Thursday, August 30, 2018

Michigan Congresswoman announces grant for ACCESS to help prevent youth substance abuse.

Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

August 29, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced that that Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn will receive $125,000 grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Drug-Free Communities Support Program to implement programs to prevent youth substance use, including abuse of prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol, according to Dingell's office.

The ACCESS Substance Abuse and Tobacco Prevention/Cessation program provides Dearborn students and parents with the information and skills necessary to make healthy choices about drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Much of the program’s work focuses on the hookah or argileh, a tobacco water-pipe popular among Arab Americans and others.  In addition to tobacco, the program educates local youth and parents on the risks of marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs.

"This critical funding will help ACCESS continue their important work in addressing the serious risks of drug and tobacco use," said Dingell. "Tackling the substance abuse problem in our local community will need local solutions. I will continue to work with ACCESS and others to address the substance abuse and erase the stigma associated with mental health issues." This according to a media release from Dingell's office.

“We thank Congresswoman Dingell for being such a pivotal voice in addressing the substance abuse crisis among our youth and greater community,” said Mona Makki, Director of ACCESS Community Health and Research Center. “We are witnessing an increasing number of youth using vaping devices, marijuana and prescription drugs. The funding from this program will allow us to further enhance our preventive efforts to address the epidemic and associated stigmas by empowering our youth to be the lead advocates in our community, and to allow their families to build a network of support. Our mission is to empower families and community partners to prevent and reduce substance use among youth, and this funding will help sustain our efforts into the future with the ultimate goal of becoming a drug-free community.”

As stated in the August 29 press release from Congresswoman Dingell, prescription drug abuse prevention is one of the core measures of effectiveness for local Drug-Free Communities coalitions, and coalitions nationwide have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives. Drug-Free Communities’ 2017 National Evaluation End-of-Year Report found that at least 97% of middle school and 94% of high school youth report that they have not misused prescription drugs in the past 30-days in Drug-Free Communities.

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