**Drug Free Communities Grants will provide $125K each to 10 local drug prevention coalitions across New Hampshire**
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced $1,250,000 in Drug Free Communities (DFC) grants from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to 10 local drug prevention coalitions in New Hampshire. The grants will provide local community coalitions funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs and opioids, in Souhegan Valley, Nashua, Franklin, Jaffrey, Winchester, Haverhill, Raymond, Somersworth, Keene and the Upper Valley region. These funds were awarded as part of ONDCP’s initial round of FY 2019 grants for the program.
“Youth drug prevention coalitions are doing life-saving work to protect children from substance use and they need resources to maintain existing programs and reach more people,” said Senator Shaheen. “That’s why I’m pleased to announce these federal grants, which will go a long way in helping to bolster the efforts of prevention partners around the state. I urge ONDCP to move rapidly in announcing the remaining DFC grants for the year and I’ll continue to fight for the funding and resources New Hampshire needs to battle the substance use disorder epidemic.”
“Combating the substance misuse epidemic requires a comprehensive, community-based effort that includes early prevention of drug and alcohol use for young people,” Senator Hassan said. “As Governor and now as Senator, I know the importance of these federal grants in supporting Granite State communities working on preventing tobacco and substance misuse among the next generation, including vaping, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use. I look forward to continuing to partner with my colleagues across the aisle and in the New Hampshire delegation to support critical funding like this.”
“Youth drug prevention programs play a critical role in combating the opioid epidemic,” said Congresswoman Kuster, the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force. “This much-needed funding from ONDCP will enable these programs to continue their efforts on behalf of Granite State children and families. I will continue working to find solutions to our nation’s opioid crisis and ensure New Hampshire has the necessary funding to address this epidemic.”
“It is critical that we give our communities every resource possible to protect the health of our young people and empower them to lead the fight against substance abuse. Drug Free Communities are an important part of the effort to strengthen substance use prevention efforts, and I am pleased that these additional resources will now be made available through the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This funding will go a long way, and I remain committed to bringing additional federal dollars back to New Hampshire whenever possible to confront the crisis of addiction,” said Congressman Pappas.
DFC coalitions have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives and have demonstrated significant declines in prevalence of prescription drug misuse amongst participants.
The DFC Program is administered by ONDCP with program support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Fiscal Year 2019 grants include new grants of $125,000 to ALL Together in the Upper Valley region and the Keene Family YMCA Community Coalition on Youth Substance Misuse, as well as continuation grants of $125,000 to Community Action for Safe Teens in Souhegan Valley, the Nashua Prevention Coalition, Franklin Mayor’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Task Force, Reality Check Now in Jaffrey, We’ve Got Your Back in Winchester, the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition, the Raymond Coalition for Youth, and the Somersworth Prevention Coalition.
Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, has consistently advocated for the DFC program and with Senator Hassan has led efforts in Congress to respond to the opioid crisis. Shaheen urged SAMSHA to administer the full $100 million in funding Congress provided for the DFC program in Fiscal Year 2019 including the additional grants that ONDCP plans to announce before the end of year. Shaheen has hosted DFC roundtable discussions with local students, school administrators, community leaders and youth advocates in Woodsville as well as Milford, where she joined the New Hampshire congressional delegation and ONDCP Director Jim Carroll. As a result of the advocacy of Senators Shaheen and Hassan on the bipartisan Common Sense Caucus and their engagement during the writing of the funding bill that was recently signed into law, the Senators helped secure the $3.3 billion in additional resources. This funding will go towards a number of key programs through the Department of Health and Human Services for treatment and prevention, the Department of Justice for law enforcement and grant resources, and other federal agencies to help communities impacted by the opioid epidemic. Both Senators were instrumental in securing the $142 million set-aside in the government funding bill for opioid response efforts that will target hardest-hit states like New Hampshire. As a result of these efforts, New Hampshire recently received a more than seven-fold increase in annual grant award funding provided through the State Opioid Response Grant program.