Family Services of the Merrimack Valley Receives Youth Substance Use Prevention Grant

Mass. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. (Courtesy photograph.)

Family Services of the Merrimack Valley was one of 31 organizations this week to share $3.8 million in state grants for youth substance use prevention programs.

This is the third round of awards under the Massachusetts Collaborative for Action, Leadership and Learning under the Substance Misuse Prevention Grant Programs. The grants will be distributed over eight years. The money originates with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and distributed by the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Department of Public Health.

“With these awards we are ensuring that substance use prevention programs expand across communities for youth outreach especially amid unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “Supporting these programs is crucial to our goal of preventing high-risk outcomes for youth struggling with substance use, including school drop-out, criminal justice involvement, or death.”

Goals of the program are to help communities with limited or no ability to create evidence-based prevention programs, policies and practices to prevent youth substance misuse; support existing programs with a focus on substances of first use, such as alcohol, nicotine and cannabis; and provide expert assistance in examining and disseminating new and emerging practices that have the potential to fill gaps in current prevention scientific evidence.

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