Press Release

August 21, 2007

U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski today
 announced that the Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention (STEP) Network program in Prince George’s County will receive a $75,000 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Mentoring Program grant.


The STEP Network program, located in Lanham, will use the funds to mentor two emerging community coalitions, the Baltimore Affiliate of the National African American Drug Police Coalition and the Washington Healthcare Empowerment Coalition. The STEP Network, one of only 90 new grant recipients across the country, works to prevent and reduce drug and alcohol abuse among youth.


“Efforts to keep our youth drug-free are critical to healthy communities in Maryland,” said Senator Cardin. “The Drug-Free Communities Program recognizes the great potential of the STEP Network to help save kids’ lives. This new funding will allow it to mobilize and organize community efforts to prevent and reduce substance abuse.”


“This funding is a federal investment in keeping our communities strong and thriving – to prevent lost youth, and lost opportunity. These drug-free community coalitions give our young people positive alternatives to substance abuse,” said Senator Mikulski.  “I will continue to fight to keep drugs out of our communities, because we can’t afford to lose any more of our young people to drug use.”


The DFC program provides grants of up to $500,000 over five years to community organizations that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. The 90 new grantees were selected from 321 applicants through a competitive peer review process. To qualify for matching grants, all awardees must have at least a six-month history of working together on substance abuse prevention initiatives, develop a long-term plan to reduce substance abuse, and participate in a national evaluation, of the Drug-Free Communities Program.