The United States is currently facing an overwhelming and undeniable problem with substance abuse. An inability to examine and solve this issue comes at a high price, costing our nation both financially and emotionally.
In 2015, the economic cost of the opioid epidemic alone was six times previous years, costing the federal government $504 billion .
Infinitely more important than the financial cost of the substance abuse epidemic is the loss of precious and irreplaceable lives, of which 64,000 were lost in 2016 due to drug overdoses .
One of the most effective ways to battle this issue is through increasing community programs and support.
Unfortunately, limited financial resources often make implementing and maintaining these programs challenging. Obtaining financial assistance from government grants can help communities combat drug abuse and support citizens in overcoming addiction.
A Few Grants Offered by the Federal government’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP):
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program :
Created in 1988 with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, this grant is available to areas found to be critical drug-trafficking regions and provides Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies with assistance intended to:
- Facilitate cooperation among these entities to share information and implement coordinated enforcement activities .
- Enhance law enforcement intelligence.
- Provide information needed to design effective enforcement strategies and operations.
- Support coordinated law enforcement strategies which maximize the use of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas in the US as a whole .
Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program:
This program, initiated in 1997, is the “Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use .”
For the DFC Program, the ONDCP partners with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide local solutions for local problems. The grant is given to community coalitions to bolster programs that reduce youth substance use and abuse.
The program has proven to be effective, showing a significant decline in the misuse of prescription drugs and use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana in both middle and high school students .
For the Fiscal Year 2017, 719 grants were awarded to community coalitions across the US, marking the highest in the program’s history .
These are only a few of the grants offered by the Federal government to fight the substance abuse epidemic in the U.S. For more information on these grants, and how your organization can apply, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/grants-programs 
It is unequivocally true that every individual is capable of overcoming addiction, but it is also true that doing so is made easier with the proper treatment and support.
If you want to help those in your community overcome addiction, get involved with your local programs and coalitions and consider applying for grants that assist in providing the best treatment and support.
About the Author: Margot Rittenhouse is a therapist who is passionate about providing mental health support to all in need and has worked with clients with substance abuse issues, eating disorders, domestic violence victims and offenders, and severely mentally ill youth.
As a freelance writer for Eating Disorder and Addiction Hope and a mentor with MentorConnect, Margot is a passionate eating disorder advocate, committed to de-stigmatizing these illnesses while showing support for those struggling through mentoring, writing, and volunteering. Margot has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
 Roubein, R. (2017). White house: economic cost of opioid crisis about $504B. The Hill. Retrieved on 19 November 2017 from http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/361151-white-house-economic-cost-of-opioid-crisis-about-504b.
 National Institute on Drug Abuse (2017). Overdose death rates, National Institute of Health, Retrieved on 19 November 2017 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates.
 Office of National Drug Control Policy (2017). Grants & programs. The White House, Retrieved on 19 November 2017 from https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/grants-programs.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published on January 28, 2018.
Published on AddictionHope.com