Source: United States Senator for Maryland Chris Van Hollen
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Representative Anthony Brown (all D-Md.) announced $125,000 for Prince George’s County, Md. to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance misuse. The funding was awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Free Communities Program (DFC). This funding will support the Promise Neighborhood Drug-Free Communities Coalition’s work to provide site-based wrap around services to transform neighborhood environments; build leaders among youth to prevent drug, alcohol, and marijuana use; empower the youth council on the coalition; and provide parental support.
“Parents should never have to grieve the loss of a child, but for far too many families, substance misuse has made this nightmare a reality. These federal funds will help Prince George’s County engage and educate young people to help prevent these tragic losses,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “I will continue working to provide Maryland with the resources necessary to prevent and treat substance misuse.”
“The opioid epidemic has hit every corner of our state and our country. Unfortunately, our children are not immune. These federal funds will help Prince George’s County give young people the tools they need to prevent substance misuse before it starts, setting them up for a drug-free future,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud to continue to support the innovative ways that our local communities are working to find comprehensive solutions to end this public health crisis.”
“Now more than ever strong support for youth substance abuse prevention is critical and this federal funding will strengthen local efforts that educate, encourage and help our young people lead drug-free lives,” said Congressman Anthony Brown. “These community-based coalitions are doing life-saving work and will now have the resources to reach more people in Prince George’s County and confront the crisis of addiction.”
The DFC program provides funding to community organizations that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Eligible applicants are community-based coalitions addressing youth substance misuse. DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems. Senators Van Hollen and Cardin and Representative Brown have advocated for robust funding for the Drug-Free Communities program, as well as funding for opioid and other substance misuse programs.