Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse: Focus on Consequences for Adolescents

Focus on Consequences for Adolescents (FOCA) was developed in 2005 to bridge the gap in services between prevention and treatment. FOCA is an alternative to incarceration, fines, and school suspension for youth ages 14-20 in Erie County, New York who have engaged in behaviors in the community and/or in school that were illegal or non-compliant. Referrals come from schools, physicians, courts, and families.

FOCA has adapted the SAMHSA model program Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) to a younger population identified through slightly different referral sources. Unlike BASICS, FOCA addresses other drugs in addition to alcohol, and collects information that can help the interviewer better understand the participant’s substance use and provide more effective, individualized feedback.

FOCA is designed to be both a mandated consequence and a learning experience for youth whose alcohol/drug use has resulted in problem behaviors. The expected outcomes for participants include reduced recidivism rates; decreased frequency of alcohol use; decreased quantity of alcohol consumed per occasion; decreased alcohol-related consequences; decreased changes in illicit drug use; and increased overall life satisfaction. A survey of FOCA participants three months after participating in the program showed improvements in all of these areas.

With funding from SAMHSA’s STS Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity of Evidence-based Interventions, FOCA will implement a quasi-experimental study to assess data from participants who receive the intervention and compare that to data from participants that have not received the intervention. The expected outcomes of the project are to decrease underage drinking and substance abuse and decrease consequences of use for referred youth.


Andrea J. Wanat
Executive Director
Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Phone: (716) 831-2298 x11

Janice Burns
FOCA Program Coordinator
Phone: (716) 831-2298 x31