In announcing the latest recipients of community-focused drug prevention grants under the Drug-Free Communities Support Program last week, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Michael Botticelli took an opportunity to call attention to President Obama's request for $1.1 billion in new funding for states to widen access to substance use treatment services.
“The evidence-based prevention work led by local [Drug-Free Communities] community coalitions is critically needed to reduce youth susbtance [use], particularly in the midst of the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic,” Botticelli said on Sept. 2. “To fully address the opioid crisis, however, Congress must act to provide funding to make lifesaving treatment available to everyone who seeks it.”
The Drug-Free Communities Support Program, established by congressional legislation in 1997, provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that engage leaders in driving drug use prevention efforts targeting youths. Research has indicated that communities with such activity at the local level have had greater success in reducing use of prescription opioids and other drugs than communities without these federally funded coalitions.
Groups such as healthcare organizations, law enforcement, educators, business leaders, parents and young people are frequently among the participants in the community coalitions.