I am actively involved both at home and in D.C. with the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. I believe our approach to drug use must be consistent and it must focus on engaging entire communities in combating substance abuse.
I am the co-author of the federal program, The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, which is designed to reduce substance abuse among young people by supporting community anti-drug coalitions made up of youth, parents, local law enforcement, school officials, faith-based organizations, government agencies, health professionals and other community members.
With approximately 700 Drug Free Community-funded anti-drug coalitions across the country, the program has achieved impressive outcomes in reducing marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco use levels to lower than the national average. An independent study conducted by ICF International found that DFC-funded communities saw a 16% decrease for past 30 day alcohol use, a 27% decrease for past 30 day tobacco use and a 21% decrease for past 30 day marijuana use for middle school students. For high school students, there was 9% decrease for past 30 day alcohol use, a 16% decrease for past 30 day tobacco use, and a 7% decrease for past 30 day marijuana use.
Since the DFC program's inception, however, the available funding has been insufficient to meet the overwhelming demand. Historically, only one-third of the community coalitions that have applied have been able to receive grants. For the Fiscal Year 2012 cycle, only about 60 grants, or 16%, of the 364 applications that were received will be funded. During the 113th Congress, I am leading the effort to maintain critical funding for the program. Given that youth drug use is on the rise-daily marijuana use among 12th graders is among the highest levels in 30 years--it is absolutely essential that the DFC program remains funded to ensure the maximum number of communities are equipped to effectively reduce youth drug use.
- More on Drug Free Communities
- Contact Information For Local Community Anti-Drug Coalitions
- Read the 2010 Fall Edition of the Coalition Edition
- Read the 2010 Winter Edition of the Coalition Edition
- Read the 2009 Fall Edition of the Coalition Edition
(Updated April 26, 2013)