Drug-Free Communities Program: Reducing Youth Drug Use in Your Neighborhood

By McCaffrey, Barry | Nation's Cities Weekly, November 27, 2000 | Go to article overview

Drug-Free Communities Program: Reducing Youth Drug Use in Your Neighborhood


McCaffrey, Barry, Nation's Cities Weekly


A recent Household Survey released by the White House Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicates that drug use by young people has declined 21percent in the last two years. The survey clearly shows that our drug prevention efforts are working, and that we must keep up the hard work to reduce drug use still further.

Preventing drug use by our children remains a top priority in communities across this nation. Public/private coalitions and community-based organizations are the heart and soul of drug prevention efforts. In September, 94 coalitions from cities and towns of all sizes received additional resources to help them in their fight. ONDCP awarded nearly $9 million in new Drug-Free Communities Program grants that will enable these communities to prevent and reduce young people's illegal use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. These anti-drug coalitions will also encourage citizen participation in substance abuse reduction efforts and disseminate information about effective programs. Funded coalitions are made up of community representatives, including parent and youth organizations, health care professionals, faith-based organizations, school officials, and state, local or tribal governmental agencies.

The organizations that received funds this year represent a cross-section of projects from 39 states. Of the 94 new recipients, 48 serve rural, 37 serve suburban/urban, and 9 serve Native American communities. Funding is particularly critical in rural areas and small communities as they develop coalitions to address substance abuse problems with limited resources. …

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