Dingell Announces $125,000 Grant for Dearborn’s LAHC to Prevent Substance Abuse in Youth
Washington, September 2, 2021
DEARBORN, MI - Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced that the A.C.T. Drug Free Community Coalition- A project of LAHC-Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities in Dearborn will receive a $125,000 grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Drug-Free Communities Support Program in order to implement programs to prevent youth substance use, including abuse of prescription drugs, marijuana, and tobacco.
“This critical funding will help LAHC [and the A.C.T. Drug Free Community Coalition] continue their important work in addressing the serious risks of drug and tobacco use,” said Rep. Dingell. “Tackling the substance abuse problem in our local community will need local solutions. I will continue to work with LAHC and others to address the substance abuse and erase the stigma associated with mental health issues.”
The mission of The A.C.T. Drug Free Community Coalition is to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth through community partnerships. The coalition utilizes strategies driven by scientific research that have proven to be an essential component in reducing youth substance use and misuse in the community. Through prevention efforts such as community and family education, coalition partner training, student programs, special events and advocacy, the coalition has made concrete, community-level changes by reducing the number of tobacco and vape shops, as well as marijuana dispensaries, that sell to minors. Other programming includes education and resources in order to ensure safe disposal of prescription medications, including bilingual parent programs and safe disposal drop off days.
“LAHC and the A.C.T. Drug Free Community Coalition want to help the community in every way imaginable and this program will ensure that we are affecting the lives of our community members in a real and impactful way,” said Wassim Mahfouz, Senior Executive Director of LAHC. “The A.C.T. Drug Free Community Coalition surveyed the neighborhoods we serve in order to determine what substances present the most problems in the community and need to be addressed. We then molded our curriculum around the three substances the that community collectively determined: marijuana, tobacco and prescription drugs.”
Prescription drug abuse prevention is one of the core measures of effectiveness for local Drug-Free Communities coalitions, and coalitions nationwide have led innovative prevention initiatives to raise awareness on the risks involved with the misuse of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Drug-Free Communities’ 2020 National Evaluation Report found that at least 96 percent of middle school and 88 percent of high school youth report that they have not used tobacco or tobacco products in the past 30-days in Drug-Free Communities.