U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has awarded a total of $2,250,000 in grant funding to several Maine health coalitions to prevent youth substance abuse and foster drug-free communities in Maine. Of that funding, $375,000 will be allocated for three new grant awards, while the remaining funding will be allocated to seven projects in the state that have previously received funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
In Lincoln County, Healthy Lincoln County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will receive $125,000 as part of a continuing award.
“The opioid epidemic is taking an unimaginable toll on families across Maine, which is why investing in community coalitions is so important,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “These coalitions are determined to support our young people and turn the tide against this epidemic, and we will continue to work to combat the drug crisis and help ensure that future generations of Mainers can live happy and healthy lives.”
The funding comes through the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug-Free Communities Support Program. The program provides a matching federal grant whereby each community provides a minimum of a one-to-one match in local funding for each federal dollar awarded. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Drug-Free Communities National Evaluation Report conducted in 2014 concluded that among middle and high school students across the nation, Drug-Free Communities-funded community coalitions consistently have lower rates of past 30-day youth substance use. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the United States’ leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use.