Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has announced four total federal investments through the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to help nonprofit organizations throughout the Hudson Valley to combat drug use among young people. The organizations will each receive $125,000.
Locally, the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition is one of the organizations chosen to receive money to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of efforts to prevent youth substance use and misuse.
“The Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition is grateful to receive the 2018 Drug Free Communities grant,” said Annie Colonna, Director of Prevention Services at the Warwick Valley Community Center. “It will enable us to continue the important work we are doing to address the substance use disorder epidemic in our community.”
Colonna continued, “Our mission has been to reduce alcohol and marijuana abuse among youth and to prevent initiation into all drug use by encouraging wise and healthy decisions by all community members. By encouraging wise and healthy decisions by all community members, we are acknowledging the impact that adult community norms have on youth substance use. Our vision is to create a community that supports healthy life styles that exclude underage drinking, excessive drinking, marijuana use, heroin use and abuse of prescription medications; that supports prevention efforts in the school district by focusing on healthy lifestyle choices & skills; and that creates opportunities for youth to become role models and leaders in their communities.”
The goal of the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition is to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance misuse. The funding will be distributed to Warwick Community Bandwagon, Inc. to conduct the day-to-day drug prevention operations. The coalition will achieve its goal by providing information to the community, enhancing skills and providing support, reducing access to drugs and changing consequences and policies around drug use, engaging youth in efforts to prevent substance use crises before they occur, and participating in prescription Take Back days and disposal boxes.
Colonna would like to give a special thanks to the Coalition’s mentor, the Vernon Coalition.