San Clemente Times

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), recently awarded 719 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grants totaling $89 million through its support program.
The Wellness & Prevention Coalition from San Clemente was one of the grant recipients and will receive $625,000 over 5 years in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.
“Our goal is to make San Clemente a safe and drug-free place for our youth,” said Susan Parmelee, LCSW, Program Director. “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract drug use in our community, and we will use this funding to help youth in San Clemente make healthy lifestyle choices.”

“We’re losing more than 60,000 people per year to drug overdose, but if we can stop young people from starting to use drugs in the first place, we can save lives,” said Richard Baum, acting Director of National Drug Control Policy.

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.

According to 2016 data, 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, 88 percent of DFC coalitions indicate that they focus on heroin, prescription drugs, or both, which is reflective of the ongoing national opioid crisis. Furthermore, 16 percent of high school seniors in 2016 reported binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.

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

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