Partners in Prevention, a community alliance of local resources, is the operational and inspirational energy behind Mount Kisco’s identity as a Drug Free Community (DFC).
In October 2012, the Town of Mount Kisco was awarded a federal DFC grant to be administered by the Mount Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council. With this $125,000-a-year award, renewable each year for up to ten years, Mount Kisco became one of approximately only 640 communities nationwide who are funded for the task of building a local community infrastructure that can create and sustain a reduction in alcohol and drug use among local youth.
To elevate both the importance and visibility of the work to be done, the Mount Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council established a dedicated project to fulfill the mission of the grant and branded it “Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention.”
The Drug Free Communities program (DFC), created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, is the nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the DFC program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners and, through them, create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.
The overall mission of Partners in Prevention is to reduce underage drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug abuse among local youth by strengthening community collaboration, and implementing action to address local conditions as revealed by regularly gathered research data. The immediate goal of the coalition is to reduce underage drinking by addressing parent attitudes and parent understanding of the risks and issues.
Recognizing the fundamental concept that local problems need local solutions, Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, like other DFC-funded coalitions, engages all sectors of the community and employs a variety of environmental strategies to address local drug and alcohol conditions. By involving the community in a solution-oriented approach, the program also helps those youth at risk for substance use to recognize that the majority of our nation’s young people choose not to use drugs or alcohol.
With fifteen years of program evaluation in evidence, DFC communities have proven to be more effective in addressing these complex social issues, and have demonstrated an increase in positive outcomes over communities that do not. Mount Kisco Partners in Prevention, funded by Mount Kisco’s DFC grant, offers a substantive opportunity for the community to make enduring inroads against the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs in Mount Kisco. The coalition strives for a community in which all individuals, families, and community sectors enjoy wellness and thrive.