(Washington D.C.) – Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the Office 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. Van Buren County SAFE Coalition from Keosauqua, IA was one of the grant recipients and will receive DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
“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 it 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.”
Van Buren County SAFE Coalition will specifically work to address Underage Drinking, Misuse and Abuse of Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs, Youth Nicotine use and Youth Marijuana use. 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.
“We are not powerless against the challenge of drug use among young people here in Van Buren County,” said Coalition Director, Heidi Bainbridge. “Research shows that prevention is the most effective tool we have to reduce the terrible consequences associated with drug use among young people. This funding will allow the SAFE Coalition to help place more young people on the path toward success and enable them to live healthier and safer lives.”
“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.”
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: www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp