Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced $19.8 million in new Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants to 147 communities and 19 new DFC Mentoring grants across the country. The awards are in addition to the $59.4 million in continuation grants simultaneously released to 473 currently funded DFC coalitions and 4 DFC Mentoring continuation coalitions. The Porter County Substance Abuse Council was one of the grant recipients and will receive $125,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over 5 years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts, and which is available to the Porter County Substance Abuse Council. Coalitions are composed of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, the media, and others working together at the local level.
“We are not powerless against the challenge of drug use among young people here in Porter County,” said Paula Dranger, chair. “Research shows that prevention is the most effective tool we have to reduce the terrible consequences associated with drug use among young people. This new funding will allow Porter County Substance Abuse Council to help place more young people on the path toward success and enable them to live healthier and safer lives.”
“The key to preventing substance abuse is harnessing the talents, resources, and interests of all segments of our local communities,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “America’s families, schools, places of worship, healthcare providers, community centers, and other civic organizations all play an essential role in helping our youth avoid illicit substance use. SAMHSA’s partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy in supporting community coalitions has proven effective in uniting communities to develop effective approaches for fostering drug-free environments for young people across our Nation.”
The Porter County Substance Abuse Council will specifically work to address youth attitudes about underage drinking, marijuana use and abuse, and the health dangers of opiate abuse.