Substance Abuse




The program established a community-based, multi-sector coalition to ensure the cultural competency and sustainability of its substance abuse prevention efforts. The Coalition for Asian Substance Abuse Prevention (CASAP) targets risk and protective factors for substance abuse at the individual, family, and environmental levels through a comprehensive approach, which includes individual programming, media campaigns, media advocacy, collaboration with law enforcement, and creating policy changes to reduce social and retail access of substances to youth in the city of Chicago.


Asian American adolescents between the ages of 12-18 years old and Asian American adults
Geographic Area Served: Chinatown and its surrounding neighborhoods of Armour Square & Bridgeport.


• Be United
• Charles N. Holden Elementary School
• China Press
• Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)
• Chicago Department of Public Health – Substance Abuse & Tobacco Control Program
• Chicago Police District- 9th
• Chinese American Service League (CASL)
• Clear Channel
• Henry Booth House (HBH)
• Illinios Liquor Control Commission (ILCC)
• James Ward Elementary School
• John C. Haines Elementary School
• Kelly High School
• Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy
• Mercy Hospital
• Metro South Medical Center
• Philip D. Armour Elementary School
• Project: Vision, Inc. (PV)
• Pui Tak Center
• Robert Healy Elementary School
• Sing Tao Newspaper
• St. Therese Chinese Catholic School
• SunCas TV: Health Today
• World Journal
• Whitney Young Magnet High School


1. Prevent adolescent substance use;
2. Decrease rates of alcohol and tobacco abuse among adults and youth; and
3. Build capacity at the community-level to address substance abuse-related issues, and promote health and well-being in Chicago.

The Substance Abuse Prevention Program is currently funded by the Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Partnerships for Success (PFS) by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Grants in the past have included the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project (CTPP) by the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago (RHAMC), and REALITY Illinois Program by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).



Substance abuse is an issue that is largely not addressed in Asian communities with little research and few resources devoted to investigating the extent to which it is affecting our comunities. However studies show that while substance use and abuse is low in some subgroups, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and South East Asians do have higher prevalences of substance use, many abusing alcohol. In most states, there are few or no culturally or linguistically competent resources available to individuals within these communities who are in need of help. Furthermore, due to high stigma associated with substance abuse, few individuals feel comfortable seeking help.


The Asian American Substance Abuse Intervention Initiative (AASAII) started in 2009, when the Illinois Department of Human Services – Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) provided a contract to the Asian Health Coalition to develop a sustainable coalition of Asian American community-based organizations focused on increasing access to culturally and linguistically appropriate substance abuse treatment services for Asian Americans.


Asian American Immigrant and Refugee Communities in the Chicago area.


• Asian Human Services
• Community Counseling Centers of Chicago
• Hamdard Health and Human Service
• Henry Booth House
• Korean American Community Services


The overall goal of AASAII was to enhance partner agencies capacity to screen and provide early substance abuse intervention, in addition to enhancing access to linguistically and culturally appropriate community-based substance abuse treatment services. All of the activities of AASAII fall within one of four different categories:
1. Education and Outreach
2. Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral and Treatment
3. Stigma and Shame Reduction- Town hall meetings, media campaigns, poster distribution
4. Increase in Bicultural-Bilingual Asian Substance Abuse Providers- CADC trainings for partnering agency staff

Now, our partners offer culturally and linguistically competent substance abuse/mental health services, including DUI evaluation, mental health counseling and domestic violence counseling for Asian Americans:

Hanul Family Alliance

1166 S. Elmhurst Rd.

Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Languages: English and Korean

For more information, please contact Jae Myung Lee at 847-481-6990