ongressman Eliot Engel announced a $193,032, four-year grant, for the Mount Vernon Community Coalition STOP Act Project to prevent and reduce underage alcohol use.
Rep. Engel said, "Alcohol is the most abused drug in America and because it is so prevalent, most people do not realize its potential to destroy lives. The Community Coalition's program for prevention and reduction of alcohol abuse by youngsters will highlight this problem and warn young people that alcohol is not harmless."
The goal of the STOP Act project is to increase community, capacity, and commitment to prevent and reduce underage drinking. The project will also strengthen the ability of community members to create and enforce alcohol free norms.
The Coalition will expand these strategies, through parent and youth focus groups, on underage drinking. This will allow a deeper understanding of the extent and nature of this issue, and expose connections between alcohol use and lasting consequences.
The Coalition will also explore policies and/or enforcement measures to impact on underage alcohol use and create a Local Leadership Summit on underage drinking prevalence. The Coalition's plans to combine policy, enforcement and effective use of the media to produce population- level change in youth substance abuse.
The grant is for $48,258 initially and is to be renewed annually until 2016.