DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team gets funding to continue youth substance use prevention work
The DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team has been awarded a Drug Free Communities Grant, which will provide the coalition with five more years of funding to continue working to prevent youth substance use.
The Drug Free Communities Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.
Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, Drug Free Communities-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.
"The renewal of the Drug Free Communities grant indicates both the impact of the PLT over the past five years as well as proving the need to continue working to prevent youth substance use in DuPage," said Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Department.
Since the Prevention Leadership Team received its first Drug Free Communities grant in 2014, significant strides have been made in youth substance use prevention.
The rate of DuPage County 12th-graders reporting past-30-day alcohol use decreased 6% from 2014 to 2018.
During the same time period, according to data collected through the Illinois Youth Survey, the number of 12th-graders reporting past-30-day use rates of prescription drugs not prescribed to them decreased 2%.
The Prevention Leadership Team has also advocated for many prevention policies, such as Tobacco 21 and civil-style social host ordinances to reduce underage drinking parties.
Recently, the coalition has focused on the prevention of youth vaping and marijuana use and has worked with many local policymakers regarding recreational marijuana prevention policies.
For more information about the Prevention Leadership Team or to learn how to get involved, visit www.dupageplt.org.