The Drug Free Communities (DFC) initiative is a community-wide effort of youth, parents, business leaders, schools, police officers, faith communities, health care providers, and others to decrease alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use among Greater Sanford’s youth and adults.
Underlying the work of the initiative is the belief that the best way to combat substance abuse is by building a community that champions developmental assets or conditions which promote a youth-focused outlook, creative outlets for youth, supportive families, and caring neighborhoods, positive values and identity, and social competencies, among many other critical skills and social conditions.
Such community building is being achieved in Sanford through the collective action of the Sanford Strong Coalition which in addition to promoting these critical assets is implementing substance abuse prevention activities including:
- facilitating “Table Talk” discussions with parents about the harm of underage drinking and marijuana use; and
- educating businesses in best practices regarding the sale of alcohol.
The DFC’s substance abuse prevention work is guided by the Drug Free Communities Action Plan. ________________________________________________________________
Drug Free Communities (DFC) is a federally-funded grant initiative that provides funding to community-based coalitions like the Sanford Strong Coalition that organize to prevent youth substance use. Since the passage of the DFC Act in 1997, the DFC initiative has funded nearly 2,000 coalitions and currently mobilizes nearly 9,000 community volunteers across the country. The aim of the DFC program is two-fold: 1.) to strengthen collaboration among community entities; and 2.) to reduce substance use among youth. Recent evaluation data indicate that where DFC dollars are invested, youth substance use is lower. Over the life of the DFC program, youth living in DFC communities have experienced reductions in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. Since 2005, DFC-funded communities have achieved significant reductions in youth alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.