Sending Office: Honorable Sander M. Levin
Sent By:

FY 17 bipartisan signers (100 plus Members):

Sander Levin, Bill Johnson, Suzanne Bonamici, Alma S. Adams, Mark Takai, David Scott, Bill Keating, Mike Thompson, Donald M. Payne Jr. , David McKinley, Joyce Beatty, Bob Dold , Eric Swalwell, John Yarmuth, Joseph Kennedy III, Jim McGovern, Brendan F. Boyle,
Tom Marino, Frank Guinta, Curt Clawson, Bill Foster, Ann Mclane Kuster, John Katko, Donald Norcross, Judy Chu, John B. Larson, G.K. Butterfield, Lloyd Doggett, Mark Desaulnier, Norma Torres, Karen Bass, Debbie Dingell, Chris Gibson Donna F. Edwards, Scott
Peters, Robin Kelly, Raul M. Grijalva, Susan Brooks, Loretta Sanchez, Jim McDermott, Mike Fitzpatrick, Jared Huffman, Raul Ruiz, Chris Van Hollen, John L. Mica, Sean Patrick Maloney, Ron Kind, Matt Cartwright, Ami Bera, Brenda Lawrence, Julia Brownley, Cheri
Bustos, Yvette D. Clarke, Dave Loebsack, Bobby Scott, Madeleine S. Bordallo, Alcee Hastings, Hank Johnson, Lucille Roybal-Allard, John Garamendi, Jerry McNerney, Joe Courtney, Rick Larsen, Jackie Speier, Lois Capps, Rosa DeLauro, Chris Smith, Sheila Jackson
Lee, Chaka Fattah, André Carson, John Sarbanes, Peter Welch, Charles Rangel, Diana DeGette, Emanuel Cleaver, Elijah Cummings, David Cicilline, Danny Davis, Paul D. Tonko, Ryan A. Costello, Bill Pascrell Jr., Chellie Pingree, Ben Ray Lujan, Peter DeFazio, Linda
T. Sánchez, Marcia Fudge, Al Green, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Stephen F. Lynch, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Adam Smith, Corrine Brown, Ted Deutch, Brian Higgins, Patrick Meehan, Juan Vargas, Tim Walz, Zoe Lofgren, Katherine Clark, Grace Napolitano, Ann Kirkpatrick,
Terri A. Sewell, Cedric Richmond, Kathleen M. Rice, Frederica S. Wilson, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Louise M. Slaughter, Eliot L. Engel.


Support the Drug-Free Communities Program for FY 19


Dear Colleague,

Please join us in supporting the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) program in FY 2019 and ensuring it remains intact in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). DFC coalitions are a proven and cost-effective way to prevent youth drug use. They accomplish
this by assessing each community’s needs and implementing a set of mutually reinforcing programs, strategies, and activities throughout every sector such as schools, parents, health care, media, youth-serving and faith-based organizations, law enforcement
and businesses to address each community’s unique conditions.  

Independent studies (ICF International, National Evaluation of the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, 2016 Report) have found that Drug-Free Communities coalitions significantly reduce youth substance use and misuse. In communities with DFC coalitions,
past 30-day use of prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco have declined significantly among youth at both the middle and high school levels.  Given the effectiveness of the Drug-Free Communities program, we ask that you fund the program in FY 2019
at the FY 2018 appropriated level of $99 million.

The Drug-Free Communities Program has traditionally enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Please join this strong bipartisan effort in combating drug abuse. If you would like to sign the letter this year, please contact Eden (Rep. Levin) at or
Kelli Ripp (Rep. Johnson) at deadline to sign the letter is Wednesday, March 14th


March xx, 2019

Dear Chairman Graves and Ranking Member Quigley, and Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

We write in strong support for funding the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) program in FY 2019 at the FY 2018 appropriated level of $99 million.  We also ask that you include funding for training and technical assistance as specifically authorized by section
805 of P.L. 109-469, within the appropriated amount. In addition, we have serious concerns with the proposal to move the DFC program out of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(SAMHSA) and to  fund it by cutting SAMHSA’s existing prevention budget in the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) by $100 million. 

In the midst of a devastating opioid epidemic, the Drug-Free Communities program warrants stable funding in FY 2019 because it has proven effective in reducing youth substance use, including misuse of prescription drugs.  The program reduces drug use through
building a multi-sector coalition where schools, parents, law enforcement, health care, media and youth-serving and religious organizations work together to plan and implement a comprehensive set of evidence-based programs specifically tailored to each community’s
unique needs. Currently, 677 communities across the nation have Drug-Free Communities Coalitions that provide support to 2.4 million middle school students and 3.3 million high school students.   

According to independent research (ICF International, National Evaluation of the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, 2016 Report), in communities where DFC coalitions work, rates of past 30-day drug use among middle school students for alcohol, tobacco,
and prescription drugs declined by 27 percent, 32 percent, and 11 percent respectively. Among high school students in DFC-funded communities, rates for alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs declined by 19 percent, 28 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. 

The Drug-Free Communities program is structured to ensure effectiveness, outcomes, and sustainability. It requires a community to demonstrate local commitment before becoming eligible to receive federal funds. This includes participation from at least 12
sectors in the community. All grantees are required to provide a dollar-for-dollar match in non-federal funds, up to the maximum grant amount of $125,000 per year.  The required emphasis on local data collection, community buy-in and participation among multiple
sectors is central to DFC coalitions’ success. This emphasis also allows DFC coalitions to respond effectively at the local level to emerging drug trends such prescription drug misuse, heroin, meth, K2, spice, bath salts, and other synthetic drugs, as well
as misuse of over the counter drugs.

In order to continue achieving its goals, we believe the DFC program should remain in ONDCP. We have serious concerns about the proposal in the President’s FY 2019 budget request, to move the DFC program out of ONDCP into SAMHSA and fund it out of SAMHSA’s
existing budget, thus reducing other important drug prevention programs in SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention by $100 million. The DFC program has proven to be a very effective use of federal dollars, but we should not make the false choice of
funding it at the expense of other important federal drug prevention priorities.  Rather, we request that you maintain the existing funding structure, which has produced measurably positive results among youths.

The national evaluation for the DFC program has had stunning results. These are due to ONDCP’s consistent, high level leadership and commitment in managing all of the policy level components of the program. This has ensured that data collection and analysis
have been fully funded and prioritized, to enable the DFC program to show both national level outcomes for the entire program, as well as local outcomes for every grantee.

We urge you to fund the Drug-Free Communities program in FY 2019 at the FY 2018 appropriated level of $99 million and leave the program intact and funded in ONDCP.  This will ensure the maximum number of communities are equipped to effectively reduce all
types of youth drug use and have the results to prove it.  




Sander Levin                                                               Bill Johnson

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