Drug Free Communities Program 

Drug Free Communities Program 

Lisa Roberts, RN, Coordinator

Rebecca Miller, DFC Assistant

“Building a safe, healthy, and drug-free community for Scioto County, Ohio”

The Portsmouth City Health Department administers the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program for Scioto County. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is a Federal grant program that provides funding to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent youth substance use. Since the passage of the DFC Act in 1997, the DFC Program has funded more than 2,000 coalitions and currently mobilizes nearly 9,000 community volunteers across the country. The philosophy behind the DFC Program is that local drug problems require local solutions. With a small Federal investment, the DFC Program doubles the amount of funding through the DFC Program’s match requirement, to address 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.

The primary purpose of the DFC program is to:

1. Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private non-profit agencies; as well as federal, state, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth.

2. Reduce substance use among youth and, over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.

Recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate increases in youth prescription drug abuse, as well as marijuana, ecstasy, and methamphetamine use. Now, more than ever, the DFC Program is needed in communities across the country to help prevent drug use and reduce its consequences. Drug problems manifest in local communities and show up in our schools, churches, health centers, and in our homes. The DFC Program helps local leaders organize to identify the youth drug issues unique to their communities and develop the infrastructures necessary to effectively prevent and respond to the disease of addiction.

The Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 and the Formation of the DFC Program

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) receives funding for the DFC Program from Congress through the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-20) to provide support to community-based coalitions that have formed to address local youth substance use and its related consequences. The DFC Program was reauthorized through ONDCP’s Reauthorization Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-469). Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded more than 2,000 DFC grants. Grants have been awarded to communities from every region in the nation and include rural, urban, suburban, and tribal communities.

The DFC Program is overseen by ONDCP, with day-to-day management conducted by Project Officers (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention/CSAP) and Grants Management Specialists (Division of Grants Management/DGM) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

DFC National Evaluation

In the past nine years that DFC has been evaluated, DFC-funded communities have achieved significant reductions in youth alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. For middle school youth living in DFC-funded communities, data from the DFC National Evaluation indicate a 23% reduction in alcohol use, 27% reduction in tobacco use and 17% reduction in marijuana use. High school-aged youth have reduced their use of alcohol by 14%, tobacco by 21% and marijuana by 5% in DFC-funded communities. DFC-funded coalitions are actively engaged in facilitating prescription drug take-back programs in conjunction with local law enforcement, as well as local policy change to effectively address the accessibility and availability of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.


Scioto County Drug Action Team Alliance (Coalition)

The Scioto County Drug Action Team Alliance is a community-based coalition designed to bring together community members who are dedicated to building a drug-free community. The coalition is a community-based formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration among groups and sectors of the community in which each group retains its identity, but all agree to work together toward a common goal of building a safe, healthy, and drug-free community for all residents of Scioto County. The coalition meets bi-monthly and works with leaders within the community to identify and address local substance use problems and to create sustainable community-level change through population-based and environmental strategies which reduce the demand for drugs (demand reduction). The coalition partners with the “Prescription for Community Recovery” program to reduce the burden of unintentional injury and fatal overdose in Scioto County. For more information about the burden of overdose and the Ohio Department of Health’s efforts to reduce fatal overdose visit http://www.healthy.ohio.gov/vipp/drug/dpoison.aspxt

The Scioto County Drug Action Team Alliance is a member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. To learn more about CADCA visit their website at http://www.cadca.org/

The Scioto County Drug Action Team Alliance supports the Presidents National Drug Control Strategy, and uses it as a foundation for the implementation of data-driven and evidence-based approaches to the reduction of substance use and abuse at the local level.

Presidents National Drug Control Strategy

The Obama Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, published in 2010, charted a new course in the nations efforts to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences in the United States—an approach that rejects the false choice between an enforcement-centric “war on drugs” and drug legalization. Science has shown that a substance use disorder is not a moral failing but rather a disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. Informed by this basic understanding, the Strategies promote a balance of evidence-based public health and safety initiatives focusing on key areas such as substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery. The 2014 National Drug Control Strategy, released on July 9, builds on the foundation laid down by the Obama Administration’s previous Strategies and serves as the Nation’s blueprint for reducing drug use and its harmful consequences. Continuing the collaborative, balanced, and science-based approach, the new Strategy provides a review of the progress that has been made over the past four years of this administration. It also looks ahead to the continuing efforts to reform, rebalance, and renew our national drug control policy to address the public health and safety challenges of the 21st century.

See the full 2014 National Drug Control Strategy here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/national-drug-control-strategy

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