeting is an opportunity to congratulate Section awardees for this year, meet friends over a light buffet and participate in a discussion of emerging issues relevant to ATOD.

Section Council Meetings will be held at two times, Saturday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 16, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Please check your San Francisco Program for locations.

The ATOD Section Business Meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Please check the San Francisco Program for the location. A light buffet will be served. The main agenda items include presentation of awards, discussion of emerging ATOD issues and plans for the future and brief updates on Section business.

A special thank you to The Marin Institute for supporting the ATOD Booth in San Francisco

Beverly Watts Davis Named Director of Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Beverly Watts Davis photo 
Beverly Watts Davis, Director Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
On May 7, 2003, Beverly Watts Davis began her appointment as the Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), after recently being named to the position by Charles G. Curie, Administrator of SAMHSA. CSAP works in partnership with Federal agencies, State and local government, and public and private sector organizations to prevent the onset of illegal drug use, alcohol abuse and tobacco use by building resilience among young people and promoting protective factors in communities nationwide.

Prior to joining SAMHSA, Davis was the Senior Vice President of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, as well as Executive Director of its San Antonio Fighting Back Anti-Drug Community Coalition. She has extensive experience with managing and administrating multi-site community grant programs and comprehensive prevention, early intervention projects targeted to: children and adolescents; ethnic minorities; pregnant and postpartum women; and ex-prisoners reentering society.

Previously Davis was a consultant to and later named Director of Community Health for the Travis County, Texas Health Department. She got her start in the field of substance abuse prevention in 1988 when she served as the Statewide Coordinator for Texans' War on Drugs, where she provided training, technical assistance, and community mobilization services for communities throughout Texas, and directed the statewide Red Ribbon Campaign.

She will lead CSAP at a time when the Center is working to identify prevention programs that are effective and can be replicated across the country. She will also be working to prevent substance abuse in the workplace and to promote state activities that prevent the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors.

Davis received her bachelor's degree in economics, political science, and social sciences from Trinity University in San Antonio and is pursuing her MA in management and human resources from Webster University in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

National Alcohol Screening Day Training at APHA

SAMHSA and NIAAA will sponsor a free training session on how to conduct a National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) event in a community, college or primary care setting at APHA on Sunday, Nov. 16, between 9 a.m. and Noon offering breakfast, CEU's, lessons learned from NASD 2003, how to screen using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and how to conduct a brief intervention after scoring AUDIT results.

This training will provide APHA members with the opportunity to experience first hand their shared priority in screening and brief intervention. To register, please contact: Ann Mahony at CSAT at <>. Please use the subject line: APHA Nat. Alcohol Screening Day Registration.

The NASD program, the Nation's only large-scale screening and early intervention program for alcohol problems, began in 1999. Screenings are conducted at community-based health care facilities, primary care offices and colleges. NASD is held annually in April and is organized by the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health, Inc., with major support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

NASD 2003 was a huge success! For the first time ever, the number of screening sites surpassed 3,200, an increase of 63 percent over the previous year. Sites that participated reported phenomenal success in reaching community members with the program's message, “Alcohol and Health: Where Do You Draw the Line?” Over 100,000 people attended NASD screening events nationwide.

The next National Alcohol Screening Day will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2004.

For more information, visit <> or contact Screening for
Mental Health, Inc., at 781–239–0071 or <>.

We need your e-mail address!

Now that the Section and Special Primary Interest Group newsletters are online, it is imperative that APHA has your correct, most up-to-date e-mail address so we can notify you when your new Section/SPIG newsletter is posted. Click here to learn more.

National Recommendations for Ending Discrimination Against People with Alcohol and Drug Problems

A national policy panel has released recommendations to change private and public policies to end discrimination against people with alcohol and drug problems. The policy findings are guided by two principles: addiction is a public health problem; and public and private policies that impede treatment and recovery should be removed.

