Changing Direction: The 2014 Drug-Free Communities Grants

December 18, 2014

There are a variety of radical and significant changes to the Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) this year. Changing that represent a significant departure in focus from previous years. This article is not about politics so without politicizing the issue too much, many of the changes fit with current trends toward legalization and recent statements by national leaders asserting that some illegal substances are no more dangerous than alcohol.

The first significant change is a shift in focus away from the coalition itself. The 2014 RFA no longer requests information about how the coalition evolved over time or what major accomplishments the coalition has had. It seems the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which has always proudly claimed ownership of DFC even as the grant management shifted, is no longer as interested in the past or present strength of the grantees. Add to this the complete elimination of question 10 from the 2013 RFA which addressed sustainability and it seems the future longevity of the grantees is also not a concern. Even the guidance on developing the Action Plan was changed so that DFC Goal One no longer mentioned including objectives, strategies, and activities to strengthen the coalition’s internal capacity. Another indicator of the lack of interest in the welfare and longevity of the grantees is the absence of questions related to the internal structure of the coalition. Questions about board structure, committees, leadership, or even how new members are engaged, recruited, and trained are minimal and do not ensure involvement in the coalition mission.

The other major change relates to the very foundation of the drug free communities program. Instead of DFC Goal Two providing guidance to include goals to prevent youth substance abuse… It now says prevent and reduce youth substance abuse. Although they still ask for core measure data they no longer ask for data on the consequences of youth substance use. That means most of the social indicator data usually provided related to juvenile crime, school data, emergency room data, etc. will not be included. In addition the role of unique local community characteristics, local community and social norms, and local attitudes and readiness to change is not considered. Neither are local laws, policies, practices, standards, or statutes. This seems to me to be an aversion to engage in the discussion on legalizing medical and now recreational marijuana and other lax drug laws.

While we grapple with the content issues we will also need to wrestle with a shakeup in formatting including reducing the number of pages from 30 to 25. They reduced the previous 10-15 questions down to FIVE and they did NOT include the scoring criteria instead stating that it will be released in February. With last year’s funding cutoff at 94 the competition will be excruciatingly tight this year. The final scoring criteria is so disorganized, littered with typos, and is immensely subjective. For example, you could have a near perfect proposal but have just one of your objectives be not measureable and you would automatically lose 8-10 points! Last year, that one tiny error would have eliminated you from consideration. There are very few grants that have a funding cutoff as high as the DFCSP and they have used some terrible scoring processes in the past. The changes this year are the most significant in recent memory.

Writing a successful Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant has become increasingly challenging, since appropriated funding has fluctuated from year to year while the number of applicants has stayed consistently high. Each year, SAMHSA receives over 500 applications. On average, SAMHSA funds about one-fourth of those applications, although in 2011 only 19.2% of applications received funding, and in 2012 that number dropped to 16.5%, the smallest number of applications funded since 2002. In the FY2006 funding cycle, applicants had to score 82 or better to receive funding, but by 2013 the minimum score had increased by 12 points to 94. What then does a coalition need to do to increase their chances of scoring high enough to get funded?

As someone who started as a prevention practitioner and community coalition member I can see the intent of the questions. However, as a grant writer trying to secure the DFC, I find myself zeroed in on the scoring process and criteria and less on the intent of the questions. In the end, your application will need to be much more than good… it will need to be nearly perfect… and if the “nearly” falls in the wrong section than even being nearly perfect will not have been enough! On top of that… as with any federal grant that is peer reviewed… you will need just a little bit of luck.

So… shoot for perfection… and… Good Luck!

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Six Steps Discussing Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

December 12, 2014

Step 1: Before you choose Levitra for treatment of erectile dysfunction, you must understand its working and also make sure that it’s a good option for you. Work with your doctor to make sure that this is the best treatment option for you.

Step 2: Once you have been prescribed from one amongst the 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg dosages of Levitra, you need to start taking the prescribed dosage. You need to make sure that you don’t take more than the required dosage without consulting your doctor. Also, another point to remember is that you should keep a gap of 24 hours between one Levitra dosage and the next.

Step 3: Levitra can be used to treat erectile dysfunction as it belongs to a family of medications called PDE5 inhibitors or phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. The action of this inhibitor drug increases the levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which in turn helps improve the blood flow to the penis. This increase in blood flow leads to better and longer lasting erections, helping treat erectile dysfunction.

Step 4: The action of Levitra especially focuses on the corpus cavernosum of the penis, which are sponge like chambers in the erectile tissue. The action of this prescription medication has an effect on the chain of events that leads to these chambers filling up with blood, post sexual stimulation.

Step 5: Levitra like other prescription medications for erectile dysfunction only works if there is sexual stimulation. It’s a medication that should be taken an hour before sex and its effect lasts for 4 hours in your body.

