Washington, DC – Today, the District of Columbia Government received a $10.6 million grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to go towards substance abuse prevention. The grant, to be administered over 5 years, doubles the substance abuse prevention funds for the District.
“Prevention is the foundation to maintaining and protecting our health,” said Dr. Pierre Vigilance, Director of the DC Department of Health. “Thanks to this grant from SAMHSA we have the opportunity to expand and improve the network in the District that will prevent residents from engaging in substance abuse that is destructive to their health and the health of the community.”
The grant is part of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant program administered by SAMHSA. The Funds will be used to expand and build on the existing substance abuse prevention infrastructure in the District. As part of the agreement, the infrastructure will be sustained after the funds expire guaranteeing a continuation of enhanced substance abuse prevention in the District.
Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant Goals:
- Prevent the onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse including childhood and underage drinking
- Reduce substance abuse prevention problems in communities
- Build prevention capacity and infrastructure at the state and community level
At least 85 percent of the grant will go towards community level efforts that implement evidence-based programs. For the community level planning the grant requires a strategic planning process driven by data that includes evaluation for effectiveness. Additional grant funding will create four DC Prevention Centers that will cover all 8 wards of the District.
The Grant also includes the creation of a Prevention Council. The Council will be chaired by the Executive Office of the Mayor and includes representatives from community groups, nonprofit organizations and DC Government agencies to create a comprehensive approach to substance abuse prevention.