NEWS

CHILDREN’S COALITION FOR NORTHEAST LOUISIANA AWARDED DFC GRANT TO PREVENT YOUTH SUBSTANCE USE

[UNION PARISH, LA] – The Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana has received a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant totaling $625,000 to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.  The DFC program, created by the DFC Act of 1997 is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use and is directed by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Grants are provided to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.

“Since our first grant awards were made in 1998, the DFC Program has continued to expand its reach in communities across the country.  It is a testament to the great work DFC coalitions are doing, together with community partner that include parent groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of communities,” said ONDCP Deputy Director James W. Carroll. “Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are relentless in their work to prevent youth from initiating drug use and ultimately, saving more lives.”

Children’s Coalition Healthy Living Coordinator, Mary Barrios says, “We are so excited to be able to continue the work we are doing with youth in Union Parish.   Our community partners and champions have been the key to providing opportunities for youth to make positive responsible choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol.  Thank you to our U-ACT coalition members and student ambassadors for leading the charge and working with us to create a safer and healthier Union Parish.”

Union Parish Alliance for Community Transformation (U-ACT), a program of the Children’s Coalition, aims to address underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in Union Parish. The Children’s Coalition is the only organization in Louisiana to receive a Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant during this round of funding. The DFC grant will enable the community-based U-ACT, formerly funded by Northeast Delta Human Services Authority, to continue its work in the community.

Prescription drug abuse prevention is one of the core measures of effectiveness for local DFC coalitions and coalitions nationwide have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives.  DFC’s 2017 National Evaluation End-of-Year report found that at least 97% of middle school and 94% of high school report that they have not misused prescription drugs in the past 30-days in DFC communities.

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