$125K grant to help combat youth substance abuse in Berks

September 22, 2017
In The News

Federal money is being aimed at preventing substance abuse among young people in Berks County.

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program has awarded $125,000 to the Northeast Community Springboard Coalition in Reading.

The grant is meant to provide local community coalitions with money to prevent youth substance abuse, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.

"We all share the goal of making our communities a safe place for our children," said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, who announced the grant Friday afternoon. "No community is immune to the devastating impact of substance abuse. Now more than ever, our nation must prioritize federal funding to combat abuse."

The nonprofit Northeast Community Springboard Coalition bills itself as "a group of concerned citizens united by the desire of making their community a safer place to live."

"We're losing more than 60,000 people per year to drug overdose, but if we can stop young people from starting to use drugs in the first place, we can save lives," said Richard Baum, acting director of National Drug Control Policy. "Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are bringing together parents groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of the community."

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997.