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Congressman Lloyd Smucker

Representing the 16th District of Pennsylvania

Smucker Announces Drug-Free Communities Federal Grant Recipients in PA16

September 22, 2017
Press Release

Lancaster, PA – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) today announced Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant recipients in Lancaster, Berks, and Chester Counties totaling $375,000. The grants will provide local community coalitions funding 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 Rep. Smucker. “No community is immune to the devastating impact of substance abuse. Now more than ever, our nation must prioritize federal funding to combat abuse. I am glad these local organizations will be able to continue their efforts to help our children make healthy and smart choices about substance use.”

“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.”

Information on organizations receiving DFC grants:

Coatesville Youth Initiative

  • Coatesville, Chester County
  • Grant amount: $125,000

Elizabethtown Area Communities That Care

  • Elizabethtown, Lancaster County
  • Grant amount: $125,000

Northeast Community Springboard Coalition

  • Reading, Berks County
  • Grant amount: $125,000

Background on the Drug-Free Communities Support Program

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.

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 use prevention efforts.

According to 2016 data, an estimated 3,200 young people per day between the ages of 12 and 17 used drugs for the first time in the preceding year. Research also indicates that high school seniors are more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes. 88% of DFC coalitions indicate that they focus on heroin, prescription drugs, or both, which is reflective of the ongoing national opioid crisis. Furthermore, 16% of high school seniors in 2016 reported binge drinking (i.e., 5 or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.

Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local drug problems. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, and media. By involving the community in a solution-oriented approach, DFC also helps those youth at risk for substance use recognize that the majority of our Nation’s youth choose not to use drugs.

Additionally, DFC-funded community coalitions continue to make progress towards achieving the goal of preventing and reducing youth substance use.