WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) announced $250,000 for two Drug Free Community Coalitions in Baltimore, Md. to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance misuse. The National African American Drug Policy Coalition, as part of the South East Baltimore Drug-Free Coalition and Morgan State University, as part of the Get SMART West Baltimore Drug Free Community Coalition, each received $125,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Free Communities Program (DFC). This funding will support the coalitions’ work to conduct peer-to-peer prevention messaging, complete compliance checks, and educate and disseminate information to youth.
“The opioid crisis has left no Maryland community unscathed. These federal funds will help Baltimore engage and educate young people to help prevent substance misuse before it’s too late,” said the Members. “Together, Team Maryland will continue fighting for the resources necessary for Maryland to fight back against this epidemic and to meaningfully address substance misuse.”
The DFC program provides funding to community organizations that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Eligible applicants are community-based coalitions addressing youth substance misuse. DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems. The Lawmakers have advocated for robust funding for the Drug-Free Communities program, as well as funding for opioid and other substance misuse programs.