The BAY Team has been awarded a federal grant that will allow it to continue fighting substance abuse in Barrington.
The amount of the grant is $125,000. It is coming from Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which announced $7.9 million in Drug-Free Communities Support Program (DFC) grants to 60 communities and 6 new DFC Mentoring grants across the country.
“Efforts to keep our youth drug-free are critical to healthy and safe community,” said Kathleen Sullivan, program director for the BAY Team. “The Drug-Free Communities Support Program recognizes the success of the BAY Team and its evidence-based prevention efforts. This funding will allow the BAY Team to continue to mobilize and organize the community to prevent youth substance use, especially underage drinking and youth marijuana use. We are very grateful for this continued support.”
The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are composed of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, the media, and others working together at the local level.
The BAY Team had to compete against other similar efforts for the federal grant, Sullivan said. Not every organization that applied was funded.
Sullivan gave a lot of credit for winning the grant to Kristen Westmoreland of the BAY Team staff, who compiles the data and statistics on programs – the evidence – that backs up most of what the prevention coalition does.
Some of that data shows that alcohol seems to be declining in Barrington. It comes from the Barrington Risk and Protective Factor Survey administered in March to students in grades six through 12.
Alcohol use in the past 30 days declined from 30 percent of students in 2009 to 26 percent in 2013. Ninth and tenth grade students showed the most significant decreases from 15 percent to 6 percent and 27 percent to 17 percenbt, respectively.
Other encouraging trends include an increase in the perceived risk of harm from alcohol use among middle school students and an increase in reported difficulty for students to obtain alcohol, Sullivan said.
“America’s success in the 21st century depends in part on our ability to help young people make decisions that will keep them healthy and safe,” said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “We congratulate this coalition on its work to raise a generation of young people equipped to remain drug free and ready to prosper in school, in their communities, and in the workplace. While law enforcement efforts will always serve a vital role in keeping our communities safe, we know that stopping drug use before it ever begins is always the smartest and most cost-effective way to reduce drug use.”