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updated: 10/3/2012 2:08 PM

Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force Awarded $125,000

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Lake County Health Department

The Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force has received funding of $125,000 per year for the next five years through a grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy totaling $625,000. The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant was awarded to 60 communities nationally, with 608 continuation grants for 2012. The Task Force is the fourth coalition in Lake County to receive the competitive grant, with the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center as the fiscal agent and employer of the program coordinator. The Speak Up Prevention Coalition serving the Lake Forest area, the Mundelein STAND UP Task Force are current Drug Free Communities grantees and the Coalition for Healthy Communities is completing 10 years of being a grantee.

The Task Force is a diverse group of leaders in Lake County whose mission is to provide leadership and resources to reduce and prevent youth substance use in Lake County. The group is comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, the media, and others working together at county level.

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"Efforts to keep our youth drug-free are critical to healthy and safe communities in Lake County, Illinois." said Chief Raymond Rose, Mundelein Police Department, and Co-Chair of the Task Force. "The Drug-Free Communities Support Program recognizes the great potential of Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force to help save young people's lives. This new funding will allow the Task Force to mobilize and organize our county to prevent youth substance abuse."

The Task Force will specifically work to address underage drinking and prescription drug abuse in Lake County, Illinois, as well as increase the capacity of the organization by growing membership and sustaining efforts. The Task Force will be increasing the number of compliance checks, social host ordinances and prescription drug disposal receptacles. They will be concentrating on increasing relationships with the faith-based community and parents to reduce youth access to alcohol and prescription drugs.

The DFC Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, and reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006. Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded more than 2,000 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states.

For more information about the Drug Free Communities Grant and the Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force efforts in substance abuse prevention call (847) 377-8770 or e-mail lcudptf@gmail.com. The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center was also recently awarded four drug prevention grants totaling $574,297 from the State of Illinois to strengthen the safety and health of schools and communities by reducing youth drug use and assisting Lake County residents and workers who want to quit their tobacco use.

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