January 28, 2013

National Survey on Drug Use and Health—Have You been Contacted?

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations


Will Estrada has been leading our efforts to defend homeschooling on Capitol Hill since 2006. As the oldest of eight kids, and a homeschool graduate who married a homeschool graduate, he has a passion for protecting homeschool freedom. Read more >>

You may have recently received a letter in the mail addressed to “RESIDENT.” This letter was sent from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and asked you to take part in the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Roughly 200,000 households were randomly selected to take part in this survey, which consists of an in-person interview with a government contractor. If you were chosen to participate and answer all of the questions, you will receive $30 in cash.

Some HSLDA members who received this survey have expressed concern about their privacy. You can find out more about this survey online.

There are two important things to remember about this survey. First, it is not mandatory. However, if you do decide to participate, federal law requires HHS and the Research Triangle Institute which is conducting the survey to keep your information strictly confidential.

Federal law prohibits HHS or any government or private employees from sharing your personal information with any other government or private entity under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). Any violation would make the individual subject to criminal penalties, including a prison term of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

The purpose of this voluntary survey is to help researchers and policy makers find out more about drug use and public health. The results of this survey will be helpful to the medical community, policy makers, and others.

HSLDA encourages you to research this survey and make your own decision about whether you or a member of your household is interested in participating. If you do decide to participate, this may be a very interesting homeschool opportunity for your family.

You are also well within your rights to decline to participate in this survey.

One concern to note, if you do decide to participate in this survey, is that it is likely you will be requested to have your teens interviewed absent a parent being present. One of our member families experienced an interviewer who insisted on questioning the teenagers in private and separate from the presence of parents. The parents then refused the interview.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact HSLDA’s Federal Relations Department at federalrelations@hslda.org or 540-338-5600.

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