Support from "San Antonio Fighting Back" to Community Coalitions Increases Substance Abuse Treatment and Reduces Crime

San Antonio Fighting Back® worked from 1990 to 2003 to plan and implement a comprehensive system of substance abuse prevention, treatment and aftercare services in the southeast quadrant of San Antonio.

The project, part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Fighting Back: Community Initiatives to Reduce Demand for Illegal Drugs and Alcohol, primarily acted as a neutral facilitator among various community coalitions in order to establish a continuum of services addressing substance abuse, drug-related crime and violence.

Key Results

  • Established more than 79 community organizations and funded more than 400 organizations for programs that addressed community problems.
  • Increased awareness of and demand for substance abuse treatment and increased access to and availability of substance abuse treatment. This included helping to implement a management information system to link treatment providers, four drug courts and a communications campaign.

Key Findings

  • From 1992 to 1998, crime decreased 38 percent within the target area and 30 percent in San Antonio, according to substance abuse indicators monitored by the project.
  • From 1997 to 1998, the number of admissions for substance abuse treatment to facilities funded by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Veterans Administration treatment facility increased by about 24 percent.
  • The number of adults in the target area who received substance abuse treatment at Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse-funded facilities, the Veterans Administration treatment facility or the University Health System rose from 1,181 in 1997 to 1,354 in 1998.