Amata welcomes $125,000 drug-free communities grant

Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata was pleased to welcome a $125,000 grant destined for American Samoa from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as part of the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program.

“These are welcome federal funds for youth education and safety, and this grant is a recognition of the prevention efforts already taking place in American Samoa,” said Aumua Amata. “Congratulations to the Fofo County Coalition and Fa’ivae A. Godinet on earning this support through your valued work to help school-aged American Samoans make healthy choices.”

This continuation grant is designated to the Fofo County Coalition, and funds ongoing work to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.

BACKGROUND ON THE DFC

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by Congress through the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, mobilizes communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by ONDCP, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the program is providing 719 grants totaling $89 million to community coalitions to reduce local youth substance use.

“Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are bringing together parents groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of the community,” said Richard Baum, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy.

 “SAMHSA looks forward to working with its community partners in implementing evidence-based practices to impact the community and help youth,” said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use.

Nationally, an estimated 3,200 young people per day between the ages of 12 and 17 used drugs for the first time in the preceding year. Research also indicates that high school seniors are more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes, and 16% of high school seniors in 2016 reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks, according to 2016 data.

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