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New Fed Focus on Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse, Suicide Among Seniors

Nearly three in ten between the ages of 57 to 85 use at least five prescription drugs

April 21, 2011 – The prevention of suicide and the misuse and abuse with prescription drugs by older Americans will be the focus of a new effort by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand a grant program targeting seniors. The SAMHSA is asking for applications for the $3.56 million in grants.

These grants will expand Older Adults Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE) programs previously funded by SAMHSA to include a focus on the prevention of suicide and prescription drug misuse and abuse among this population.


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The targeted population is adults aged 60 years and older who are at risk for or experiencing behavioral health problems.

Approximately 80 percent of all seniors have at least one chronic health condition, and 50 percent have at least two. Nine out of every ten persons between the ages of 57 to 85 use over-the-counter medication, dietary supplements and nearly three in ten use at least five prescriptions. Medication misuse and abuse can cause a range of harmful side effects increasing significant health care needs.

SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. SAMHSA is collaborating with the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) in this initiative. This partnership will provide learning opportunities and support planning for states and communities to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness across America.

SAMHSA is projected to provide approximately $3.56 million. This funding opportunity is a one-time 18 month award. Each of the 10 selected grantees may receive $356,344 for up to 18 months. Actual amounts may vary, depending on the availability of funds.

WHO CAN APPLY: Eligibility is restricted to current and previous Older Adult Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE) grantees from cohorts FY2002-2008.

HOW TO APPLY: Applications for SM-11-009 are available by calling SAMHSA at 1-877-SAMHSA7 [TDD: 1-800-487-4889] or by downloading the application at

Applicants are encouraged to apply online using

APPLICATION DUE DATE: June 7, 2011. Applications must be received by the due date to be considered for review.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: For questions about program issues contact Marian Scheinholtz at (240) 276-1911 or email

For information on grants management and budget issues contact Gwendolyn Simpson at (240) 276-1408 or email

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

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