Nearly $18,000 derived from drug busts in DuPage County went to a better cause Wednesday, as prosecutors awarded the funds to 35 local school groups.
The money will assist anti-drug programs such as Red Ribbon and Character Counts, and subsidize related curriculum and scholarships.
"These programs are the first line of defense in the war on drugs," State's Attorney Bob Berlin said at a ceremony in Wheaton attended by teachers, school administrators and students.
The grants totaling $17,800 were part of the 2012-13 Drug Forfeiture Grant Program headed by the state's attorney's office. Since 1990, the program has given out 542 grants totaling more than $210,000, according to a news release.
More than 16,000 students stand to benefit from this year's awards, officials said.