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Skagit County Health officials advise the public that they might be contacted regarding a national drug use and health survey to conducted by the federal government in 2016.

“We understand that those who receive letters from the contractor conducting this survey might call us regarding the question of whether the survey is legitimate,” said Health Department official Rebecca Clark. “Although this survey does not originate with our department, we encourage participation.”

In 2016, about 186,000 randomly selected households in all 50 states will be sent letters describing the survey hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The letter will inform them that a professional field interviewer will visit for a brief screening interview to determine if someone in that household (12 years of age or older) is eligible for participation in the study. About 70,000 individuals will ultimately be selected to participate, with a $30 cash payment “as a token of appreciation for their participation.”

Participants do not need to know anything about alcohol, tobacco or drug use to answer survey questions, and interviews with people who do not use these substances are just as important to the study as interviews with people who do.

The federal survey will be conducted by RTI International, a not-for-profit organization located in North Carolina. Information about the company and agencies involved in the study can be obtained or


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