Updated February 27 at 4:27pm

R.I. lands $1.1M to support substance abuse programs


PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island has been awarded $1.1 million from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program to help reduce youth substance abuse in communities throughout the state.

The grant, announced Friday by state lawmakers, will be used to support programs in Barrington, Chariho, Middletown, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Providence, Smithfield, Tiverton and Woonsocket.

Funding under the Drug-Free Communities Support Program is intended to help strengthen partnerships among community organizations, parents, youth, schools, law enforcement and health care and business professionals to reduce the prevelance of drugs in the community and help teach young people to make healthy and safe decisions.

“Effective prevention brings together parents, teachers, coaches, and all members of the community to support young people in every aspect of their lives,” said a release from U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Reps. James R. Langevin and David Cicilline.

“That’s why the work of our state’s local drug prevention coalitions is so important. We are proud that these organizations are receiving federal resources to support their efforts to provide education and healthy alternatives for Rhode Island children,” added the lawmakers.

The community programs to receive the awards are:

  • Barrington Substance Abuse Task Force: $124,131

  • Chariho Tri-Town Task Force: $124,595

  • Town of Middletown: $125,000

  • Narragansett Prevention Partnership: $123,336

  • Working Together for Wellness (North Kingstown): $125,000

  • Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council (Providence): $125,000

  • The Smithfield Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (North Providence, Johnston and Smithfield): $125,000

  • Tiverton Prevention Council: $125,000

  • Woonsocket Task Force on Substance Abuse: $125,000

The DFC program, administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997 and offers matching grants where the recipients provide a one-to-one matching local funds for every federal dollar awarded.

According to an ONDCP release, over the life of the Drug-Free Communities program, youth living in DFC communities experienced reductions in alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use.

Data from the DFC National Evaluation indicates a 16 percent reduction in alcohol use, 27 percent reduction in tobacco use and a 23 percent reduction in marijuana use for middle school youth living in DFC-funded communities. High school aged students saw a 9 percent reduction in alcohol, 16 percent in tobacco and 7 percent in marijuana when living in a DFC-funded community.


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