Campus: CSU Long Beach -- January 05, 2004

U.S. Department of Health, Human Services Awards $341,221 Grant to Cal State Long Beach

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a $341,221 grant to the Center for Behavioral Research and Services (CBRS) at California State University, Long Beach for a project aimed at preventing the use of ecstasy and other club drugs.

Titled “Intervention for Hard-to-Reach Club Drug Users,” the Cal State Long Beach project is designed to target male club drug users and men who have never used club drugs. The program will also target hard-to-reach populations such as young men who frequent mini-raves or “garage parties” and existing populations of drug users who are adding club drugs to their other drug use.

The CSULB project was one of just 12 programs in the nation funded by HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at a cost of more than $4 million. SAMHSA is a public health agency within HHS and is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment and mental health service delivery systems.

“These grants will support efforts to help young people steer clear of dangerous club drugs such as ecstasy and rohypnol,” said Tommy G. Thompson, U.S. secretary of health and human services. “These awards will help young people recognize that club drugs can lead to date rape, addiction and death.”

CBRS has a long history of working with the local male population in the areas of health education, HIV prevention and HIV risk reduction. This new project will combine club drug prevention and risk-reduction messages, skills training for prevention and harm reduction for those already using club drugs, brief individual counseling and health education decision-making related to club drug use within current interventions.

“The use of ecstasy and other club drugs is on the rise in the United States, and it is a concern for prevention professionals working with a number of different demographic and cultural groups,” said Dennis Fisher, CSULB professor of psychology and CBRS director. Fisher and Vincent Del Casino, Jr., assistant professor of geography, are the principal investigators for the club drug users grant.

“Building on our current work with men who have sex with men (MSM) in HIV prevention, this project will provide prevention interventions for ecstasy and club drug use among MSM while continuing our work at preventing the spread of HIV,” Fisher pointed out. “The main activities for this project will include outreach and intervention groups for club drug cessation, reduction or prevention, depending upon the risk status of the participant.”

As part of the project, Fisher said his staff will target 1,000 MSM in Long Beach for contact and a brief intervention, including 200 who will be brought to CBRS for extended individual intervention. Of those 200, 100 never will have used club drugs, and 100 will have used club drugs at least once in the last 30 days. Both groups will be exposed to a prevention and risk-reduction intervention.

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