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Coalition Receives Funding to Decrease Youth Substance Abuse

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Boone County Alliance for Healthy Youth has been awarded a grant of $125,000 per year for the next five years to support its efforts to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse. Boone County is one of 680 federal Drug-Free Communities grant recipients nationwide.

Funding from the grant will focus on reducing the use of and increasing youth’s perception of the dangers of three types of substances: alcohol, prescription drugs and marijuana. Some of the projects funded by the grant will include an alcohol tip line, a program to promote safe service of alcohol at festivals, prescription take-back programs and youth advisory councils.

“Drug-Free Communities grants focus on local solutions to local problems,” said Linny Cloyd, Chair of the Boone County Alliance. “Our coalition has a strong history of bringing together parents, youth and professionals to examine trends in youth substance abuse in our county and develop specific solutions to the problems we face. This grant will further support those efforts.”

According to a 2012 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention Survey, some high school students admit to having taken prescription medications prescribed to someone else, knowing someone that uses marijuana, and suggest that alcohol is easy to obtain.

The Boone County Alliance was founded in 2010. Representatives include youth, parents, businesses, media, school personnel, library staff, law enforcement, religious groups, health care workers, local government and substance abuse specialists. Its initial activities focused on youth alcohol abuse, but more recent events have focused around the region’s heroin response. In 2013, the coalition held four community forums about heroin which were attended by more than 500 people.

“Although the activities funded by this grant don’t specifically address heroin use, we believe they will have an impact,” said Cloyd. “Alcohol use, prescription drug abuse and marijuana are all substances that, if started at a young age, make youth more likely to abuse other drugs, including heroin. Our efforts to reduce abuse of all types of substances by Boone County youth should help to ensure that our children make healthy choices through their teenage years and in to adulthood.”

The Northern Kentucky Health Department will assist with the administration of the grant funds, and the grant coordinator will be hired by the Health Department.

For more information about the Boone County Alliance, please visit https://www.facebook.com/BooneCountyAlliance. For information about the Drug-Free Communities grant program, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drug-free-communities-support-program.

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