What is DFC?
Community anti-drug coalitions use their collective energy, experience and influence to address drug and underage drinking problems in their neighborhoods, cities, counties and states. These coalitions develop strategies for addressing every aspect of their substance abuse problem – prevention, intervention, treatment, aftercare and law enforcement, but with a particular focus on prevention.
The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) program has been a central, bi-partisan component of our nation’s demand reduction strategy since its passage in 1998. The consistent and steady growth of the program in terms of both appropriations (from $10 million in FY 1998 to $87.4 million in FY 2013) and the number of grantees (from 92 original grantees to 2000 grantees in 2013) is a testament to the program’s popularity. The premise of the DFC program is simple – that communities around the country must be organized and equipped to deal with their individual substance abuse problems in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. DFC Grantees consist of twelve community sectors: youth, parents, business community, media, schools, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement agencies, religious or fraternal organizations, civic and volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, state and local and/or tribal government agencies with expertise in the field of substance abuse, and other organizations involved in reducing substance abuse. The program explicitly recognizes that federal anti-drug resources must be invested at the community level. This program is unique in that federal support is contingent upon a community demonstrating local commitment and resolve to address its drug problem, before it is eligible to receive any federal funds. Coalitions are only eligible to receive as much federal funding as they can match, dollar for dollar, with non-Federal support, up to $125,000.
Why Does DCPFY Need Me?
One of the goals of all Drug-Free Community Grants is to bring about change that is relevant and appropriate for the best of the community. To do that, we need a wide variety of people at the table so that we are not just thinking of these challenges and solutions from an educational point of view, or a business-minded point of view, or from a youth point of view but rather a mixture of all corners of the county so that it can be led and experienced as a cohesive community.
It is important to have a healthy mix of different sectors to even out the playing field and get ideas from each standpoint possible. Then, a bi-product of these events is that you learn more about what is available in areas that you normally wouldn’t run into in your day-to-day life.
By having a healthy sector representation, we ensure that the brainstorming, programming and result have not left any stone unturned.