The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program is the nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent and reduce substance use among youth. Created in 1997 by the Drug-Free Communities Act, administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and managed through a partnership between ONDCP and CDC, the DFC program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.
The DFC program is aimed at mobilizing community leaders to identify and respond to the drug problems unique to their community and change local community environmental conditions tied to substance use. More than 700 community coalitions across the country receive funding up to $125,000 per year to strengthen collaboration among local partners and create an infrastructure that reduces youth substance use.
The DFC program goals are to:
In coordination with the DFC Support Program, Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARAexternal icon) Local Drug Crisis grants provide funds to 65 communities to enhance DFC efforts by creating sustainable community-level change to prevent and reduce the use of illicit opioids or methamphetamine and the misuse of prescription medications among youth.
Click here for a complete list of the DFC coalitions
Substances Targeted by Coalitions
DFC Coalitions reported targeting the following substances in 2020:
A Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Coalition is a community-based formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration among community groups or sectors. Each group retains its identity and agrees to work together toward a common goal.
Representatives from 12 sectors organize and meet to address local youth substance use. Together, as a coalition, they are driven by local conditions to implement local solutions that will build a safe, healthy, and drug-free community.
The 12 sectors are:
A national evaluation conducted in 2019 found that DFC coalitions were successfully building local capacity and engaging in the seven strategies for community change. Most importantly, the evaluation found that coalitions are having a positive impact in their communities.
Coalitions most commonly reported fostering protective factors such as pro-social community involvement, positive contributions to peer groups, and positive school climate, among others. They also addressed risk factors, such as perceived acceptability of substance use, availability of substances, and favorable attitudes towards substance use, among others.
DFC coalitions select at least two substances their coalition will focus on targeting in their community. Most DFC coalitions reported targeting efforts to address use of alcohol, marijuana, tobacco products, and misuse of any prescription drug.
Our Communities that Care of Marinette & Menominee Counties coalition have selected "alcohol" and "tobacco products" as our two top substances, per our local data, that we will be addressing.
Seven Strategies to Affect Community Change
Coalitions’ activities are guided by the Strategic Prevention Framework pdf icon[PDF]external icon and the Seven Strategies to Affect Community Change pdf icon[PDF]external icon. These frameworks acknowledge that environmental contexts impact the risk of youth substance use. In assessing the complex environmental contexts, we recognize that the way communities are structured affects our health. By understanding environmental contexts, coalitions can better address risk factors for youth substance use and ensure their communities are places where youth can thrive.Ultimately, these strategic frameworks help coalitions limit access to substances, change the culture and context within which decisions about substance use are made, and shift the consequences associated with substance use
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