The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) blasts the funding levels proposed in the president’s budget that would cut almost $8 million from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admin. Drug-Free Communities (DFC) program.
In his FY 2016 budget request, the President Obama recommended $85.7 million for the DFC grants (CFDA Number: 93.276), significantly less than the $93.5 million level appropriated in FY 2015. The president’s FY 2016 budget request would support only 52 new grants, but if the DFC was funded at last year’s level, SAMHSA would be able to award 96 new grants. CADCA is circulating a Dear Colleague letter on the Hill to keep the funding level at $93.5 million for FY 2016.
CADCA says the DFC sponsored programs work. A national evaluation of the DFC program found that in those communities where DFC coalitions exist, rates among middle school students for marijuana, alcohol and tobacco declined by 16.7%, 22.5% and 27.1%, respectively. Among high school students in DFC funded communities, use rates for marijuana, alcohol and tobacco decreased by 4.9%, 13.6% and 20.7%, respectively.
However, the organization notes that funding for federal substance abuse prevention programs has been cut by 48% over the past 10 years. Youth drug use rates have also increased during this time frame. The latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey found that nationally: more 8th, 10th and 12th grade students are smoking marijuana than cigarettes; daily marijuana use among 12th graders is among the highest levels in 30 years, and half of America’s high schools seniors have tried an illicit drug by the time they graduate.
SAMHSA is now conducting a round of the competition for FY 2015; it has a March 24 deadline (http://tinyurl.com/krm2cpw). Nonprofits (applicants must be community-based coalitions addressing youth substance abuse) are eligible. Applicants can compete for nearly $22.8 million in 182 new awards of up to $125,000 each (a dollar-for-dollar match is required).
Grants support efforts to reduce substance abuse. Grantees must focus on achieving the following goals: (1) strengthen community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth (18-years or younger); and (2) reduce substance use among youth. These are five-year grants.
Last year, school districts and youth groups did well. The Easthampton Public Schools, Easthampton, MA, won a $125,000 grant and the Oregon City School District 62, Oregon City, OR, won a $125,000 award. And, the Coolidge Youth Coalition, Coolidge, AZ, won a $125,000 award as did the Eagle River Youth Coalition in Edwards, CO. For a list of past award winners