Renewal of federal program to combat nation’s ‘drug problem’

Local News

WASHINGTON (News4Utah) – Utah has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic and overdose deaths. The

White House said it is trying to do its part by hosting a drug-free community support program.

President Donald Trump has called the opioid epidemic a national emergency, but he says opioids are only part of a bigger national drug problem.

“Many of us have had a friend, colleague, or a loved one who has struggled with dependency, I have…” said Trump.

The White House says to help it’s renewing federal funding for anti-drug programs in 731 communities.

The grants, first established in 1998, help people like Amy Haskins of West Virginia warn kids about the dangers of drugs.

“We work specifically on providing information, we teach classes in our school system, that are substance abuse prevention classes, “said Haskins with the WV Anti-Drug Coalition.

Haskins says her group’s anti-drug training reaches kids as young as four and five.

Communities awarded the grant money will receive about $125,000 each, but those communities also have to put their own money in. The grants require a dollar for dollar match.

Trent Coffee runs an anti-drug program near Knoxville, Tennessee. He says the money will help him fight recent spikes in addiction.

“We’re starting to see a resurgence of heroin and crystal meth come back into our community we have to do a comprehensive approach and address it all,” said Coffee with Schools Together Allowing No Drugs.

This year’s grants will be distributed starting October first.

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