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Frostburg State University Achieves Federal Drug-Free Communities Grant
11/06/2014

Frostburg Community Coalition Maryland Grant Increased

Frostburg State University’s and the Frostburg Community Coalition’s efforts to combat high-risk and underage drinking and engage the local community in these efforts have netted a highly competitive Drug-Free Communities Grant, a five-year federal award that will provide $625,000 to further this work. Matching funds from the University will translate into a total of $1.25 million toward addressing community-level concerns regarding youth substance abuse.

This news comes on the heels of an increase in the Maryland Strategic Prevention Framework (MSPF) grant from $74,000 to $251,000. The MSPF initial grant, through the Allegany County Health Department, is what formed the Frostburg Community Coalition in 2011.

“The broad-based, research-supported approaches employed by the Frostburg Community Coalition have helped our community make great strides in keeping our young people safe from the harms of early substance abuse,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “High-risk drinking all too frequently begins in high school or earlier, and this extremely competitive grant will provide significant resources to stem this trend at its source.”

The Frostburg Community Coalition has brought together representatives of the University, Mountain Ridge High School, parents, high school and college students, community leaders, business owners, government officials, property managers, law enforcement and University neighborhood residents in efforts to find collaborative solutions. The Coalition benefits from more than 40 actively involved members.

The Drug-Free Communities grant is given to existing community coalitions that have shown effectiveness and will parallel the Maryland funding formula. Only four new DFC grants were awarded to coalitions in the state of Maryland this year.

The expansion of funding to the Frostburg Community Coalition has allowed it to add Westmar and Mount Savage middle schools and their surrounding communities to its area of focus, as research indicates that underage drinking often starts even before high school. Addressing marijuana abuse will be an added focus, as well.

The funding will allow for the expansion of surveillance of parties that might become unruly; “knock-and-talks” in which police make contact with potential party sites earlier in the day to offer reminders of noise and underage drinking prohibitions; promotion of the anonymous tip hotline, 301-687-STOP (7867); and development of efforts to discourage parents from hosting underage drinking parties.

Other successful current efforts that will be continued or expanded as a result of these two grants are responsible beverage service (TIPS) training for all servers working at alcohol-serving establishments that have signed the FCC Cooperating Alcohol Agreement, additional police patrols in the University neighborhood during high-activity weekends, online AlcoholEdu educational program for students in Mountain Ridge health classes and messages in a variety of media designed to discourage underage drinking and educate parents about the risks of serving alcohol at teenage parties.

“I congratulate prevention advocates for their continuing hard work and dedication to young people, many of whom are struggling with peer pressure and other challenges in today’s society,” said Michael Botticelli, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program is directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services. The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts.

For more information on the Frostburg Community Coalition, contact coordinator Lyndsey Baker at 301-687-4892 or lkbaker@frostburg.edu.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu