White House Drug Policy Office Announces Grants for 680 Local Communities to Prevent Youth Substance Use

The White House
For Immediate Release

White House Drug Policy Office Announces Grants for 680 Local Communities to Prevent Youth Substance Use

Grants Support Administration Efforts to Emphasize Public Health Approaches to Drug Policy, Reduce Demand for Drugs through Education

(Washington D.C.) – Yesterday, Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced 680 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants, totaling $84 million, to communities across the country.  The grants will provide local communities funding to prevent youth substance use and support the Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, which treats our Nation’s drug problem through a balanced public health and safety approach. The announcement was made in Bangor, Maine, during a town hall meeting to address the opioid epidemic in the state. In Maine alone, 19 community coalitions will be funded by more than $7.5 million over the next five years.

“Last week, President Obama designated October as National Substance Abuse Prevention month because we know the best way to reduce youth drug use is to stop from ever beginning,” said Acting Director Botticelli. “Today, I congratulate prevention advocates for their continuing hard work and dedication to young people many of whom are struggling with peer pressure and other challenges in today’s society.”

“Drug-free coalitions across the nation are mobilizing to mount effective, coordinated prevention programs against substance use, especially among youth,” said Pamela S. Hyde, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “SAMHSA is honored to partner with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in building these critically important community coalitions.”

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is directed by ONDCP in partnership with HHS’s SAMHSA. The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and media.

The DFC Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997 and reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006.  Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded over 2,000 DFC grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The rate of overall drug use in the United States has declined by roughly 30 percent since 1979. More recently, the number of current cocaine users has declined by more than a third (36%) from 2006 to 2013, and the number of current meth users has fallen by 19 percent over the same period.  To build on this progress and support a balance of public health and safety approaches to drug control outlined in the Strategy, in FY 2015 the Obama Administration has requested nearly $10.9 billion for drug education programs and support for expanding access to drug treatment for people suffering from substance use disorders. 

For more information about the Administration efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences, or to learn more about the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, visit: http://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/ondcp/Drug-Free-Communities-Support-Program

The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences.

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