Grant funding available to help communities prevent substance abuse

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Human Services announced a new round of community grants to prevent substance abuse. The agency’s Behavioral Health Division has committed $700,000 from the state’s federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant to support community implementation of strategies proven to decrease underage drinking, adult binge drinking and prescription drug abuse.

According to the most recent North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 30.8 percent of North Dakota high school students report alcohol use within the past 30 days. This is a dramatic drop from 59.2 percent reported in 2001.

“Sustaining and supporting prevention efforts is vital to solving North Dakota’s substance abuse challenges and helping North Dakotans lead healthier lives,” said Prevention Administrator Laura Anderson.

The department anticipates funding 10-15 communities. Application forms will be accepted from local public health units and tribal governments in North Dakota until Sept. 29. To be considered, communities cannot currently be receiving other prevention grant funding. 

“Prevention makes economic sense, saving $64 for every $1 invested,” Anderson said.  

The grant funding is part of an ongoing effort to increase community capacity to implement effective prevention. Proven practices include policies addressing retail and social access, communication strategies changing social norms, and enforcement strategies to prevent underage drinking, adult binge drinking and prescription drug abuse. 

The grant contract will run from Oct. 15, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018. Grant-funded activities will complement, not duplicate, other prevention activities already underway in North Dakota. These include Partnership for Success: Underage Drinking Prevention grants awarded to eight public health units and two tribes, Opioid State Targeted Response grants awarded to five communities, other block grant funding for tribal alcohol and other drug prevention programs, Parents Lead, the Stop Overdose collaboration, and the state’s Prevention Resource Media Center (https://prevention.nd.gov/).

For more information or to apply, contact Anderson at lauranderson@nd.gov.