New Drug Free Communities Support Program Funding Available Now

As a Vermont prosecutor and in the United States Senate, Senator Leahy has long supported and advanced the types of community-based prevention and involvement that this program encourages.  He proudly cosponsored the original legislation in 1997 and has championed the program’s work during his time on the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.  While Vermont is one of the safest states in the country, it has still had to confront drug abuse and drug-related crime.  Over the past three years Senator Leahy has held field hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee in communities around Vermont, focusing on drug-related problems and finding effective solutions.  These hearings in Rutland, St. Albans and Barre gave Congress and these communities the opportunity to discuss accomplishments, challenges, and answers.  The common thread through these hearings, and in Senator Leahy’s followup efforts in the Senate, has been the value of strengthening community partnerships.  The overwhelming consensus has been that through hard work, the support of friends and neighbors, and help from law enforcement agencies and government, all of these communities have made long strides toward combating the influence of drug abuse.  Senator Leahy strongly hopes that Vermonters are able to take advantage of the funds being made available by this invaluable program. 

Last Congress Senator Leahy introduced a bill to expand and build on the success of the Drug Free Communities program through the fiscal year 2015 and will continue to support this vital grant program throughout the 112th Congress.



Washington, DC  20503

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                         

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 


ONDCP Public Affairs: 202-395-6618


SAMHSA Public Affairs: 240-276-2130

ONDCP and SAMHSA Accepting Applications for $9.35 Million

To Bolster Drug-Free Community Prevention and Education Efforts

WASHINGTON, DC—The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), announced the availability of new Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program funding.  ONDCP expects to award approximately $9.35 million for 75 new competing grants to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth. The deadline to submit DFC grantee applications is Friday, March 19, 2011.  Projections for the 2011 funding cycle are only tentative and will be finalized once Congress passes the 2011 appropriations bill.            

The DFC Support Program aims to establish and strengthen communities, private nonprofit agencies, and Federal, state, local, and tribal governments and entities to collaborate and support community-based efforts to prevent and reduce youth substance use.  The DFC program was created in 1997 under the Drug Free Communities Act, and was reauthorized in 2001, and again in 2006.  The latest reauthorization extends the DFC program until 2012.  The DFC program provides grants of up to $125,000 per year for up to five years, with a 10-year maximum limit.

“The Drug Free Communities program reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to preventing youth substance abuse before it starts.  Preventing substance use before it begins not only makes common sense, it is also cost-effective.  For every dollar invested in prevention, a savings of up to $10 in treatment for alcohol or other drugs can be seen.” said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “Community problems need community solutions, and when local leaders organize around their specific drug issues, they make a difference in creating safer and healthier communities.”

“The Drug Free Communities program has a consistent track record of producing results for families and communities,” said SAMHSA Administrator, Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.  “This new funding opportunity will expand our ability to reach and support even more communities in their efforts to reduce drug use and improve the health and emotional well being of young people.”

The DFC program aims to achieve two major goals: 

  • Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities; public and private nonprofit agencies; and Federal, State, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community anti-drug coalitions
  • Reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing a range of risk and protective factors that impact substance abuse

To assist potential Drug Free Communities Support Program applicants through the grant process, ONDCP, in partnership with SAMHSA, has scheduled three live application workshops in the following cities: 

  • February 1, 2011:  San Diego, CA
  • February 3, 2011:  New Orleans, LA
  • February 11, 2011:  National Harbor, Maryland

At the San Diego and National Harbor sites, there will be specific question and answer sessions to support Native American/American Indian communities wishing to compete during this funding cycle.  All workshops are free and open to the public. Applicants do not have to attend a workshop in order to apply for a grant. To register, visit http://www.ondcp.gov/dfc/fy10_RFA_workshops.html.  In addition to these live workshops, ONDCP will post an online workshop and slide presentation on www.WhiteHouseDrugPolicy.gov/dfc by January 31, 2011.

WHO CAN APPLY: Community-based coalitions that are focused on addressing youth substance use and meet all of the DFC eligibility requirements.

HOW TO APPLY:  In order to be considered for funding, applicants must use the Application for Federal Assistance Form PHS 5161-1 available at http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/apply.aspx and must follow all application submission and formatting requirements by the application deadline.  For more information on how to apply, visit http://www.grants.gov.

APPLICATION DUE DATE:  All applications are due by March 18, 2011. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Applicants with questions about program issues should contact the DFC RFA Hotline at SAMHSA’s Division of Community Programs, CSAP at 240-276-1270 or by email at dfcnew2011@samhsa.hhs.gov; or for fiscal questions, contact Barbara Orlando, SAMHSA Division of Grants Management, at 240-276-1422, or by email at barbara.orlando@samhsa.hhs.gov .  

The Obama Administration is committed to balanced U.S. drug control efforts and a public health approach to reducing drug use and its consequences. This effort includes an FY 2011 Budget request for increased funding of prevention programs by $203 million, a heavier emphasis on early intervention programs in healthcare settings, aligning criminal justice policies and public health systems to divert non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of jail, funding scientific research on drug use, and expanding access to substance abuse treatment and recovery support services.

For information on DFC and upcoming application workshops, visit the Program’s website at www.WhiteHouseDrugPolicy.gov/dfc.


The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences.


Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693