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Deadline: March 29, 2018

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Drug-Free Communities Support Program

The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program has two goals:

  • Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private non-profit agencies, as well as federal, state, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth (ages 18 and under).
  • Reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.

A coalition is defined as a community-based formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration among groups or sectors of a community in which each group retains its identity, but all agree to work together toward a common goal of building a safe, healthy, and drug-free community. DFC funded coalitions are expected to utilize SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) as the planning model to develop long-range plans. The SPF is a five-step evidence-based process for community planning and decision-making. Cultural competence and sustainability should be considered throughout all five steps of the process, which includes:

  1. Assessment: Identify local youth substance use problems and the community conditions that contribute to the specific identified issues.
  2. Capacity: Mobilize/build capacity to change the conditions and address the youth substance use problems.
  3. Planning: Develop a logic model, comprehensive 12-month Action Plan, and multi-year Strategic Plan.
  4. Implementation: Implement action and strategic plans with multiple objectives, strategies, and activities.
  5. Evaluation: Monitor, sustain, improve, or replace prevention activities, efforts, and strategies.

Applicants are expected to choose strategies that will lead to community level change. Such strategies seek to: (1) limit access to substances; (2) change the culture and context within which decisions about substance use are made; and/or (3) shift the consequences associated with youth substance use. Evidence exists that well-conceived and implemented policies at the local, state, and national levels can reduce community level alcohol, tobacco, and other drug problems.

Amount: $15,000,000 is available to make 120 grants of up to $125,000 each, per year, for up to five years.

Eligibility: Community-based coalitions addressing youth substance use that have never received a DFC grant. The coalition must consist of one or more representatives from each of the following required 12 sectors:

  • Youth (18 or younger)
  • Parent
  • Business
  • Media
  • School
  • Youth-serving organization
  • Law enforcement
  • Religious/Fraternal organization
  • Civic/Volunteer groups (i.e., local organizations committed to volunteering, not a coalition member designated as a “volunteer”)
  • Healthcare professional or organization (i.e., primary care, hospitals, etc.)
  • State, local, or tribal governmental agency with expertise in the field of substance abuse (including, if applicable, the state agency with primary authority for substance abuse)
  • Other organization involved in reducing substance abuse

The coalition must demonstrate that members have worked together on substance abuse reduction initiatives for a period of not less than 6 months at the time of submission of the application, acting through entities such as task forces, subcommittees, or community boards. The coalition must have as its principal mission the reduction of youth substance use, which, at a minimum, includes the use and abuse of drugs in a comprehensive and long-term manner, with a primary focus on youth in the community. The coalition must have developed a 12-Month Action Plan to reduce substance use among youth which targets multiple drugs of abuse. Additional requirements for coalitions may be found in the solicitation.

Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grant-announcements/sp-18-002

Note: All applicants applying to the DFC Program are encouraged to attend one of the following pre-application workshops. To register for a workshop, go to: https://www.cmpinc.net/dfc.

  • January 23, 2018 Amarillo, Texas
  • January 25, 2018 Henderson, Nevada
  • January 31, 2018 Jackson, Mississippi
  • February 9, 2018 National Harbor, MD

If an applicant is unable to travel to a workshop, a recorded version will be posted to the DFC website by mid-January 2018. The workshop registration link and the link for the online videos can be found at

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