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The Lamoille Valley region’s primary substance misuse prevention effort among youth just got a boost to expand its work. Healthy Lamoille Valley is one of 150 national award winners of a grant from the federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program.

The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts. The award comes from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The DFC grant—$125,000 annually over the next five years—will help fund Healthy Lamoille Valley’s efforts to involve and engage the Lamoille Valley community to prevent substance use among youth. Healthy Lamoille Valley is a coalition of community organizations and individuals working collaboratively to encourage youth to make substance free healthy choices. It serves the communities of Belvidere, Cambridge, Craftsbury, Eden, Elmore, Greensboro, Hardwick, Hyde Park, Jeffersonville, Johnson, Morrisville, Stannard, Stowe, Waterville, Wolcott, and Woodbury.

“The science is clear that communities that work together to implement research-based, evidence-informed strategies to prevent and reduce youth substance misuse are successful. We are pleased that the federal government recognizes the work of Healthy Lamoille Valley and are excited to apply the funds to strengthen our collaboration and efforts within the community,” said Catherine Crawley, Chair of the Healthy Lamoille Valley Steering Committee.

Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.  Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, and media.

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