Guest post by Sue Centner, Executive Director at the Community Alliance for Teen Safety -
New Hampshire's prevention networks and coalitions are doing an amazing job every day to help make our communities become healthier and safer. The systems in place that support the work of New Hampshire's 13 Regional Public Health Networks (RPHNs) provide the infrastructure, programs and resources that benefit many people of all ages.
Working with the state's prevention system are the Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC) coalitions serving in different parts of the state. New Hampshire has 13 DFC coalitions as well as many that have graduated from the DFC program, but are still serving their communities as coalitions.
According to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's, the funding for DFCs has increased from $10 million in 1998 to $95 million in 2016. In that same time, the number of grantees has increased from 92 to more than 2,000. This increased funding is a testament to the important work being done in DFCs.
The success of the program prompted SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto to say, "Drug-Free Communities coalitions make a vital difference at the community level – reaching out to people where they live with the help they need to prevent substance use" in a Sept. 2016 White House press release.
The DFC Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997 and is an important part of the nation's demand-reduction strategy. It provides federal funding necessary for communities to identify and respond to local drug and alcohol use problems. The DFC coalitions produce important outcomes by taking a data-driven, comprehensive, and multi-sector approach to solving and addressing drug issues.
The work DFCs are doing is so important and very much linked and aligned with the goals of the RPHNs. The Community Alliance for Teen Safety – that I work for – was fortunate to be a DFC grantee for 10 years and found the connections to the state networks to be absolutely essential for prevention work. We stay connected with the DFC network of coalition coordinators and work closely with the DFC coalition in our region and bordering region.
This cross collaboration and support is so important to achieving our common goals and creates a rich opportunity to learn from one another. The work of the RPHNs and DFCs is making a positive difference in communities across the state.
I strongly encourage connecting with the RPHNs, DFC coordinators and coalition members in your region – they are a great resource and valuable, dedicated collaborative partners. Let's celebrate and continue to support these efforts!
To learn more, visit the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's website at http://www.cadca.org/drug-free-communities-dfc-program.
Visit the Community Alliance for Teen Safety.