Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Adolescent and teen substance abuse is an ever growing concern as more kids have access to dangerous prescription medications than ever before. In an attempt to combat the growing problem, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), today announced $12.3 million in new Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants to 87 communities and 20 new DFC Mentoring grants across the country. These grants will be in addition to the nearly $76 million in Continuation grants simultaneously released to 607 currently funded DFC coalitions and twelve DFC Mentoring Continuation coalitions. The goal of the awarded grants is to help community organizations to educate our youth on the dangers of abuse and addiction, as well as help those already afflicted find adequate treatment programs.
"The most powerful tool we have to address our Nation's drug problem is preventing it before it even begins," said Director Kerlikowske. "Research shows that every dollar invested in drug education and prevention programs saves up to ten dollars in costs related to treatment for substance use. President Obama understands how the hard work of local community leaders, youth, parents, educators, healthcare professionals, faith-based leaders, law enforcement officials, and others can strengthen communities and save kids' lives."
The fight to keep kids off drugs is a never ending battle, as long as drugs are on the streets or in home medicine cabinets there will always be a risk of our youth getting their hands on them. Education programs need to always be available in order to keep kids informed about the dangers of prescription medications as well as hard drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.
"The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is one of the key elements in our nation's efforts to prevent and reduce substance abuse," said Pamela S. Hyde, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "It is effective in large part because it focuses on community-based approaches to promoting safe and healthy environments where families can raise children free from the dangers and destruction of substance abuse."