FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 6, 1996
funding for fetal alcohol programs
OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry has
directed that $480,000 in state emergency funds be used to pay
for two important substance abuse prevention programs not funded
by the legislature this year.
Lowry will use $380,000 to continue the Birth-to-Three program,
which provides outreach and intensive services to new mothers
with alcohol or substance abuse problems. He also earmarked $100,000
to begin a substance abuse prevention and education program for
Native Americans. Lowry had requested both appropriations in
his 1996 supplemental budget.
"It is a fact that prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome
and other substance abuse-related problems literally saves the
lives of many kids, so it would be absolutely negligent of us
to not fund the programs," Lowry said. "These services
are a relatively small cost to the state, but they are extremely
beneficial to the people they reach and will produce future savings
in dollars and lives."
The governor's action will continue two existing Birth-to-Three
programs in Seattle and Spokane. The Fetal Alcohol Drug Unit
at the University of Washington will continue to oversee the programs,
in which counselors pair with substance-abusing mothers for up
to three years to serve as role models and guide them to recovery.
In five years as a University of Washington demonstration project,
80 percent of the program's clients had participated in alcohol/
substance abuse treatment and 76 percent were able to keep their
children living at home.
The other project provides for development of a fetal alcohol
syndrome and alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorders prevention
and education program for tribes and tribal urban organizations
in the state.
For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.