The panel included a judge, a former U.S. Attorney General, prosecutors and defense attorneys, physicians, a dean of a law school, the past president of the American Medical Association, labor and business executives, a journalist and advocates. They represented the broad ideological divisions present throughout the nation. Despite their differences, the panelists were able to reach consensus on ways to change discriminatory policies in health care, employment and public benefits.

More than 60 witnesses from around the country provided written and oral testimony to the panel, which used a common-sense approach to decide on its proposals: if a policy is not an effective deterrent to an individual's use of illicit drugs or excessive alcohol, but does interfere with the person getting treatment, an education or a job, it should be changed.

Several of the ten recommendations include:

  • Offer insurance coverage at parity with that for other illnesses;

  • Provide treatment based on the best scientific protocols and standards of care; support, rather than fire, employees who voluntarily seek treatment; and

  • Give people with alcohol and drug problems the opportunity to receive public benefits, including federal financial aid and housing.

Join Together convened the panel to identify and address discriminatory policies and offer recommendations for change, in support of its "Demand Treatment!" initiative. People seeking treatment and recovery routinely and consistently encounter public and private policies that impede their ability to get jobs, housing and appropriate medical care. Ending discrimination is one way to ensure that people will get access to quality treatment.

The report can be downloaded from <>, or e-mail <> for copies. The first printed copy of the report is free.

Contact: Anara Guard, Director of Information, Join Together, 617-437-1500

Special Issue Regarding the Epidemiology of Club Drug Use

Researchers are invited to submit papers for review and possible inclusion in a special issue of the journal Substance Use & Misuse concerned with the epidemiology of club drug use. Manuscripts and inquiries should be submitted to special issue Guest Editors: Timothy Johnson, <>, and Michael Fendrich, <>. The submission deadline is Dec. 1, 2003.

Reducing Underage Drinking

The Institute of Medicine recently released a report, Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility. This report, a joint effort with the National Research Council, says that reducing underage drinking requires a cooperative effort from all levels of government, alcohol manufacturers and retailers, the entertainment industry, parents and other adults in a community and proposes a comprehensive strategy to curb underage drinking. Among its recommendations, the study proposed an increase in alcohol excise tax, especially on beer, as a proven method to decrease underage abuse.

More information on this report, including the press release, is available at <>.

APHA's E-Advocacy Tool

In January, APHA purchased its first e-advocacy tool to help mobilize its members to send letters to their members of Congress electronically. In the last six months APHA has organized several advocacy efforts through the system. In June, APHA used its e-advocacy tool to rally more than 1,500 public health professionals to send electronic letters to their members of Congress.

As members become comfortable with this tool, APHA anticipates that these numbers will dramatically increase as our members become more familiar with the system. APHA's new advocacy tool has many great features that we encourage all members and public health professionals to use when advocating on behalf of a public health issue. These resources include:

  • Mega Vote: Sign up to receive a weekly e-mail on how your Senators and Representative voted during the week on important issues. APHA provides this resource through our e-advocacy site. Sign up here.

  • Elected Official Finder: <> Find biographical information on elected officials including the President, members of congress and agency heads.

  • Issues and Legislation: <> In this section you will find Capitol Hill Basics, pending public health legislation and key public health votes.

  • Media Guide:<> Send electronic letters to the editor on issues important to public health directly to your local media outlets with APHA's media advocacy tool.

  • Legislative Action Center: <> See the latest APHA Action Alerts. Send e-mails to your members of Congress on legislation important to APHA. This tool also allows members to customize our list.

Mentors Needed

In a recent communication, Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of APHA wrote:

Dear APHA Members:

As you know, one of my top priorities as the new Executive Director is to enhance the American Public Health Association's (APHA) leadership capacity to more effectively address current and emerging threats to the health of our nation, to better meet the needs of our members and to help further establish APHA as public health's "go-to" organization. To help achieve this vision, APHA must strengthen its leadership capacity to evolve with the field of public health. Critical to this process is the development of students, the next generation of public health professionals and APHA leaders.