Step 6: If you take Levitra and it does not have an effect on you the first few times, it is advisable that you consult your doctor and ask him/her to adjust your dosage.

Tips and Warnings

Before you take this medication, you must understand that this is not a magic pill and won’t have any effect on your libido.
The medication has even worked for those people suffering from conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol. One of the advantages of this medication is that it is available in lower dosage strengths, which can be prescribed for such people.
If you suffer from a serious health condition and are taking some specific medications like nitrates, you need to apprise your doctor of this situation. You might not be prescribed Levitra if you are taking nitrates.
Also, make sure that you only buy genuine Levitra and from a pharmacy that puts primary importance on your prescription for the drug. Pharmacies that do not ask for your prescription might be in the business of selling fake drugs.

Hayden Eck writes article pertaining to impotence treatment. Levitra helps man to maintain an erection. Levitra has the active ingredient Vardenafil. You can get Levitra online over internet or a local pharmacy.

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Levitra: The Small Dose-Strong Impact Erectile Dysfunction Pill

December 6, 2014

Do you know what exactly is special about Levitra? It is Vardenafil hydrochloride, a strong molecule with a weight of 488.604 g/mol. As a PDE5 inhibitor, Vardenafil is closely related in both function and marketing to Sildenafil and Tadalafil though; it has a comparatively short effective time with less instances of failure. Those who have Levitra experience, have pointed out that unlike other ED pills, Levitra has worked for them on the very first attempt.

Let’s find out the actual selling points of the ED drug Levitra over its competitors.

The main ingredient of Levitra, Vardenafil hydrochloride is a potent molecule which requires smaller dosage to get into full action. The scientists refer to the molecule as far more stronger than Sildenafil and Tadalafil.

Levitra works wonders for men who had unsatisfactory or failed experience with Viagra. This statement has been confirmed time and again by the result of different research studies.

Vardenafil hydrochloride in Levitra is a boon to the diabetes patients, who are at a greater risk of erectile dysfunction due to uncontrolled sugar in blood that impedes the blood flow to the penis. Levitra has proved to be effective even in tight situations like high blood pressure as well as diabetes type2 when other ED drugs have failed to work.

Levitra’s highest dose of 20 mg is equal to 100 mg maximum dose of Viagra. Now, check out the lowest dose for Viagra, 12.5 mg and compare it to 2.5 mg pill of Levitra, its lowest dose.

Those, who have been hit below the belt, are found to experience fewer side effects compared to other available PDE5 inhibitors. The mild and most common side effects are headaches, nasal congestion, flushing. What is more, with Levitra, you need not worry about your eyes as it has no detrimental side effects on vision. There is another add-on benefit with Levitra; it is less sensitive to food and alcohol, again, giving you ample chance for a romantic dinner with your ladylove while getting ready for the right moment.

The ED Market

Each of the PDE5 inhibitors will have it’s share in the erectile dysfunction market. It seems that Levitra has a promising future ahead, because, Vardenafil hydrochloride is strong enough to give an erection to the diabetics, who are the most easy victims of impotence, therefore considered as a substantial chunk of ED market.

The ever increasing market of erectile dysfunction is experiencing a head-on competition within the trio. For me, the ED market scenario is quite clear! Viagra, Levitra & Cialis, all of them have something special to offer. If Viagra has the longest track record, Cialis has 36 hours of action to offer, while Levitra has come up with effectiveness and gives strong erection to diabetics even with smaller doses.

The ED market giant remains Viagra though, owing to its consistency in performance but Levitra wins in rigid situations like diabetes.

Based on its advantages, Levitra has captured 50% of prescriptions for newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction patients. The MarketWatch report makes it almost clear as water, in spite of Viagra’s strong hold on the market, Bayer recorded a 16% advance in sales of its erectile dysfunction drug, to 73 million euros this year. The figures clearly show that Levitra will not wait for long to defeat its competitors.

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Lay Off Notices in January of 2014 Set the Stage for Job Growth

November 30, 2014

We are told that the United States should have a really good 2014 with regards to our economy, we are also told by those at the Davos World Economic Summit that the EU will have some growth, that China should have okay growth but slowing and that the emerging markets are liable to give back a good chunk of what they had garnered in resent past years. Yes, let’s talk, because there are many who are critical of these predictions.

Now then, there was an interesting article about government layoffs in Government Executive News on January 22, 2014 titled; ” OPM to Lay Off 300 Employees,” by Eric Katz. Although, I’d like to see a little right sizing of the Federal Government, especially with all the duplication, it still reveals a real problem moving forward. An acquaintance noted to me; Walmart (Sams), Macy’s, J C Penny and Target to name a few have all announced layoffs recently, J C Penny will be shutting 33 underperforming stores and laying off 2000 employees.”

