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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth Awarded $200,000 Federal Grant to Prevent Youth Substance Use in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties

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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth Awarded $200,000 Federal Grant to Prevent Youth Substance Use in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties

Friday, August 31, 2012
The Tompkins County Youth Services Department's Community Coalition for Healthy Youth (CCHY) has been awarded $200,000 from the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy to prevent youth substance use in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties.

The award is among $7.9 million in new Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants and DFC Mentoring grants across the country, announced by Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy.

The Coalition for Healthy Youth will receive $125,000 in DFC grant funds to continue to involve and engage the local community to prevent substance use among youth, and an additional $75,000 to help build a mentoring relationship with the Schuyler County Health Department's Schuyler County Commission on Underage Drinking and Drugs (SCCUDD)--'one of only six new mentoring grants awarded nationwide.

"Efforts to keep our youth drug-free are critical to healthy and safe communities here in Tompkins County and beyond," said Youth Services Director Amie Hendrix. "The Drug-Free Communities Support Program recognizes the great potential of the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth to further reduce substance use and abuse among our young people. This new funding opportunity will allow CCHY to mobilize and organize our community and surrounding areas such as Schuyler County to prevent youth substance use."

"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 Director Kerlikowske. "We congratulate this coalition on its 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 driving forces of substance abuse prevention are the local community prevention and treatment programs that engage youth and their families in every facet of their lives--'home, school, places of worship, health care settings, playgrounds, and community centers," said Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, of the federal Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). "SAMHSA is pleased to work with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to support community coalitions, which effectively bring people together from all parts of the community, to develop innovative ways of creating healthy and drug-free environments for our young people."

The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth will work with SCCUDD to expand its current offerings within the community and will work to develop a further partnership beyond county borders. This collaboration will allow both communities to more fully support their young people.

The DFC Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, and reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006. Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded more than 2,000 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

In April, President Obama released the 2012 National Drug Control Strategy, the Administration's primary blueprint for drug policy in the United States. The new Strategy promotes a "third way" approach to drug policy that supports alternatives to a law-enforcement-centric "war on drugs" or drug legalization. The Strategy also outlines specific actions to be undertaken by the Federal Government to reform U.S. drug policy through innovative and evidence-based public health and safety approaches, which include expanding access to drug treatment and recovery support programs, breaking the cycle of drug use, crime, and incarceration, and supporting youth outreach programs that prevent drug use before it begins.
The rate of overall drug use in the United States has declined by roughly 30 percent since 1979. To build on this progress and support public health approaches to drug control, the Obama Administration has requested over $10 billion in FY 2013 for drug prevention programs and support for expanding access to drug treatment for people suffering from substance use disorders. This will build upon the $30 billion already spent over the past 3 years on drug use prevention and treatment.

For more information about the Office of National Drug Control Policy or the Drug Free Communities Support Program, visit: www.WhiteHouse.gov/ONDCP.