The Rhode Island Congressional delegation today announced $949,593 in federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grants for towns across the state to combat substance abuse, particularly among RI youths. The grants, which are administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug-Free Communities Support Program, have been awarded to communities and organizations in Providence, Barrington, Tiverton, Middletown, Woonsocket, Westerly, and North Kingstown. They include a $124,998 grant for Barrington's BAY Team and a $75,000 mentoring grant for the Providence Mayor's Substance Abuse Prevention Council.
The federal funds will help communities combat youth drug abuse by supporting increased enforcement efforts and additional educational programs on substance abuse prevention. The Providence Mayor's Substance Abuse Council will use its mentoring grant to provide guidance to the Central Falls Prevention Coalition, and help develop a comprehensive plan for youth substance abuse prevention in Central Falls. Barrington's BAY Team grant will be used to facilitate community involvement and fund various prevention programs, such as a community designated driver program, a marketing campaign to encourage parental involvement, and educational programs.
"These grants will help prevent substance abuse and make our communities safer. By partnering with families, schools, non-profits, law enforcement, and businesses, these Drug-Free Communities grants will help educate our children about the dangers and consequences of drug and alcohol abuse," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed.
"We must keep fighting to combat drug abuse, particularly among younger Rhode Islanders," said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a former RI Attorney General. "I'm proud to announce this funding, which will help communities and organizations work to keep our kids drug-free and our towns safe."
"Prevention is essential in the battle against substance abuse, and the best place to start is with young people who can be reached early about the importance of remaining drug and alcohol free," Rep. Langevin said. "These kids have their whole lives ahead of them, and early intervention can help them avoid making destructive decisions that will prevent them from reaching their full potential. These federal funds will assist all Rhode Islanders, especially our young people, stay sober and healthy."
"Substance abuse prevention and education programs are critical components of maintaining communities in Rhode Island and across our country," said U.S. Congressman David Cicilline. "I am excited to take part in announcing this new source of federal funding that will help cities and towns across Rhode Island fight drug abuse among young people."
The DFC Support Program bolsters enforcement, education, and prevention efforts in local communities across the country, and focuses specifically on youth substance abuse prevention. The DFC is a matching federal grant; each community recipient provides a minimum one-to-one match in local funding for every federal dollar awarded.
The DFC Support Program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 in order to mobilize communities to combat youth drug abuse. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) lead the DFC program.
The following Rhode Island communities and organizations received DFC awards this year:
Providence; Mayor's Substance Abuse Prevention Council; $75,000 (Mentoring Grant)
Providence; Mayor's Substance Abuse Prevention Council; $125,000
Tiverton; Tiverton Prevention Coalition; $125,000
Middletown; Town of Middletown; $125,000
Woonsocket; Woonsocket Task Force on Substance Abuse; 125,000
Barrington; The BAY Team; $124,998
Westerly; Chariho Tri-Town Task Force; $124, 595
North Kingstown; Working Together for Wellness; 125,000