Tennessee Communities Awarded Federal Drug Free Community Coalition Grants

Friday, September 04, 2009 | 07:01am

NASHVILLE – Five Community Anti-Drug Coalitions from Tennessee will each receive $625,000 in new federal Drug Free Communities grant funds over the next five years. The grants, which begin October 1, 2009, will provide funding to involve and engage each coalition’s local community to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug abuse among youth. 

Anti-drug coalitions from Coffee, Franklin, Houston, Rutherford, and Scott counties are among 161 communities nationwide to receive this grant. Past Tennessee recipients have included Jackson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Roane and Washington counties.

“Efforts to keep our youth drug free are critical to healthy communities in Tennessee,” said Virginia Trotter Betts, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. “The Drug Free Communities Program recognizes the great potential of these community coalitions to help improve health and save the lives of Tennessee’s youth. This new funding will allow these five coalitions to mobilize and organize their community to prevent and reduce substance abuse.”

“Evidence shows that communities receiving DFC funding have lower instances of youth using tobacco, alcohol and marijuana,” said Bruce Emery, assistant commissioner of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services at TDMHDD.   “I commend Tennessee coalitions who work tirelessly to prevent and reduce youth drug use across the state.”

The DFC program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The DFC program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Approximately $21 million grant dollars from ONDCP will be awarded this year. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and media.

The five new grantees are all communities the department’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services has worked with and funded through the Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant. This is a five year, $11.75 million project dedicated to creating effective partnerships and positively impacting policies, practices, and attitudes that currently support unsafe alcohol consumption and create a hazard to public safety in communities throughout Tennessee.

The Drug Free Communities program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006. Since 1998, Office of National Drug Control Policy has awarded approximately 1,500 DFC grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Palau, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For additional information on the Drug Free Communities Program, please visit www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/dfc. For additional information on the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, please contact the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities’ Office of Communications at (615) 253-4812 or visit www.tn.gov/mental.


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