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Community group receives $600K federal grant; SGF schools will benefit

May 13, 2015

The Prevention Council and the South Glens Falls Community Coalition for Family Wellness (CCFW) have been awarded $627,300 in grant money over a four and a half year period to address prescription opiate and heroin abuse and opiate overdose prevention in northern Saratoga County. The coalition is one of 10 coalitions in New York State to receive a Partnership for Success grant from the NYS Office on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“We are pleased to have funding to address the serious increase in illicit prescription opiate and heroin abuse. As the demographics of opiate use change, the impact is being felt in small suburban communities like those in northern Saratoga County,” said Jenn Wood, CCFW Coalition Coordinator. “Opiate abuse, whether pills or heroin, has a high potential for addiction and risk of death from overdose.”

The coalition covers the geographic boundaries of the South Glens Falls Central School District including the village of South Glens Falls, town of Moreau, parts of Wilton and Northumberland and the hamlet of Gansevoort. “This funding, whose focus is on 12- to 25-year-olds, gives us the ability to create and implement tools to reverse the dangerous trend of opiate abuse in our communities,” said Donna Nichols, Moreau Community Center Executive Director.

“The South Glens Falls Central School District continues to benefit from the outstanding programming and support provided by the Community Coalition For Family Wellness,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton. “We are very excited that the Coalition has been awarded the Partnership For Success Grant and look forward to educating our students and community members about the major risks involved with prescription medicine and heroin abuse. Our goal as a community is to help our teenagers choose to live a safe and healthy lifestyle free of alcohol and substances. These funds will help us better achieve this goal.”

Funding will be used to hire staff and conduct assessments of the opiate and heroin problem in the community among youth and young adults. In response to the findings, research-based initiatives will be identified and implemented. Additionally, the coalition will mentor another community coalition to carry out similar efforts.

“Law enforcement has a central role in solving this problem. But law enforcement can’t do it alone. We can be more effective when we attack this epidemic in heroin use from multiple angles,” Sheriff Michael Zurlo said. “Our partnership with CCFW is an exciting opportunity to do this.”

Over the past five years, the Community Coalition for Family Wellness (CCFW) has initiated a Parent University program, developed student leadership, and continued a social norms campaign to address youth overestimation of substance use by peers, along with other efforts to reduce substance use by youth. The Prevention Council will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant, and provide technical support and guidance to the Community Coalition for Family Wellness as needed. For more information about the Prevention Council, visit www.preventioncouncil.org.

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