CLARION - The Clarion County Drug Free Coalition learned last week it has earned a $625,000 grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The grant will provide $125,000 annually for five years. Clarion County Drug Free Coalition is one of just 201 national grant receipts.

The grant funding will cover the hiring of a coalition coordinator, as well as expenses to host community awareness events, provide youth prevention programs, and implement substance abuse prevention campaigns throughout Clarion County.

The coalition can reapply for an additional five years of funding.

The Clarion County Drug Free Coalition is organized by Armstrong Indiana Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission and was established in 2010.

Preventing youth substance use is critical to ending the drug crisis in America. The Drug Free Communities Support Program is the nation's leading effort to organize communities to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.

Created in 1997 by the Drug Free Communities Act, administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and now managed by CDC, the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the structure among local partners, and to create and sustain a reduction/elimination in local youth substance use.

Recognizing local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and service a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use troubles.

The coalition is open to the public and meets at 10 a.m. on the fourth Friday of every month. Currently, coalition meetings are virtual due to COVID. If you are interested in joining the Clarion County Drug Free Coalition, please call 814-226-6350, ext. 106 for more information.

AICDAC is also encouraging residents to like Clarion County Drug Free Coalition's Facebook page to stay up to date on trends, community events, and local resources.