WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County Drug-Free Communities Coalition was among nearly 700 programs across the U.S. to be awarded federal funding to prevent underage substance abuse.
The Kandiyohi County coalition received $125,000 for the upcoming fiscal year to support its work of involving and engaging the community in preventing the misuse of prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol by youths. The local initiatives use evidence-based practices in prevention.
Grant awards were announced this past week by the White House Drug Policy Office.
“Our goal is to make Kandiyohi County a safe and drug-free place for our youth,” said Laura Daak, coalition coordinator, in a statement.
“Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract prescription drug misuse and other substance use in our community, and we will use this funding to help youth in Kandiyohi County make healthy choices about substance use,” she said.
This is the coalition’s seventh year of funding. Since the group was formed, it has worked on initiatives ranging from the establishment of a prescription drop-off box to city and county social host ordinances on serving alcohol to minors.
A 2014 national evaluation report showed a significant decrease in the number of youths in Drug-Free Community grant communities who reported misusing prescription drugs. The report also found a significant decrease in alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use “in the past 30 days” among middle school and high school youths in DFC communities.
The Drug-free Communities Support Program is the nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance abuse. It is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
The program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention.
Source: West Central Tribune