Coalition For Healthy Communities Receives Five-Year Extension

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY — A $125,000 Drug Free Communities Support Program grant will allow The Coalition for Healthy Communities to continue its efforts to curb drug use among citizens of Middlesex County, NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. Executive Director Steven G. Liga announced Friday.

“The Coalition for Healthy Communities has seen great success in recent years, and these funds will help us reach out to even more people in our community,” Liga said.

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The Coalition was recently most visible at the annual Middlesex County Fair. It coordinates an annual county-wide Young Women’s Conference, conducts a bi-annual county-wide survey of middle and high school students regarding substance usage and attitudes, and serves as the catalyst for dozens of local events with its many partners.

The Coalition’s vision is for Middlesex County’s children and families to live in a healthy, thriving community free of substance abuse and related problems. The mission is to reduce substance abuse, especially among youth, by providing opportunities for increased collaboration, coordinated planning, and sharing of resources, thereby maximizing the quality and availability of services to the communities and residents of Middlesex County. The coalition has a membership of over 200 individuals who represent government, law enforcement, schools, youth, parents, social service agencies, religious/fraternal organizations, health care providers, and other organizations with the common goal of working together to prevent substance abuse in the community.

“The programs and services the coalition coordinates have significantly grown over the past six years,” Coalition Coordinator Linda Surks said. “This grant is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our community prevention partners.”

The Coalition for Healthy Communities brings together professionals from multiple disciplines who have a passion for the prevention and treatment of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse problems. Their mission is to reduce substance abuse, especially among youth, by providing opportunities for increased collaboration, coordinated planning, and sharing of resources in order to maximize the quality and availability of services to the communities and residents of Middlesex County.

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business.

The 169 new grantees were selected from 521 applicants nationwide. One other New Jersey Coalition received this grant and four other are currently funded.

For more information on The Coalition for Health Communities, to join its reinvigorated Childhood Drinking Task Force or the brand new Youth Task Force, contact Linda Surks at 732-254-3344 or linda@ncadd-middlesex.org.


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