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Dingell Announces $125,000 Grant for Southgate’s The Guidance Center to Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

SOUTHGATE, MI - Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced that the Stop Underage Drinking and Drugs (SUDDs) Coalition of The Guidance Center in Southgate 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 The Guidance Center and its Stop Underage Drinking and Drugs (SUDDs) 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 The Guidance Center and others to address the substance abuse and erase the stigma associated with mental health issues.”

The SUDDs Coalition, managed through The Guidance Center, aims reduce underage drinking, youth access to tobacco and prescription drugs and to increase community collaboration.  The coalition offers prevention and outreach services to 13 Downriver cities, some of which include community events and media campaigns to raise awareness and to educate; training retailers on how they can prevent the sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors; and providing education and materials to prescribers and their patients.

“Today it is critical to fund prevention efforts in our communities," said Kari D. Walker, President & CEO of The Guidance Center. "With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in drug and alcohol use and overdoses have increased dramatically, many due to the rise in the use of fentanyl.  We appreciate the support of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell to support the important work of the SUDDs Coalition. Prevention and early intervention can greatly impact substance use, not only through education and raising awareness, but by reducing risk factors in our communities. We are excited to continue our work as a Drug Free Community coalition.” 

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.


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