Cabarrus Health Alliance awarded five-year, $625,000 grant to prevent youth substance use

In 2016 substance use was identified to be the #1 health priority in Cabarrus County. At the...
In 2016 substance use was identified to be the #1 health priority in Cabarrus County. At the national, state, and local levels, deaths related to drug and medication overdoses have skyrocketed.(WBTV File)
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:31 AM EDT
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) and the Healthy Cabarrus Substance Use Coalition were awarded a five year Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cabarrus County was one of four North Carolina communities to receive the funding this year.

The DFC support program is the nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent and reduce youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.

This is the second, five-year DFC funding award that CHA and the Healthy Cabarrus Substance Use Coalition has received. During years one through five, the coalition focused on youth prescription medication misuse and underage drinking. CHA and the coalition will expand focus for years six through 10 to include tobacco, e-cigarette and vaping use among adolescents.

“These funds will allow us to continue to prioritize prevention of youth substance use in our community,” said Dr. Bonnie Coyle, CHA Health Director. “We have seen increases in youth reported alcohol and tobacco use, including vaping and e-cigarettes, over the last several years.”

According to the 2021 Cabarrus Youth Substance Use Survey (CYSUS), when students were asked why they thought other kids used drugs and alcohol, the top three responses were:

· “Kids use drugs to deal with the pressures and stress of school (62.6%)

· “Kids think that drugs help them when they are having a hard time (62.3%)

· “Kids think that drugs help deal with problems at home (58%)

Note: Students could select more than one answer option.

“These funds will allow us to work with community partners to develop local solutions to the issues that are driving the increase in substance use among our young people,” said Dr. Coyle.

The CDC is responsible for the day-to-day management of the DFC Program.