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Jaime Herrera Beutler Helps Secure Funding for Southwest Washington to Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

With Jaime’s support, Drug-Free Communities Support Program receives highest funding level, directs over $1 million to Southwest Washington coalitions to prevent youth substance use

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Washington, D.C. , September 4, 2018 | comments
U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler today applauded an announcement by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that Southwest Washington communities will be receiving over $1 million in federal grants to prevent youth substance use.
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U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler today applauded an announcement by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that Southwest Washington communities will be receiving over $1 million in federal grants to prevent youth substance use.

Earlier this year through her work on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Jaime helped secure the highest-ever overall funding level for the Drug-Free Communities Support Program that is distributing the grants. Last week, these grants were awarded specifically to Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, Klickitat and Pacific Counties. The money will provide local community coalitions funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.

“I’m pleased that my work in Congress will support local efforts to prevent substance abuse among a particularly vulnerable population – our kids,” Jaime said. “We’ve all experienced the impacts of substance abuse and addiction on family and friends, so while I was pleased to help with this important development, it’s just another step in my ongoing effort to support healthier Southwest Washington communities.”

Southwest Washington DFC grantees include Evergreen Public Schools, Pacific County Public Health & Human Services Department, Toutle River Ranch, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County, Educational Service District 112 in La Center, Washougal School District, Washington Gorge Action Programs in Klickitat County, and Willapa Behavioral Health.

Background on the Drug-Free Communities Support Program:

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.

The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts.

Data from one national survey (2017) indicates that high school seniors are more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes and that 17% of high school seniors reported binge drinking (i.e., 5 or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.[i] A second national survey found similar results in 2017 with high school youth engaging in a range of risky behaviors including 30% reporting past 30-day alcohol use, 20% reporting past 30-day marijuana use, and almost 10% reporting smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days. In addition, 14% reporting taking pain medication without a prescription or other than how prescribed at least once in their lifetime.[ii]

Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local drug problems. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, and media. By involving the community in a solution-oriented approach, DFC also helps those youth at risk for substance use recognize that the majority of our Nation’s youth choose not to use drugs. 

Additionally, DFC-funded community coalitions continue to make progress toward achieving the goal of preventing and reducing youth substance use.


[i] University of Michigan.  Monitoring the Future Study (December 2017) available here: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/data/17data.html#2017data-drugs

[ii] Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2017. MMWR Surveill Summ 2018;67(No. SS-8):1–479. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2017/ss6708.pdf

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