Governor Awards Nearly Half-Million Dollars to 15 Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions

For Immediate Release: November 26, 2003

Contact: Jason Gibbs
(802) 828-3333

BURLINGTON—Today Governor Jim Douglas announced that 15 local substance abuse prevention coalitions have received Vermont Department of Health New Directions Grant Program awards for 2004.

“One of the top priorities of my administration is expanding the use of successful strategies to prevent substance abuse,” said Governor Douglas. “The New Directions Program grants enable Vermonters to address substance abuse among youth in their own communities.”

New Directions grants fund community prevention projects including mentoring and family education programs, drug-free social and recreational activities, and local information campaigns to discourage alcohol and drug use. Schools in New Directions communities often use grant funds to implement school curricula that has been proven successful in helping youth make healthier choices.

“Every child in Vermont deserves our support to have the best possible future. New Directions grants bring youth and adults together to design prevention strategies that work for their communities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Paul Jarris. “The Health Department provides funding for these coalitions and also supports each community’s efforts with training and technical assistance to help them be more successful.”

The Department of Health measures the overall success of the New Directions coalitions with measures of student substance abuse and the level of active community involvement in local prevention initiatives.

New Directions communities have achieved reductions in rates of student substance use. In the past two years (2001-2003), New Directions communities saw a 15% drop in tobacco use and an 8% drop in recent alcohol use.

The 2004 New Directions grants total $457,740 and are awarded to: