The White House

Office of the National Drug Control Policy

White House Drug Policy Director Awards $85.6 Million to Local Communities to Prevent Youth Drug Use

(Washington, D.C.) – Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), today announced $22 million in new Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants to 169 communities and 16 new DFC Mentoring grants across the country. The awards announced today are in addition to the $63 million in Continuation grants simultaneously released to 549 currently funded DFC coalitions and seven DFC Mentoring Continuation coalitions. These grants provide community coalitions needed support to prevent and reduce youth substance use.

“The Drug Free Communities program embodies the Obama Administration’s dedication to evidence-based community prevention efforts that protect the health of our young people,” said Director Kerlikowske. “Data show that communities receiving DFC funding have seen significant reductions in past 30-day use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana among middle and high school students. I applaud the hard work of local community leaders, youth, parents, educators, healthcare professionals, faith-based leaders, law enforcement officials, and others who are working together daily to strengthen communities and save kids’ lives.”

"Action at the community level -- in school rooms, community centers, churches and at kitchen tables—can help drive rates of substance abuse down," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. "SAMHSA is pleased to join the Office of National Drug Control Policy in supporting communities that are bringing people together to create healthy and drug free environments for children."

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The DFC program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local youth drug prevention efforts including prescription drug diversion and prevention initiatives and underage drinking programs. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and the media.

The 169 new grantees were selected from 521 applicants through a competitive, peer-reviewed process. To qualify for these matching grants, all awardees must have at least a six-month history of working together on youth substance use reduction initiatives, have representation from 12 required sectors of the community, develop a long-term plan to reduce youth substance use, and participate in the National Evaluation of the DFC program.

The overall percentage of Native American/American Indian representation in the new and continuation grant program has increased 42 percent since 2007 and now represents 10 percent of the total DFC awards. DFC continues to grow in rural communities with participation in rural areas growing from 53 percent of new awards in FY2009 to 62 percent of awards in FY2010.

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 1,600 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and, for the first time in FY 2010, the Federated States of Micronesia.

More information about the Drug Free Communities Support Program is available at: www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/dfc