Providence, RI – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Seth Magaziner announced today that four Rhode Island Drug Free Communities (DFC) coalitions have been awarded a total of $500,000 from the White House Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) to combat the overdose epidemic and prevent youth substance use.  Whitehouse, Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control and a Senate leader on addiction recovery issues, helped secure more than $109 million for the DFC program in the most recent government funding bill. 

“I’m pleased to work with local communities to support these federal grants to help prevent and reduce substance abuse.  These federal funds are part of a comprehensive approach to combatting the drug abuse epidemic through prevention, treatment, and interdiction,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.  “As we mark International Overdose Awareness Day, these new federal funds will support local, evidence-based strategies to prevent substance use among young people and help save lives.”

“The addiction epidemic has taken an enormous toll on families across Rhode Island and requires a community-centered response,” said Senator Whitehouse.  "Our Drug Free Communities coalitions are leading comprehensive efforts to stop youth drug use before it starts, and I am pleased to help secure federal funding to support this life-saving work.”

“So many of us know a family member, friend, or loved one who has been affected by substance use, and no one should be alone in this fight,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “This federal funding for Rhode Island’s Drug Free Communities coalitions will help prevent youth substance use, combat the overdose epidemic, and support those in recovery.”

The DFC Program is the nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use.  It provides grants to community coalitions to foster collaboration among local partners to create and sustain reductions in youth substance use. 

The following Rhode Island organizations each received $125,000 in grant funding:

  • Town of Lincoln
  • Comprehensive Community Action Program
  • Town of Warren
  • Common Fence Point

Whitehouse’s landmark Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act improved the DFC program with the addition of new Local Drug Crises Grants, which provide additional funds to current and past DFC coalitions working to prevent opioid and methamphetamine use and abuse in their communities.