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DFC awarded $150,000 grant from President Trump’s Executive Office

Drug Free Communities of Dallas County (DFC) has been awarded a $150,000 grant out of the Executive Office of President Donald Trump.

The grant comes from the Community Based Coalition Enhancement Grants to Address Local Drug Crisis (CARA) Program that was created by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016.

The goal of this program is to prevent and reduce the abuse of opioids or methamphetamines and the abuse of prescription medications youth ages 12-18 in communities throughout the United States.

“We are extremely excited to have been selected to lead our community in this important challenge,” said DFC of Dallas County Director Jerria Martin. “Out of the nationwide 300 plus applicant pool, Drug Free Communities of Dallas County was one of 50 recipients, and the only program chosen in the state. We scored in the 95th percentile on our application.”

Carol Williams, the grant evaluator for the application, gave the numbers in the county for opioid abuse, and said that these statistics contributed to the program receiving this grant.

“In Selma, the medication abuse among young people is higher than the rest of this country,” she said. “The national average last year for these issues was 3.6 percent of 12 to 17 year olds said that they abused medication in the last 30 days. That number for Selma is 7.1 percent. We are double the national average.

“The other thing we knew from looking at information was the opioid prescribing rate,” said Williams. “Dallas County had 117.8 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons prescribed in 2016. The national average for this is 66.5 prescriptions per 100 persons. We are doubled in both areas. That is why we got this money to combat that problem.”

Martin said that the money will be distributed across three years.

“This is $150,000 that will be divided up over three years,” said Martin. “It is $50,000 a year, and it will supplement the work the law enforcement agencies are already doing. We pay the salaries of the youth coordinator that goes to the schools, and works one on one with the students.”

Martin said a group of student leaders also put on events to help keep their peers drug free.

“We already seeing the shift in numbers,” said Martin. “When you have that peer to peer influence you will see changes.”

DFC of Dallas County is a program within the Dallas County Children’s Policy Council. The mission of DFC is to be a long-term intervention coalition committed to reducing and preventing substance abuse, focused primarily on Dallas County’s youth population. DFC seeks to foster a cohesive community that supports all of its youth to grow and develop to be substance free and healthy in mind, body and spirit.