Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, has announced $84.6 million in Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants to 692 communities across the country. These grants will provide local communities support to prevent youth substance use and reduce the demand for drug consumption in the United States. Kerlikowske made the announcement during an address to the Council on Foreign Relations.
“America’s success in the 21st century depends in part on our ability to help young people make decisions that will keep them healthy and safe,” said Kerlikowske. “We commend the Drug-Free Communities Support Program grantees on their work to raise a generation of young people equipped to remain drug-free and ready to prosper in school, in their communities, and in the workplace. While law enforcement efforts will always serve a vital role in keeping our communities safe, we know that stopping drug use before it ever begins is always the smartest and most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences.”
The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is directed by ONDCP, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The DFC 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 prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, and media.
The rate of overall drug use in the United States has declined by roughly 30 percent since 1979. More recently, there has been a nearly 40 percent reduction in the number of current cocaine users and the number of current meth users has dropped by half. To build on this progress and support a balance of public health and safety approaches to drug control outlined in the 2012 National Drug Control Strategy, the Obama Administration has committed over $10 billion for drug education programs and support for expanding access to drug treatment for people suffering from substance use disorders in FY 2012.