CHARLESTON, WV – Today, at the Putnam Wellness Coalition in Hurricane, West Virginia, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) announced approximately $12.4 million in grants for 99 new coalitions across the country as part of the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program’s new awards for Fiscal Year 2022. The grants support President Biden’s Strategy to beat the overdose epidemic by providing funding to new community coalitions working to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy aims to expand evidence-based efforts to prevent and reduce youth substance use through primary prevention and address the many factors that can lead to youth substance use such as experiencing a mental health disorder, academic issues, poverty and health inequity.
In addition to raising awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol, community coalitions receiving awards are also working to educate communities about illicit fentanyl and counterfeit pills, which have been linked to increases in youth overdoses.
“Adolescence is a critical period to prevent the initiation of substance use when the developing brain is particularly vulnerable,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of ONDCP. “Research shows that youth substance use decreased significantly in communities served by a DFC-funded community coalition. This funding for communities reinforces our commitment to preventing youth substance use as part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda to beat the overdose epidemic. By investing in evidence-based prevention strategies like this, we can continue to instead help our youth reach their full potential.”
“DFC-funded coalitions are an integral part of national, multisector efforts to reduce youth substance use,” said Dr. Deb Houry, CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director. “The DFC Support Program improves collaboration among community leaders, enabling community coalitions to meet the local prevention needs of families and young people in their communities, paving the way for heathier and brighter futures for all.”
Background on the DFC 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 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 recognize the majority of our Nation’s youth choose not to use substances. Coalition members conduct ongoing community assessments to prioritize efforts to prevent and reduce youth substance use.
In FY 22 under the Biden-Harris Administration, a total of 745 community coalitions in all 50 states received over $93 million in grant funding through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program.
DFC-funded coalitions continue to engage communities to address youth substance use across the nation. These coalitions serve to support the Biden-Harris National Drug Control Strategy by implementing evidence-based prevention locally, and ultimately, save lives.
Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy HERE.
Read the fact sheet on the Strategy HERE.