Coalition History

White House Drug Czar Awards $21 Million To Local Community Coalitions Addressing Youth Substance Abuse

( Washington , D.C. ) – Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), today announced $21 million in new Drug Free Communities (DFC) grants to 161 communities across the country and ten new DFC Mentoring grants.  The awards announced today are in addition to the $60 million in Continuation Grants released earlier this month to 565 Drug Free Communities coalitions and ten DFC Mentor Continuation coalitions.  These grants provide community coalitions needed support as they work to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse.

“The Drug Free Communities program embodies the Obama Administration’s dedication to preventing drug abuse in youth before it starts,” said Director Kerlikowske. “Evidence shows that communities receiving DFC funding have lower instances of youth using tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. I commend the community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, health care professionals, and law enforcement officials who work tirelessly to prevent and reduce youth drug use across the Nation through DFC-funded coalitions”

“The Drug Free Communities Support Program bolsters individuals and groups across the Nation that are improving their communities by preventing drug abuse,” said Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Acting Administrator, Eric Broderick. “SAMHSA is honored to play a role in this innovative program, which has done so much to promote well-being, hope and feelings of empowerment among so many young people.”

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The DFC program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community organizations that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and the media.

The 161 new grantees were selected from 417 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 reduction initiatives, have representation from 12 specific sectors of the community, develop a long-term plan to reduce substance abuse, and participate in a national evaluation of the DFC program.

The DFC program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006.  Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded approximately 1,500 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia , Puerto Rico, Guam , Palau , American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. More information about the Drug-Free Communities Program is available at: www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/dfc