Youth substance abuse coalition receives funds

Thursday, October 2, 2003

The Southeast Missouri Youth Substance Abuse Coalition, formed by the Area Wide United Way, has been awarded $5,000 by the Missouri Department of Mental Health's Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program.

Earlier this year the coalition was also awarded a $5,000 one-time grant from the Area Wide United Way. Funds from the two grants will be used to gather and analyze youth alcohol, drug and tobacco resource and programming information in the Cape Girardeau and Jackson areas. Jim Maginel, project coordinator, said the information will be used by the coalition to help develop a comprehensive community plan designed to increase coordination of alcohol, tobacco and drug resources and reduce the incidence of substance abuse among youths.

Information packets have been sent to area agencies and organizations that could potentially run a youth substance abuse prevention, intervention and/or treatment program, asking them to complete a survey for each program offered. In an effort to make this survey a comprehensive listing of all area programs, organizations that did not receive survey information are asked to contact Maginel at 651-5153.

According to the 2002 student survey conducted by the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are the most commonly abused substances among youths age 10-18.

The Area Wide United Way formed the Southeast Missouri Youth Substance Abuse Coalition in 2000 in response to a 1999 community assessment which identified youth substance abuse as one of four top area problems. The other three were transportation, affordable housing and assistance to low income families.

For more information on this project contact Maginel, project consultant, Southeast Regional Support Center at 651-5153.

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