ELKTON, M.D. – On Monday, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) traveled to Elkton, Maryland, to meet with youth leaders of the Drug Free Cecil Coalition to discuss their work to prevent youth substance use and raise awareness about the dangers of illicit drugs like fentanyl. On the trip during National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month, Dr. Gupta discussed President Biden’s commitment to supporting and expanding evidence-based youth substance prevention efforts as part of his National Drug Control Strategy. He also discussed key actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to remove barriers to substance use disorder care, prevent overdoses, support people in recovery, and reduce the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl as part of the Administration’s work to beat the overdose epidemic.

“Youth substance use prevention initiatives are some of the best investments our Nation can make,” said Dr. Gupta. “For every dollar we spend today on effective school-based prevention programs, we save $18 in the future by avoiding potential medical costs and boosting work productivity. That is why, the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to investing in evidence-based youth substance use prevention so that young Americans can live healthy and fulfilling lives. It is also important that our youth prevention leaders in communities across the country continue to raise awareness about the dangers of illicit fentanyl — especially in the form of counterfeit pills — at a time when our Nation faces the most dynamic drug supply in our history.”

As part of Youth Substance Use Prevention Month, ONDCP is hosting webinars for parents, kids, health providers, and educators throughout the month to raise awareness on different aspects of youth substance use and prevention.

Background on ONDCP’s Drug Free Communities Support Program

The Drug Free Cecil Coalition is one the many community-coalitions across the country funded through ONDCP’s Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program.

The 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 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 about actions the Administration has taken to address addiction and the overdose epidemic HERE.


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