WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) announced $13.2 million in grants for 106 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Programs across the country. The grants, which will be awarded for five years, will provide funding to new and competing continuation community coalitions working to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. The funding supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Drug Policy Priorities for Year One, which include evidence-based efforts to prevent and reduce youth substance use.
“At a time when overdoses have reached an all-time high, it is important that we continue to invest in evidence-based prevention strategies,” said Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy. “According to the most recent national evaluation, youth substance use significantly decreased in communities with DFC-funded coalitions. We know that delaying substance use until after adolescence significantly reduces the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder and that every dollar spent on effective school-based prevention programs returns $18 in averted medical costs and improved productivity. By investing in evidence-based strategies like this, we can continue to make progress.”
“With drug overdose deaths rising at an unprecedented rate, it is critically important that we take action to prevent substance use among youth,” said Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH, acting director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “CDC remains committed to partnering with ONDCP to help local coalitions implement evidence-based solutions that support the health and future of our Nation’s communities.”
The full list of this year’s new and competing continuation grantees, click here.
Background on the DFC Support Program
The 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 ONDCP and in partnership with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 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.
DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems. DFCs involve local communities in finding solutions and helps youth at risk for substance use, recognizing the majority of our Nation’s youth choose not to use substances.
In FY 2021, ONDCP has already awarded 450 DFC coalitions that are continuing in a 5-year cycle. In FY 2020, ONDCP awarded a total of 733 grants, representing an investment of over $91 million for community coalitions in all 50 states. These DFC-funded community coalitions served communities with an estimated 57 million people, or 18% of the population of the United States. Similarly, nearly one in five youth was living in a community with a DFC (18% of all youth at the middle and high school level in the United States).
DFC-funded coalitions continue to lead the way in preventing youth substance use in communities across the Nation. They are engaged in a broad range of practices that moves from community mobilization and awareness to community action and ultimately community outcomes.
Background on Administration actions on addiction and overdose
In its first-year drug policy priorities, the Biden-Harris Administration outlined a strategy that includes expanding access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services, as well reducing the supply of illicit drugs. Since January, the Office of National Drug Control Policy has worked with other agencies across the government to advance President Biden’s drug policy priorities. Among the actions taken in the first eight months of the Biden-Harris Administration are:
- The American Rescue Plan invested nearly $4 billion to allow the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Health Resources and Services Administration to expand access to vital mental health and substance use disorder services. The funding also included $30 million in supports for harm reduction services—a historic amount that will enhance interventions like syringe services programs.
- HHS released the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, which exempt eligible health care providers from Federal certification requirements related to training, counseling and other ancillary services that are part of the process for obtaining a waiver to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine. This action expands access to evidence-based treatment by removing a critical barrier to buprenorphine prescribing.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lifted a decade-long moratorium on opioid treatment programs that want to include a mobile component. This rule change will help provide treatment to rural and other underserved communities, including incarcerated individuals.
- CDC and SAMHSA announced that Federal funding may now be used to purchase fentanyl test strips in an effort to help curb the dramatic spike in drug overdose deaths.
- ONDCP designated six new counties as part of its High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. These counties, located in states like California, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, will receive support for regional law enforcement efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.
- ONDCP provided funding for the nationwide expansion of the HIDTA Overdose Response Strategy to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. The Strategy brings together drug intelligence officers and public health analysts at the local and regional level to share information and develop evidence-based intervention and support services that reduce overdoses.
- ONDCP provided funding to support the establishment of state-level model legislation that advances efforts to expand access to harm reduction services, as well as promote equity in access to treatment and drug enforcement efforts for underserved communities.
- ONDCP hosted more than 300 State, local, and Tribal leaders from all 50 States, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands for a virtual convening entitled “Opioid Litigation Settlement: Using Evidence to Lead Action.” At the convening, government officials, researchers, and experts discussed how State, local, and Tribal governments can use evidence and data to guide decisions about how funds from opioid litigation can be spent to address addiction and the overdose epidemic, while advancing equity.
- ONDCP, HHS, and DOJ presented to Congress the Biden-Harris Administration’s recommendations for a long-term, consensus approach to reduce the supply and availability of illicitly manufactured fentanyl-related substances (FRS), while protecting civil rights and reducing barriers to scientific research for all Schedule I substances.
In addition to these actions, the President’s FY22 budget request calls for $10.7 billion to support research, prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services, with targeted investments to meet the needs of populations at greatest risk for overdose and substance use disorder.
The FY22 budget request also includes significant investments in reducing the supply of illicit substances. In particular, it includes important increases in interdiction efforts, which include air and maritime activities to seize drugs in transit and deter access to routes, enhancements of source nations’ ability to interdict drugs, and efforts along the United States border to interdict the flow of drugs. The FY22 request also continues to support efforts to strengthen source country programs that address drug trafficking and corruption, strengthen the rule of law and anti-corruption activities, promote human rights, and support development programs.