FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: ONDCP Public Affairs
MediaInquiry@ondcp.eop.gov or 202-395-6618
White House Drug Policy Office Awards $625,000 over 5 years to the Be the Influence Coalition to Prevent Youth Substance Use in Windham and Raymond
Grants Support Administration Efforts to Emphasize Prevention Among Youth
Washington D.C. –Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced 697 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants, totaling $86 million. The grants will provide local community coalitions funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. The Be the Influence Coalition: A Windham-Raymond Collaborative from Windham and Raymond was one of the grant recipients and will receive 625,000 over 5 years in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
“We know that evidence-based prevention efforts are the most effective way to reduce youth substance use and to support the roughly 90 percent of American youth who do not use drugs,” said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “By bringing together schools, businesses, law enforcement, parent groups, and other members of the community, DFC-funded community coalitions are helping to protect youth from the consequences of substance use.”
“Community coalitions continue to drive winning strategies at the local level to reduce the rate of substance misuse,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Kana Enomoto. “SAMHSA is pleased to join the Office of National Drug Control Policy in supporting communities that are bringing citizens together to create healthy and drug free environments for our youth.”
The Be the Influence Coalition will specifically work to prevent and reduce the use of marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco in the Windham and Raymond communities. Efforts are underway to train teachers, parents, law enforcement, and other community members in evidence-based messaging and provide them with skills to work toward the prevention of youth substance use. To learn more about their efforts, please visit their website at: http://www.betheinfluencewrw.org
Background on the Drug-Free Communities Support Program
The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.
According to data for 2013, an estimated 3,700 young people per day between the ages of 12 and 17 used drugs for the first time in the preceding year. Additionally, high school seniors are more likely to be current smokers of marijuana than cigarettes and non-medical use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs remains unacceptably high. Parents should also know that 19% of high school seniors in 2014 reported binge drinking (i.e., 5 or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.
Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local drug problems. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and media. By involving the community in a solution-oriented approach, DFC also helps those youth at risk for substance use recognize the majority of our Nation’s youth choose not to use drugs.
Additionally, DFC-funded communities have proven to be more effective in addressing these complex social issues and have demonstrated an increase in positive outcomes over communities that do not have DFC’s.
Background on the Administration’s National Drug Policy
The Obama Administration’s drug policy treats the national drug challenge as both a public health and public safety issue. This approach is built upon the latest scientific research demonstrating that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which one can recover. The Administration has directed Federal agencies to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empower healthcare workers to intervene early at the first signs of a substance use disorder, expand access to treatment for those who need it, support the millions of Americans in recovery, and pursue “smart on crime” approaches to drug enforcement.
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://www.whitehouse.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.