Yes, I’ve seen that, Texas Instruments also. In fact as I watch the earnings come in and the warnings on future earnings, I wonder if the projected growth of 4% GDP in the US is truly viable, in Davos they are saying the growth will be in the US, and yes, there will be emerging market money and capital flowing into US safe haven investments, but we have a bigger problem. TI for instance had decent earnings yet big layoffs.

It’s not just happening in the US, Canada too, Bombardier is laying off, and the US Auto Makers have too much inventory, the CEO of AutoNation recently noted. Things are not quite as rosy as projected – and even with the transfer of employee costs away from corporations and their health care into ObamaCare, we have some real problems we need to address here. I explained to an acquaintance recently that his observations were correct and I told him “You are right in what you notice – I agree and see it too!”

Corporations are projecting lower future earnings and they are pre-adjusting their cost structures. Companies are looking at more technological solutions to relieve them of the human costs to run their businesses. Towards the end of January 2014 we saw the S&P cross below the 50-day moving average, then re-test and companies continued their very early pre-Spring cleaning, and were busy thinning their ranks. I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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How to Find The Best Drug Rehabilitation Centers

November 25, 2014

When you’re looking for drug rehabilitation centers, there are certain qualities that should never be compromised on. There are thousands of options out there, and though it may seem impossible to sort through them all to find the good ones, there are simple things to look for. The process of finding drug rehabilitation centers is often rushed and stressful, but this simple list should help you find the right center without any trouble.

1. Accredited Rehab Centers
Before you look at anything else, you should know if the center is accredited by the state. You want to be sure that your loved one is in trustworthy hands during this time, and the state has procedures of determining this. Drug rehabilitation centers that have not been accredited can not be trusted with the care of your loved one.

2. Effective Procedures
There should be a list of success rates somewhere. Make sure that the center has been green lighted as a success from an outside source. One of many effective procedures to look for is relapse prevention. If drug rehabilitation centers aren’t teaching clients how to deal with relapses, their job isn’t finished. A center that doesn’t have a high success rate is likely not to give your loved one the care that they need.

3. Twenty-four Hour Care
The most important part of recovering from substance abuse is not falling back into it. If twenty-four hour care is not offered, there is no guarantee of full recovery. A center that is focused on recovery will offer full inpatient care twenty-four hours a day. Outpatient care is usually offered, but is less effective. Selecting a rehabilitation center with inpatient care is the best option for full recovery.

4. Medical/Inpatient Detox
Detox is one of the most intense parts of the rehabilitation. Even if your loved one doesn’t require the full recovery to be inpatient, you should make sure that the detox can be done within the center. Depending on the substance abuse, detox symptoms can vary from intense outbursts of anger to depression, sweats, paranoia and sleep disorders. A good rehab center can deal with these withdrawal symptoms within the center. There are important medical treatments that can help your loved one recover quickly and fully. Make sure that the rehabilitation center you’re looking at offers a good program for detoxing.

5. Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment
The ramifications of substance abuse often overflow into physiological problems. From the smallest symptoms of withdrawal to severe mental disorders, the type of substance abused can result in disturbed mental health. The center should be able to diagnose the problems your loved one is experiencing and help them to recover from every symptom and mental challenge. After and during rehab, many find themselves facing severe depression and anger. Their actions are often out of their control and they find themselves disoriented. Substance abuse is a serious thing, the recovery procedure is incredibly important. If a center doesn’t offer a good mental health program, you should look somewhere else.

6. Holistic Treatment Options
Holistic treatment focuses on the health and well being of the entire body. Substance abuse occurs for many reasons, and as a result there are multiple types of treatment. Focusing on the flow of the mind, body and spirit, holistic treatment offers a less traditional approach to rehabilitation. Because holistic treatments don’t solely focus on the body, they are often more successful in preventing relapses. As clients recover fully, they are able to find a peace without having to get high or drunk.

7. Well Trained Staff
Regardless of the programs, buildings or procedures, no rehabilitation center is going to help anyone if they aren’t properly staffed. When you’re looking for the right rehab center, call the staff and ask difficult questions. The secret to success always lies in a team of well trained staff. This is no less true for a rehab center. If the staff isn’t prepared to handle any kind of situation, they won’t be able to guarantee recovery. If they lack experience, they could trigger your loved one into a relapse before the program is complete. Talk to people that have completed the rehab program at the center you are thinking about. The staff of the rehab center will be directly working with your loved one during their recovery. Make sure you can trust them.

While these are just a few qualities to look for, they should be your guide in choosing the right rehab center for your loved one. The purpose of rehab is to help them fully recover and get back on their feet, make sure that the drug rehabilitation center you are considering is capable of succeeding.

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