NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (July 13, 2022) – Officials with the group previously known as the county’s anti-drug coalition are expressing appreciation and highlighting the benefits of a federal grant to prevent teen drug abuse.
Empower Tusc is receiving its fourth annual installment of $125,000 as part of the five-year Drug Free Communities grant. It’s been used on everything from developing strategic plans to distributing brochures and pamphlets.
Empower Tusc Coordinator Jodi Salvo says the $625,000 grant has been instrumental for drug prevention coalitions all over the nation.
“Communities that have that Drug Free Communities grant absolutely have outcomes that show a reduction in youth substance use,” said Salvo.
She says those trends have been true in Tuscarawas County since 2018.
“I think we did good work prior to receiving that grant, but the grant was the game-changer. It allowed us to sustain events, efforts, initiatives,” she said.
Salvo says the grant also made it possible for her and Tuscarawas County Commissioner Kerry Metzger to go through three weeks of extensive training in 2018, which still has value to this day.
“They really help you just kind of drill down to root causes of youth substance use, to really look at communities, to be very mindful on engaging a 12-sector representation,” said Salvo.
Salvo says Empower Tusc will also get to reapply next April to obtain the grant for another five years.