Danvers is among five cities and town on the North Shore that will receive federal grant money this year for local alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts. The $125,000 grant for Danvers goes to DanversCARES and is just the first installment of another five years of funding.
The local coalition, formally organized in 2009, is a program run by the town through the school department with various community partners, public and private, working together to discourage Danvers youth from alcohol and drug use as well as promote healthy lifestyles.
The Drug Free Communities grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy is a five-year program and has rotated through different communities in the area. Danvers is embarking on years six to ten of the program while Peabody, for instance, is finishing up years one to five.
“We are thrilled here at DanversCARES to be receiving this grant... It is quite an honor to be able to continue to build on the strong community partnerships we have developed over the last five years with schools, hospitals, police and other community groups,” said DanversCARES Project Director Peg Sallade in a statement.
“Alcohol remains the drug of choice for kids, and new designer drugs appear on the market often so we have plenty of work to do to continue to build awareness of drugs and their effects, but also to showcase the positive decisions that kids make,” Sallade said.
The total $625,000 award was announced by Congressman John Tierney on Thursday for five communities in the 6th Congressional District. The other three communities were Gloucester, Wakefield and Newburyport. Each city or town received $125,000.
Tierney's office says the DFC program is "designed to support communities seeking to reduce youth substance abuse, and the local coalitions that work toward that goal."
“Ensuring our children are fully informed about the dangers of substance abuse is an important and collaborative public health and safety effort. Prevention can be an effective tool in combating substance abuse among young people," said Tierney in a statement.
"I am pleased that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has awarded grants to help our local communities prevent youth substance abuse,” he said.
In Peabody, the Healthy Peabody Collaborative (a similar local coalition to DanversCARES) was the recipient of the federal grant.