SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio)— Rep. Seth Moulton announced Wednesday North Reading would be receiving a grant of $675,000 to help fight back against youth substance abuse.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Drug-Free Communities Support Program awarded the grant to North Reading Youth Substance Use Prevention Coalition. The grant will be used to reduce youth drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and work to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors in the town.
Rep. Moulton said in a statement the goal of this grant is to target a pre-pandemic issue with substance abuse in youths.
"Those public health crises haven’t ended, they just aren’t getting talked about as much," Rep. Moulton said in the statement." North Reading’s prevention coalition is doing amazing, and in many ways, unprecedented work to help people."
The coalition plans to use the grant to target four main substances—marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, and unprescribed prescription drugs.
“The success of the program and application is a statement to what a community can do when they come together to tackle a problem,” North Reading Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto said in a statement. “This highlights the fact that substance use is not a police, school, or family problem alone. It’s a community problem.”
The program includes five-year funding for coalitions in communities that can be renewed once before city or town funding must be included. North Reading is in its sixth year of funding.