Daily Journal, September 19, 2016,
Most drug prevention programs focus on the consequences of drug abuse: addiction, health problems, jail time.
Local police and educators want to tell another side of the story by connecting students with positive peer role models and showing examples of people who have made the right choices.
Empower Johnson County, a coalition formed by local leaders, was awarded a five-year, $625,000 Drug-Free Communities grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The organization was one of three in Indiana to get the award. Nearly $86 million in grants were given out nationwide to fund drug abuse prevention and treatment programs.
“Our youth hear about kids who get into trouble for drugs, but how often do they hear about kids doing the right things?” Empower Johnson County Director Michelle McMahon said.
Grants Support Administration Efforts to Emphasize Prevention Among Youth
Washington D.C. – Today, Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced $85.9 million in grants for 698 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Programs across the country. The grants will provide funding to local community coalitions for preventing youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. Empower Johnson County from Greenwood, Indiana was one of the grant recipients and will receive $125,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
“The evidence-based prevention work led by local DFC community coalitions is critically needed to reduce youth substance, particularly in the midst of the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic,” said Director Botticelli. “To fully address the opioid crisis, however, Congress must act to provide funding to make lifesaving treatment available to everyone who seeks it. The President has called for $1.1 billion in new funding for States to help expand access to treatment. Every day that passes without Congressional action to provide these additional resources is a missed opportunity to save lives.”
“Our goal is to make Johnson County a safe and drug-free place for our youth,” said Michelle McMahon. “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract prescription drug misuse and other youth substance use in our community, and we will use this funding to help youth in Johnson County make healthy choices about substance use.”