The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH), Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services (BADS), established a State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) to examine alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related archival data to determine the scope and magnitude of substance abuse and associated problems. This interagency workgroup collaborates at the state and grassroots level to address the significant gap Mississippi has experienced in the lack of sufficient data collection and coordination. The SEOW has two primary missions: use data to enable the State to successfully report on all National Outcome Measures, and create epidemiological profiles for all substances to include profiles of need, patterns of consumption, and consequences of substance use.   
State agencies collect data on various constructs; however, each agency is left with only a partial snapshot of the state’s needs and resources to address alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. An online resource reporting each participating state agency’s data will be provided to all workgroup members to utilize for planning, monitoring and evaluating Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) prevention needs and services. Analyzed data retrieved from state agencies will be used to establish the most effective intervention strategies, fund statewide programs based on need, and enhance strategic planning.

Epidemiological profiles will be generated based on the data collected for each of the following: tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines, inhalants, and prescription drugs. Each of these profiles will consist of consumption patterns of the State at large, as well as prevalence trends in race, gender, and lifespan. Mississippi’s substance abuse prevalence rates will be examined to see how they compare to national data.

The SEOW has been supported by recurring discretionary grants since 2006. The SEOW is currently directed by the SEOW Project Director, Thia Jasmine Walker. If you would like additional information about the SEOW project, contact Ms. Walker at (601) 359-6838.