Official State of Rhode Island website
Click here to find the latest news from BHDDH.
Click here for a list of training opportunities available through the Substance Use Mental Health Leadership Council (SUMHLC).
Rhode Island Substance Abuse Prevention Act (RISAPA) – In 1987, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed the Rhode Island Substance Abuse Prevention Act (RISAPA) to promote comprehensive prevention programming at the community level. In 2017, Rhode Island revitalized the system for prevention. The system has been composed into a regional prevention coalition design which now consists of seven regions.
The Regional Prevention Task Forces (RPTF) are primarily responsible for overseeing the planning and delivery of prevention activities within the municipalities that comprise the region. Each regional coalition is comprised of multiple municipal substance abuse prevention coalitions. The primary goal for the RPTF is to reduce misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among Rhode Island’s cities and towns through the use of evidence-based policies, practices and programs.
BHDDH Contact: Elizabeth Farrar
Rhode Island Student Assistance Services (RISAS) – is a school-based alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse prevention/early intervention program which uses the SAMHSA/CSAP (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention) evidence-based program Project Success (formerly Westchester Student Assistance Program). Project Success is now available in 31 Middle Schools and 39 High Schools throughout Rhode Island and implemented by masters-level counselors. To find a participating school, please click here.
Rhode Island Prevention Resource Center (RIPRC) – provides training and technical assistance resources for Rhode Island substance abuse prevention providers. The Center fosters State and local collaboration to prevent substance use and other risk-taking behaviors in Rhode Island. The website, www.riprc.org includes a calendar of upcoming training/events, fact sheets, and a private provider portal with login accessibility.
Prevention Advisory Committee (PAC) – is a permanent committee on the Governor's Council for Behavioral Health. The purpose of the PAC is to make prevention recommendations to the Council that will be included in the annual report sent to the Governor and to the federal government's Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. The primary goal of the PAC is to strengthen the prevention workforce in Rhode Island. Sandra Delsesto and Sarah Dinklage are the PAC Co-chairs.
BHDDH Contact: Elizabeth Farrar
Rhode Island Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success (PFS) – the PFS provides funding, which is administered by BHDDH, to 20 communities to reduce underage drinking and youth marijuana use in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is one of sixteen states that received an award from the SAMHSA/Center for Substance Abuse Prevention to fund high-need communities. The funds will be used to implement evidence-based practices, policies and programs to prevent substance use. The PFS communities are: Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Charlestown, Cranston, East Greenwich, East Providence, Hopkinton, Johnston, Lincoln, Narragansett, Newport, North Providence, Middletown, Portsmouth, Richmond, South Kingstown, Warren, Warwick and Woonsocket.
BHDDH Contact: Karen Flora
The Evidence-Based Practices Workgroup provides guidance to the Prevention Advisory Committee of the RI Governor's Council on Behavioral Health regarding the use of evidence-based practices for the delivery of behavioral healthcare services within Rhode Island. The workgroup membership is drawn from various behavioral health disciplines and includes experts in behavioral health research, epidemiology and evaluation as well as behavioral health promotion and prevention providers. The charge of the workgroup is twofold: (1) develop guidelines for ascertaining whether a given practice, policy or program meets existing standards for evidence- based practices in behavioral healthcare; and (2) identify a process by which an innovative or locally- developed behavioral healthcare practice, policy or program can be designated as an evidence-based practice in RI.
State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW)
The State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup was established in 2006 under Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) authority, to systematize data-driven planning and decision making around substance use, abuse and behavioral health issues in Rhode Island. In 2008, that authority was transferred to Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals (BHDDH). A website has been created to assist anyone who would like to see the work accomplished by the SEOW.
The SEOW is is co-chaired by Samantha Borden from BHDDH and Colleen Caron from the DCYF. The Workgroup includes representatives of multiple state agencies including BHDDH, Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF), Department of Health (DOH), and local universities (Brown and URI).
The mission of the SEOW is to provide Rhode Island service providers, communities and policymakers with comprehensive data on the patterns, context and impact of substance use and behavioral health issues to inform interventions at the State, Local, and Tribal level.
BHDDH Contact: Karen Flora
State Tobacco Compliance Inspection Program ("Synar Program")
BHDDH administers the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant from SAMHSA. As a condition for receipt of SAPT Block Grant funding, every state must submit an annual Synar Report to SAMHSA.
The report is part of the Synar amendment on federal tobacco laws and is named after its sponsor, the late Oklahoma Congressman Mike Synar. It requires States to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18.
All states are required to conduct an annual survey of retail tobacco retailers to assess their compliance with the law. States must comply with the Synar Amendment in order to receive their full Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) awards.
The Synar Report includes the results of state sampling methodology for selecting tobacco retail outlets for the survey, detailed tables analyzing survey results by city/town and survey protocols. The report also includes summaries of community based efforts such as programs to engage and educate local retailers about tobacco laws to assure their compliance, educate and inform youth and their adult advocates on tobacco issues, as well as developing partnerships with local police departments to conduct enforcement inspections of retailers in their cities and towns.
BHDDH Contact: Maureen Mulligan401firstname.lastname@example.org
FDA Tobacco Compliance Inspection Program
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Tobacco Compliance Inspection Program is performed through a contract between the FDA and the State of RI (represented by BHDDH) to enforce certain provisions of the federal 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act ("TCA"). BHDDH contracts with municipal police departments to provide officers who are commissioned by the FDA to conduct undercover buy attempts at licensed retail tobacco outlets utilizing trained minors. Inspections conducted to determine retailer compliance with TCA advertising and labeling restrictions on regulated tobacco products are conducted by BHDDH staff.
BHDDH Contact: Maureen Mulligan