Monroe News: County gets $125,000 grant to combat youth drug abuse
The Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition has received a $125,000 federal grant to combat youth drug abuse in the community.
The coalition is one of four organizations in Michigan’s 7th District that were awarded a total of $500,000 in Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grants. U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, announced the grant awards Thursday. The Jackson County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition also got $125,000.
The grants will provide funding to “involve and engage the community to prevent substance abuse among youth, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco and alcohol,” Walberg said in a statement.
“The opioid crisis is tearing apart families in Michigan, and preventing drug use early on will help young people make healthy choices and lead to safer communities,” the congressman said.
“These organizations are already doing critical work to educate the next generation about the dangers of drug abuse, and I’m pleased to see their positive results recognized and supported. These grants will allow their good work to continue and spread to other communities in need,” he said.
The coalition committee is chaired by Mark Cochran, who said the panel’s goal is to make Monroe County a safe and drug-free place for youth.
This is the ninth year the coalition has received Drug-Free Community funding and the funding should continue for a 10th year as well, said Vicky Loveland, coordinator for the coalition.
“We are pleased to have the continuation of these dollars so we can continue to move forward on our substance abuse prevention efforts among our community youth,” she said Thursday.
Cochran said, “Prevention is certainly not the only tool, but it is a powerful tool to counteract drug use in our community.”
“We will use this funding to continue efforts to work arm in arm with our partners in the community to help youth make healthy choices about substance use.”
The nation is losing more than 60,000 people each year to drug overdose, “but if we can stop young people from starting to use drugs in the first place, we can save lives,” said Richard Baum, acting director of National Drug Control Policy.
“Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are bringing together parent groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of the community,” he said in a press release.
This article originally appeared in the September 23 edition of the Monroe News.