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RCFY Awarded $125,000 Grant Per Year for 5 Years
Submitted by Celeste Clark  9-10-15

White House Drug Policy Office Awards $125,000 to Local Coalition to Prevent Youth Substance Use in Raymond NH

Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced 697 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants, totaling $86 million.  The grants will provide local community coalitions funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol. The Raymond Coalition for Youth from Raymond NH was one of the grant recipients and will receive $125,000 for five years in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.

"We know that evidence-based prevention efforts are the most effective way to reduce youth substance use and to support the roughly 90 percent of American youth who do not use drugs," said Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy. "By bringing together schools, businesses, law enforcement, parent groups, and other members of the community, DFC-funded community coalitions are helping to protect youth from the devastating consequences of non-medical prescription drug use, heroin and other substance use."

"Our goal is to make Raymond a safe and healthy environment for our youth," said Celeste Clark, RCFY Executive Director. "Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract drug use in our community, and we will use this funding to help youth in Raymond make healthy choices about substance use."

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is responsible for the day-to-day management of the DFC Program.

"Community coalitions continue to drive winning strategies at the local
level to reduce the rate of substance misuse," said SAMHSA Acting
Administrator Kana Enomoto.  "SAMHSA is pleased to join the Office of
National Drug Control Policy in supporting communities that are bringing
citizens together to create healthy and drug free environments for our
youth."

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. For example:

*       In Texas, the Concho Valley C.A.R.E.S. Coalition's "Mix it, Seal it,
Trash it" campaign informs adults about the proper procedure to dispose of
unused or expired prescription drugs.  They have placed two prescription
collection units and conduct two prescription take back projects a year.[i]
*       In Arkansas, the TEA Coalition has distributed over 700 medication
lockboxes and encouraged residents to lock up their prescription medications
to keep them out of the hands of young people.[ii]
*       The Delaware County Heroin Task Force was formed by the District
Attorney and County Council Members to raise awareness about the
prescription drug and heroin overdose epidemic. This DFC coalition is
focusing on the installation of permanent prescription drug disposal boxes
and has partnered with local realtors to raise awareness about the
importance of locking up prescription medications during open houses.

The DFC's 2014 National Evaluation Report showed a significant decrease in past 30 day use of prescription drugs among youth in DFC communities. The report also noted increases in the perception of risk, perception of peer disapproval, and perception of parent disapproval in relation to non-medical prescription drug use. The report also found a significant decrease in past 30 day use between the first and most recent data reports for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among middle school and high school youth in DFC communities.

The Raymond Coalition for Youth will specifically work to address community focused on reducing youth substance use and have done a great job.  As we move forward we want to do more to raise awareness throughout the community regarding the dangers of substance misuse.   We need our community to
continue working together to support youth making positive healthy choices."
Said Clark. 

Background on the Drug-Free Communities Support Program

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free
Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation's leading effort to mobilize
communities to prevent youth substance use.  Directed by the White House
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the DFC
Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the
infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in
local youth substance use. 

The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to
community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the
community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts. 

According to data for 2013, an estimated 3,700 young people per day between
the ages of 12 and 17 used drugs for the first time in the preceding
year.[iv] Additionally, high school seniors are more likely to be current
smokers of marijuana than cigarettes and non-medical use of prescription or
over-the-counter drugs remains unacceptably high. [v] Parents should also
know that 19% of high school seniors in 2014 reported binge drinking (i.e.,
5 or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.[vi]

Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local drug problems. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and media.  By involving the community in a solution-oriented approach, DFC also helps those youth at risk for substance use recognize the majority of our Nation's youth choose not to use drugs.  

Additionally, DFC-funded communities have proven to be more effective in addressing these complex social issues and have demonstrated an increase in positive outcomes over communities that do not have DFC's. 

Background on the Administration's National Drug Policy

The Obama Administration's drug policy treats the national drug challenge as both a public health and public safety issue.  This approach is built upon the latest scientific research demonstrating that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which one can recover. The Administration has directed Federal agencies to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empower healthcare workers to intervene early at the first signs of a substance use disorder, expand access to treatment for those who need it, support the millions of Americans in recovery, and pursue "smart on crime" approaches to drug enforcement.

For more information about the Administration efforts to reduce drug use and
its consequences, or to learn more about the Drug-Free Communities Support
Program, visit:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/Drug-Free-Communities-Support-Program

The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation's effort to reduce drug use and its consequences.

Information about RCFY is also on our social media sites that
are full of information, events, videos produced by our Youth Action members
and much more.  Facebook/RCFYouth, Youtube/RaymondCoalition or you may
contact our office at  info@rcfy.org  or 603 895-4735 x 125

Raymond Coalition for Youth empowers the community to promote positive youth
development and strengthen community assets by coordinating services and
opportunities through prevention initiatives, including suicide, alcohol,
tobacco and other drugs.

To learn more about RCFY please visit our website www.rcfy.org or check us out on social media such as Facebook, twitter and our YouTube video page.

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