Archive for August 18th, 2009

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, awarded $60 million in Drug Free Communities (DFC) Continuation Grants to 565 Drug Free Communities coalitions and five DFC Mentor Continuation coalitions.  These grants will assist local community coalitions as they work to prevent and reduce youth substance use.

“We fully understand the important role local leaders play in preventing and reducing youth substance use within communities,” said Director Kerlikowske.  “Substance abuse issues are best prevented and reduced at the local level, and that is why the Drug-Free Communities Support Program is so vital.  It leverages the strengths of local communities by increasing neighborhood participation, encouraging dialogue and focusing attention on saving children’s lives.”

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in partnership with the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The DFC program provides coalition matching grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community organizations that facilitate civic participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and the media.  As DFC continuation grantees, today’s awardees are within a five-year cycle, and successfully met the statutory eligibility, programmatic and fiscal requirements necessary to receive continuation funding. 

“The Drug Free Communities program reaches about 27 percent of America’s youth,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, D.D.S, M.P.H. “These new grants will expand the power of prevention to additional communities working to reduce drug abuse and promote healthy, productive lives.”

The DFC program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006.  Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded approximately 1,500 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will be announcing the awarding of the new Drug Free Communities grantees in late August.  For more information on the DFC Program, please visit: http://www.ondcp.gov/dfc


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