In 1998, the Public Health Student Caucus, which currently serves all APHA student members, initiated a landmark project, the National Mentoring Program (NMP). Now in its fourth year of operation, this program is ideal for helping to cultivate the leadership skills necessary to prepare students to serve as effective public health professionals and Association leaders in the future. Since the program's inception, the number of students who wish to participate has exponentially increased. Unfortunately, the number of mentors participating in this program has not matched the increasing demand.

Dr. Jay Glasser and I are committed to engaging students in APHA projects and initiatives and believe the NMP is one of the best strategies for realizing this commitment. Therefore, we request the assistance of all APHA members to step forward and serve as a mentor in the NMP. Registering to be a mentor in this exceptional program is an effective and greatly needed means by which you can contribute a valuable service to all APHA student members, strengthen the Association's infrastructure, help further establish APHA's leadership role in providing valuable services to the public health community at large, as well as provide guidance and support to emerging public health leaders and professionals.

Registration is open year round, and can be accessed at <> or at <>. NMP committee members match registrants continuously throughout the year. Matched participants are notified as soon as an appropriate match is made and are invited to participate in the program for one calendar year.

Dr. Glasser and I would like to thank you in advance for your consideration to serve as a mentor in the NMP and providing a valuable contribution to further strengthen the current and future leadership of the APHA. Please visit the Web sites listed above for more information and to register, or contact the program's co-chairs, Cynthia Summers and Mary Elizabeth O'Neil, at <> and <> for more information.

Jay Glasser, President
Georges Benjamin, Executive Director

Join APHA's Legislative Network

APHA staff works hard to ensure that public health is being fairly represented on Capitol Hill. More than ever, this is a critical time for public health, and as public health professionals, APHA needs your help to ensure that our needs and accomplishments are being recognized on Capitol Hill.

The most powerful message a member of Congress receives comes from a constituent in his/her home district. That is why it is essential that APHA have a legislative advocacy network. APHA has a strong membership base, and it is paramount to show our association's power by intensifying our advocacy efforts. Having a network of public health professionals willing to take action is essential to ensuring that the legislative priorities of APHA are addressed. While APHA will continue to request that its membership as a whole take action on issues affecting public health, the legislative network will serve as the "grasstops" of APHA's entire Advocacy network. Join Now!

APHA appreciates the advocacy efforts of its members and the entire public health community on issues that ultimately affect all of America. Members of APHA can view a more in depth legislative update on APHA's Web site. This legislative information is updated weekly.

Online Access to the American Journal of Public Health

Have you activated your free online subscription to the American Journal of Public Health yet?

If you haven't, please take a moment to learn about all the benefits of the online version of AJPH. It's the same great journal with a host of new functionality. You might think that it would be hard to improve on a publication like AJPH, but we did. We took our paper journal and created an online journal with added features that allows you to do more with a journal than you ever thought possible.

Now by registering for the online version of AJPH, a free service to members of APHA, you can process, collect and arrange data in a variety of ways. Using the sophisticated Citetrack engine, you can search AJPH and over 400 other journals for the information you need. Best of all, once you have told Citetrack what to look for, it does the work for you. Citetrack alerts you by e-mail every time new content in the American Journal of Public Health or other participating journals is published that matches criteria that you select. You can ask Citetrack to search for specific words, content, or key authors. It will also let you know whenever a paper of interest to you is referenced by another paper or in a letter. In addition, the online journal offers: reference links to Medline and the APHA bookstore; online letters to the editor (not available in the print version); news releases; and highlights; Table of Content alerts; and special announcements from APHA.

All of this is free to you as a member of APHA. Why not take a moment to take advantage of this remarkable benefit? To activate your online journal subscription, go to: <>. To learn more about Citetrack, visit <>.

