The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County has just received a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program continuation grant 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.”
“For the past six years, our Coalition has been working hard to reduce youth substance use in communities throughout Mercer County. With the continuation of DFC support program funding, we will be able to continue this important work and keep our youth healthy and drug-free” said Barbara Sprechman, Assistant Executive Director of Mercer Council and Coordinator of the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County.
The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County target priorities are underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, illegal use of marijuana and new and emerging drugs. Past accomplishments of the coalition include helping to establish permanent medicine take-back boxes in every police department in the county, hosting educational forums on current drug-trends, best-practice approaches to combat the current opioid epidemic, as well as advocating for changes in policies and laws. 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.
The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County is a group of diverse individuals from the community dedicated to the prevention and treatment of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse problems. The mission of the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County is to reduce substance abuse in youth and across the lifespan by collaborating resources and coordinating planning in order to offer opportunities for building a healthy mind, body and spirit for all residents of Mercer County.