The state’s Congressional Delegation has announced $1,122,062 in grants from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) for nine communities, including Woonsocket.
The city's share of the grant is $125,000, which will be awarded to the Woonsocket Task Force on Substance Abuse.
The funding is used to strengthen partnerships among community organizations, parents, youth, schools, health care and business professionals, and law enforcement. These coalitions work to create conditions within their communities that reduce the prevalence of drugs and help youth make decisions that keep them healthy and safe.
“Effective prevention brings together parents, teachers, coaches, and all members of the community to support young people in every aspect of their lives,” according to a joint release from the offices of U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline.
The DFC Program, administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997. It offers matching grants, with recipients providing a minimum of a one-to-one match in local funding for each federal dollar they are awarded.
According to ONDCP, recent evaluation data indicate that where DFC dollars are invested, youth substance use is lower. Over the life of the DFC program, youth living in DFC communities have experienced reductions in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.
For middle school youth living in DFC-funded communities, data from the DFC National Evaluation indicate a 16 percent reduction in alcohol use, 27 percent reduction in tobacco use, and 23 percent reduction in marijuana use. High school-aged youth have reduced their use of alcohol by 9 percent, tobacco by 16 percent, and marijuana by 7 percent in DFC-funded communities.