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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2003 May;35 Suppl 1:119-25.

Monitoring and reporting alcohol and drug use trends in California: the California Substance Abuse Research Consortium meetings.

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UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90025, USA.


For over 15 years, a semiannual meeting sponsored by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs has served as a forum for aggregating data from a variety of sources to examine and monitor the fluctuations in the type, amount, and consequences of alcohol and drug use in California. These meetings of what is now called the Substance Abuse Research Consortium (SARC) have provided California policymakers with an ongoing mechanism for the compilation and sharing of epidemiological information on California alcohol and drug use trends. The tradition of SARC is based on collecting and reviewing epidemiological information: that is, the communication of trends and patterns of alcohol and drug use, emerging drug combinations, shifting user demographics, and new user populations. This article presents a historical perspective of the evolution of the group started under the name "The Statewide Epidemiology Work Group (SEWG)" to its current status as SARC (a more comprehensive history of SARC appears in an article by Anglin and Urada in this issue). It also provides a summary snapshot of the current substance abuse situation in California through the use of substance-related statistics and regional reports.

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