WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (all Md.) today announced nearly $1.9 million in new federal funding to help strengthen local and community partnerships to prevent youth substance use. At least $1.3 million of this funding will be directed to Eastern Shore communities.
“Working to prevent drug use among young people is critical to healthy communities throughout Maryland and ensuring a bright future for all. Local programs are reaching youth throughout the state through creative drug-free educational campaigns – with this award they can continue their work to protect the health and safety of our children and local neighborhoods,” said Senator Cardin. “Teaming up across all levels of government is essential in combatting the public health crisis of drug use, and I am committed to making sure these communities have the tools and resources they need.”
“Community-wide coalitions are a key pillar of any successful strategy to prevent youth drug use. These federal funds will help community coalitions as they work together to reach young people before substance use occurs,” said Senator Van Hollen. “We are committed to providing Maryland with federal resources to address this challenge by focusing on education and prevention from a young age.”
“I had the pleasure of hosting Director Carroll in August for a drug abuse roundtable on the Eastern Shore, and I thank his office for awarding these sizable grants to our local community coalitions. Multiple recipients of these grants in the past were also in attendance that day. Their efforts are making a serious difference in preventing youth substance abuse, and, as a physician, I look forward to meeting and collaborating with these drug-free community coalitions once again in the future,” said Congressman Harris.
Funding comes through the Fiscal Year 2020 Drug Free-Communities (DFC) Support Program, administered by the White House Office of Drug Control Policy in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The $1,875,000 award will benefit more than 10,000 people and go towards establishing social media campaigns, peer mentor relationships and educational programs to decrease alcohol and tobacco use in teenagers. Awardees include:
- $625,000 – The Youth Empowerment Source Coalition (North East – Cecil County)
- $625,000 – The Pocomoke Drug-Free Community Coalition (Pocomoke City – Worcester County)
- $625,000 – The Somerset Prevention Works Drug Free Coalition (Crisfield – Somerset County)
The DFC program delivers funding to community organizations that build citizen involvement in local drug prevention efforts. DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.