Office of National Drug Control Policy

Community-Based Prevention Strategies

The best way to keep America’s youth drug-free is to prevent them from getting involved with drugs in the first place. Effective community-based drug prevention should be comprehensive in scope and include a combination of evidence-based interventions in various settings, community-wide public
awareness activities, and sound public health and public safety policies.

Federal resources totaling $1.7 billion are requested in FY 2012 to support education and outreach programs aimed at preventing the initiation of drug use. This represents a nearly 8 percent increase ($123.0 million) over the FY 2010 enacted level. Key programs include:

Drug Free Communities Support Program

ONDCP: Funding request for FY 2012: $88.6 million

The Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) mobilizes communities to prevent youth drug use. Based on the concept that local problems demand local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community to address their specific local drug problems. Coalition members determine which drug problems should be priorities for their community, and then develop strategies and work to involve the community in implementing those plans. In FY 2010, the DFC program funded 741 communities in 49 States, as well as in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Approximately 75 new grants are expected to be awarded in FY 2011.
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National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign – “Above the Influence”

ONDCP: Funding request for FY 2012: $45.0 million

The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign’s “Above the Influence” (ATI) campaign aims to educate youth about the dangers of substance use and inspire them to live “above the influence” of drugs and alcohol. The redesigned campaign reaches teens with broad prevention messaging at the national level – including television, print, and Internet advertising – as well as more targeted efforts to prevent drug use in communities. The new community-level efforts center on working with local youth-serving organizations to conduct ATI activities with their youth, thereby amplifying the effects of the national ATI campaign. Studies show that teens who are aware of ATI hold significantly stronger anti-drug beliefs than teens who are not aware of ATI.
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High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA)

ONDCP: FY 2012 funding request for HIDTA prevention efforts: $2.1 million

The HIDTA program provides funds to assist Federal, state, and local agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and resources to combat drug production, trafficking, and use. Currently, there are 28 areas around the country designated as HIDTAs, many of which emphasize prevention as part of
their anti-drug strategies. Two examples include:

  • The Southwest Border (California Region) HIDTA works closely with more than a dozen other organizations on prevention initiatives, including drug courts, youth service organizations, and a U.S. Border Patrol program that educates children about drug use.
  • In Washington State, the Northwest HIDTA promotes links with drug courts, community coalitions, public awareness campaigns, and other groups to support initiatives aimed at reducing substance abuse and preventing the initiation of drug use.

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Prevention Grants

Department of Health and Human Services: Funding request for FY 2012: $550.5 million

  • State Substance Abuse Prevention Grants: The FY 2012 request includes $395 million for a state formula grant for substance abuse prevention. This new grant program combines legacy funding from the Strategic Prevention Framework program and the Prevention set aside from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant to fund state–supported, evidence-based community prevention programs.
  • Prevention Prepared Communities: The FY 2012 request includes $22.6 million to lay the foundation for a national, evidence-based, community-oriented system to prevent the onset and progression of substance use and associated mental, emotional, and behavioral problems among
  • children and youth ages 9 to 25.
  • Tribal Prevention Grants: The FY 2012 request includes $25.0 million for a new Tribal Prevention Grant focusing on promoting overall behavioral health, preventing alcohol and substance abuse, and preventing suicides.

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Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students Grant Program

Department of Education: Funding request for FY 2012: $266.9 million

This new program will support student achievement and help ensure students are mentally and physically healthy and ready to learn. The objective is to create an improved school climate that reduces drug use, violence, and harassment and improves school safety and students’ physical and mental well-being. Within the program, the Department would use $75.4 million to provide grant awards under the “Safe Schools/Healthy Students” initiative. Safe Schools/Healthy Students supports communities in developing and implementing a comprehensive set of programs and services to prevent youth drug use and violence, support early childhood development activities, and provide needed student mental health services.

Drugged Driving

Department of Transportation: Funding request for FY 2012: $2.8 million

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s FY 2012 request will support the Drug-Impaired Driving Program, providing public information, outreach efforts, and improved law enforcement training to help reduce drugged driving. Funding will also support a new roadside survey of drug use by drivers and completion of a study of the crash risk of driving after taking drugs.

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