Join APHA and the ATOD Section

To join the ATOD Section as a new APHA member, go to the APHA Web site at <>. When you join APHA, you can choose the ATOD Section as your primary or secondary Section. (One primary and secondary Section or SPIG is included in your APHA membership. A secondary membership will provide you with everything except the right to vote on Section matters.)

To join the Section if you are already an APHA member and would like to change SPIG or Section, send an e-mail to <>. Note that you should include your membership ID # (you can find it on the mailing label on your American Journal of Public Health or The Nation's Health; it's the first 7 digit number)!

All Academics! Tell Your Students! Student Registration Has a Huge Discount.

Conference Announcements

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco's 10th Annual Meeting
Feb. 18-21, 2004
Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort
Phoenix, Arizona

For more information, please contact SRNT at 608-836-3787 ext. 148 or E-mail
us at <> or visit our Web site at <>

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)
25th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions

March 24-27, 2004
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel
Baltimore, Maryland

Sixth Annual Child Health Services Research Meeting
June 5, 2004
San Diego, CA

AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting
June 6-8, 2004
San Diego, CA

The Annual AcademyHealth Research Meeting brings together health services researchers, providers and key decision-makers to address the critical challenges confronting the health care delivery system

27th Annual Scientific Meeting of the
Research Society on Alcoholism

June 26 - July 1, 2004
Vancouver, Canada

2003 ATOD Section Leadership Roster

Please contact any officer for information and especially the committee chairs for areas in which you would like to become involved.

Diana Conti

Chair Elect:
Fran Stillman

Immediate Past Chair:
Norman Giesbrecht

Jamie Chriqui

Section Councilors:
Stella Aquinaga Bialous

Linda Bosma

Karen Gerlach

Tom Greenfield

Ann Mahony

Traci Toomey

Governing Councilors:
Cheryl Cherpitel

Johnnetta Davis-Joyce

Laura Flinchbaugh

Bob Vollinger

Annual Program Chair:
Barry Bleidt

Moderator Coordinator:
Shereen Khatapoush

Awards Chair:
André Stanley

Communications Chair and Web site Coordinator:
Gabrielle Denmead

Newsletter Editor:
Mary Brolin

List serv Coordinator:
Marilyn Daley

Membership Chair:
Fran Stillman

Nominations Chair:
Norman Giesbrecht

Resolutions Co-Chairs:
Kris Bosworth

Richard Daynard

Resolutions Committee (with Co-Chairs listed above):

Bill Butynski

John Garcia

Karen Gerlach

ATOD Section List Serv

The ATOD Section has set up a list serv to help members communicate with each other on matters relating to policy, practice and research in the areas our Section covers. The list serv is a way to quickly inform others of developments, solicit assistance on matters of ATOD policy and its implementation and alert our members to opportunities and events of interest.

Control of the list serv will remain exclusively with the ATOD Section, and all listings will be kept strictly confidential. Messages will be disseminated only after the sender and message content have been "vetted" as appropriate for our Section.

To join the list serv, e-mail your name and e-mail address to the List Serv Coordinator Marilyn Daley at <>.

To provide a message for posting (after vetting), e-mail the material to the List Serv Coordinator Marilyn Daley at <>. You do not have to be a member of the list serv to post messages.

Tell your colleagues about upcoming events, conferences, programs, research, opportunities or anything you are interested in.

If your e-mail address changes, or you wish to unsubscribe, e-mail Marilyn as well.

Share Your News

This is your newsletter, so please send us information you would like to share with your colleagues. We're interested in summaries of conferences, commentaries on articles, research or policies and announcements about conferences.

Have you recently changed jobs or accepted a new fellowship? Perhaps you keynoted a speech at a national meeting or were appointed to a national advisory committee or board.

If you have important news, we'd like to hear about it and publish it in the APHA-ATOD Section Newsletter. Please e-mail your news to <> or fax to Mary Brolin at (617) 266-9271.