(ASAP of Anderson) Marking the 20-year anniversary of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant awards, President Trump announced $90.9 million in grants to 731 local drug prevention coalitions. President Trump and the ONDCP Deputy Director James W. Carroll hosted a roundtable discussion with DFC grant awardees and Youth Representatives at the White House. Stephanie Strutner, from ASAP of Anderson attended the White House roundtable.
This year’s group represents the largest number of single-year grantees since the program’s founding. The grants will provide local community coalitions funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. ASAP of Anderson is a grant recipient and will receive $125,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
“Since our first grant awards were made in 1998, the DFC Program has continued to expand its reach in communities across the country. It is a testament to the great work DFC coalitions are doing, together with community partners that include parent groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of communities,” said Deputy Director Carroll. “Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are relentless in their work to prevent youth from initiating drug use and ultimately, saving more lives.”
Stephanie Strutner said, “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract substance misuse in our community, and we will use this funding to help our youth make healthy choices. It was an honor to have an audience with the President and his staff to discuss effective prevention strategies.”
Prescription drug misuse prevention is one of the core measures of effectiveness for local DFC coalitions, and coalitions nationwide have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives. DFC’s 2017 National Evaluation End-of-Year Report found that at least 97% of middle school and 94% of high school youth report that they have not misused prescription drugs in the past 30-days in DFC communities.
Additionally, perception of risk of prescription drug misuse was generally high (80-83%). The report also found that perceived risk of misuse of prescription drugs was very similar to perceived risk of tobacco use (79-82%), and was higher than for both alcohol (70-73%) and marijuana use (51-71%). Finally, the report detailed that for both middle school and high school youth, perceived peer disapproval was higher for prescription drug misuse than for any other substance.