Our Division of Behavioral Health Services is the point guard for substance abuse prevention & treatment in Arizona (also referred to as the Single State Authority for Substance Abuse Services at the federal level). One of those concerns is the abuse of marijuana- which continues to be in high demand and abused in our state. Marijuana use and abuse is a significant problem in Arizona according to the latest Arizona Statewide Substance Abuse Epidemiology Profile 2009. There’s been an upward trend in use since 2005, and the prevalence of its use in Arizona was higher than the U.S. average for most age groups. It continues to be a popular drug for Arizona’s kids – the average age of first marijuana use was only 13 years old. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data, there’s been an increased use of marijuana between 2005 and 2009 among Arizona’s high school kids.
We use grant funds from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to conduct many of our substance abuse interventions in Arizona. We get the Grant funds through an annual application that details how we’ll spend the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. As is the case with all of our programs- we need to target the funds toward our highest priority populations. You can see the basics in our latest Substance Abuse FAQs.