Community Outreach

Community Outreach Cooridnator speaks to students at Waccamah High School
Sylvia Rivers spoke to freshman at Waccamah High School about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol.



CDAP hosts Just Say KNOW (JSK) Conference
MUSC hosted a conference on December 1, 2010 for high school educators and guidance counselors to provide training in how to deliver a science-based substance abuse prevention program designed for 8th-12th grade students called "Just Say KNOW." This program was developed and standardized in 2006 and has been delivered to over 8,000 students to date; requests for this program exceed capacity to accomodate. The education award by ACNP addorded the opportunity to provide training to frontline education professionals to allow them to bring the program to their school and schools in their area, thus sharing the JSK program with students across the state.  Participants also received continuing education credits for attending.   All attendees were provided with resources to allow them to adopt the program, including a sample DVD of the presentation being delivered, a PowerPoint file of the presentation, additional brain/neuroscience resource CDs, and notes from the conference. In addition, all attendees were given access to a “brain buddy” (neuroscience graduate students and neurology medical students at MUSC) to whom they could email questions they may have prior to or following delivery of their own presentation to students.

Speakers included:
Steven C. Burritt, MPH
Prevention Task Force,
Health Behavio and Health Education Program Director
PIRE-Columbia, SC

Viktoriya Magid, PhD
MUSC Asset Program
MUSC Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Suzanne Thomas, PhD
Inoculation Theory and Development of Just Say Know Program
MUSC Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences


CDAP takes part in the United Way Day of Caring 2010

Team CDAP participated in Trident United Way's Day of Caring 2010. Day of Caring involves businesses and individuals volunteering their time to help in the community. MUSC's CDAP Team selected the Neighborhood House. Their mission is to provide emergency services for people in need while encouraging and supporting self...-esteem and independence among the people they serve. The Neighborhood House provides a lunchtime soup kitchen and a food pantry. They also offer GED, computer classes, parenting classes, and services for seniors. We revamped their garden area.




CDAP uses outreach to confront addiction

Suzanne Thomas, Ph.D., lifted a dripping brain out of a bucket to the fascination of many of the fifth graders gathered at Whitesides Elementary School in Mount Pleasant to learn how alcohol and drugs can affect the brain. They filed past her table looking at the grooves and folds on the cortex, a few averting their eyes in revulsion. But whether they could stomach looking or not, they all had gotten the message—that the brain is an organ of the body affected in powerful ways by lifestyle choices. That makes Thomas, program director of the Just Say Know program of  the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs (CDAP), very happy.

Read the full article.

CDAP/MUSC Gives Back

Dr. Suzanne Thomas has started a CDAP/MUSC Gives Back partnership, where MUSC students are trained to deliver science-based alcohol and drug prevention presentations to local 4th-8th grade students. The pictures below show one of the students in this program speaking to students at Spann Elementary School.

MUSC Alcohol Advisory Group 

Dr. Thomas was also appointed Chair of the Alcohol Advisory Group, which is charged by the Associate Provost for Education and Student Life at MUSC to examine and improve the alcohol culture among MUSC students. Toward that end, an action plan was developed, whereby in 2010 each college at MUSC “adopts” a month to conduct alcohol education activities that promote responsible alcohol use, help-seeking, and alcohol awareness. As Dr. Thomas is also a faculty member in CDAP, CDAP is directly or indirectly involved in all of these activities, which are year-round on campus. In the picture to the right, the College of Health Professions adopted the month of March and conducted a "standard drink" education display, using the Wheel of Pourtune game, which was developed within our Alcohol Research Center.

⇒More about the MUSC Alcohol Advisory Group

"Just Say Know"
By David Quick
An excerpt from the Post & Courier, May 18

"...In March, the MUSC Institute of Psychiatry hosted one of the most pre-eminent researchers on the subject, Dr. Susan Tapert, a neuroscientist at the University of California-San Diego.

Tapert said the adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable because is still developing and more sensitive to the toxic effects of drugs such as alcohol.

In a study published in December 2009, Tapert looked at 12- to 14-year-olds before they had used any alcohol or drugs. Over time, some of the kids started to drink -- a few rather heavily, drinking four or five drinks per occasion, two to three times a month, classic binge-drinking behavior in teens.

After about three years into the study, she compared the drinkers to the nondrinkers. The bingers did worse on thinking and memory tests.

The study also showed a distinct difference between genders. Girls who engaged in heavy drinking during adolescence performed more poorly on tests of spatial functioning, which links to mathematics, engineering kinds of functions. Boys who drank performed poorly on tests of attention..."

Read the full article.



Center for Drug & Alcohol Programs
67 President Street
MSC 861
Charleston, SC
(843) 792-2727