Pascrell announces $125k Drug-Free Communities grant for Secaucus coalition

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U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) announced a $125,000 Drug-Free Communities grant for the Secaucus Drug-Free Coalition to continue the fight against youth substance abuse.

The Secaucus Drug-Free Coalition. Photo via drugfreesecaucus.org.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“As every community in America continues to grapple with COVID-19, we must also remain vigilant in our fight against opioids and substance abuse. The Secaucus Coalition is leading the fight to keep harmful drugs out of the hands of our children, and I am elated that we have secured this funding to support their efforts,” Pascrell said in a statement.

“Our neighborhoods are safer thanks to their work. I will never stop fighting for critical awards like this that keep these terrific organizations funded and operational. This lifesaving grant will help keep our children safe from the scourge of substance abuse.”

Pascrell has worked closely with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to bring increased resources to cities and community organizations fighting drug use.

In 2018, Pascrell helped secure $450,000 in federal DFC awards for coalitions throughout Bergen and Hudson Counties, and in October 2014, he helped win $1.25 million for the Rutherford Community Prevention Coalition.

“The Town of Secaucus is pleased to continue with the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant for a seventh year,” added Secaucus Coalition Program Coordinator Dave Bratton.

“The DFC grant is an instrumental piece of our town’s efforts to reduce youth substance abuse in our community. We are committed in our work to reduce the harms of underage drinking, youth addiction to nicotine due to vaping, and we will continue to remain vigilant regarding new and emerging youth substance abuse issues.”

Created by Congress in 1997, the Drug-Free Communities Support Program is the nation’s leading player in mobilizing communities and using grants to community coalitions to build and strengthen bonds between local partners to prevent youth substance use.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy is awarding an initial round of 150 new DFC grants representing a total federal investment of over $18.7 million to community coalitions.

Additional DFC grants will be announced in the coming months. The program has grown from $10 million in 1998 to $100 million in 2019, along with the number of grantees from 92 original grantees to more than 2,000 grantees.