SARF is a prevention program to reduce health disparities by decreasing substance abuse, HIV, and related stigma impacting 18‐24-year-olds in Arkansas, particularly minority populations.
- Arkansas has the worst binge drinking frequency and drinks per episode in the U.S. Nearly 75% of college students drink alcohol.
- 1 in 5 AR 18‐24 year-olds use illicit drugs and rates are increasing.
- AR is one of six southern states that make up 52% of new HIV cases in the U.S.
- Stigma impacts Substance Abuse (SA), HIV, and overall health.
Substance misuse is highly associated with poor health and social outcomes including increased risk for HIV Transmission and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)—all high in Arkansas. When a person is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs their judgment is impaired, increasing the likelihood of risky sexual and other behaviors such as intravenous drug use, placing them at high risk for HIV or STIs. Stigma has been shown to result in prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Awareness and education can reduce stigma.
African‐Americans (AAs) are at Disproportionate Risk in Arkansas
- AAs have now surpassed Whites in Tobacco Use, including non‐cigarette delivery methods like e‐cigarettes and cigars.
- Co‐occurring alcohol and marijuana abuse is greatest among AAs.
- AAs accounted for 53% of AR’s new HIV cases in 2017 while making up only 15.5% of AR’s population.
- Men having Sex with Men (MSM) have the highest rates of HIV.
- African American Heterosexual Women are the second-highest risk group.
- Stigma goes beyond conditions like SA or HIV and has been associated with mental illness and high-risk behaviors that include lack of HIV testing and not accessing health care.
- Stigma goes beyond health conditions to race and sexual orientation, both key demographic characteristics of those Save AR Future seeks to serve.
Prevention Works! Save AR Future is a 5 year (2019‐2023) collaborative project with state and local partners. It is personalized for each community.
SARF Goals are to:
- Increase community capacity to provide culturally responsive SA/HIV/Viral Hepatitis prevention services in 9 AR counties with a high prevalence of Substance Abuse and HIV among minority populations between the ages of 18 and 24.
- Increase SA and HIV knowledge/awareness and protective behaviors by 10% among young adult AAs in 13 AR colleges/communities.
Services align with academic semesters Fall 2019 ‐ Spring 2023
For more information, contact Cynthia Crone at