All States, Jurisdictions, and several Tribal Entities have received Federal funding from SAMHSA to establish an epidemiological workgroup. Epidemiological workgroups are networks of people and organizations that bring analytical and other data competencies to substance abuse prevention. Their mission is to integrate data about the nature and distribution of substance use and related consequences into ongoing assessment, planning, and monitoring decisions at State and community levels. Their deliberate focus is on using data to inform and enhance prevention practice.
In some cases, the epidemiological workgroup is part of a broader Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG). These SPF SIG workgroups are called State Epidemiology Workgroups or SEWs. SAMHSA has also made contract funds available to support epidemiological workgroups in States and Jurisdictions not receiving SPF SIG funds. These contract workgroups are called State Epidemiology Outcome Workgroups (SEOWs). In both cases, the purpose of the epidemiological workgroup is to promote data driven decision-making in the State or Jurisdiction’s substance abuse prevention system by bringing systematic, data-driven thinking to guide effective and efficient use of prevention resources.