Drug Free Communities Grant
In September of 2013, our Coalition was notified that we are 1 of 147 communities nationwide to receive a federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (Grant Award # 1H79SP019944-01) to support a comprehensive plan to help reduce youth substance use in Ashland. The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over 5 years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Our Coalition views DFC grant funding as an opportunity to bring the work of the Decisions at Every Turn Coalition to a higher level by aiding the Coalition with the resources and tools to be a community convener, bringing our entire community together to achieve a common goal: reduce youth substance use in Ashland with a particular focus on alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and prescription drug use.
Local grant support has been provided by the Ashland Board of Selectmen and will be used by the Coalition in keeping with the requirement of the Federal grant for local matching funds. The Federal government, through the DFC grant, invests half of the necessary funds ($125,000 per year), while requiring the community to match that investment (matching funds can be both cash and “in-kind” contributions). The purpose of the match is to reinforce community commitment to the intended goals of the grant (i.e. decreasing youth substance use). 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.