Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (all D-Md.) to announce $250,000 in federal grants for two Drug Free Community Coalitions in Baltimore.
The federal funding will help establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance misuse. The National African American Drug Policy Coalition, as part of the South East Baltimore Drug-Free Coalition, and Morgan State University, as part of the Get SMART West Baltimore Drug Free Community Coalition, each received $125,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Drug Free Communities Program (DFC). The funding will support the coalitions’ work to conduct peer-to-peer prevention messaging, complete compliance checks and educate and disseminate information to youth.
“The opioid crisis has left no Maryland community unscathed,” the Members said. “These federal funds will help Baltimore engage and educate young people about preventing substance misuse before it’s too late. Together, Team Maryland will continue fighting for the resources necessary to combat this epidemic and to meaningfully address substance misuse in our state.”
The DFC program provides funding to community organizations that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Eligible applicants include community-based coalitions that address youth substance misuse. DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems. Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen, Congressman Ruppersberger and Congressman Sarbanes have advocated for robust funding for the Drug-Free Communities program, as well as funding for opioid and other substance misuse programs.