Great Falls Tribune: Two Montana groups to share $100K to fight drug abuse

Two Montana groups will share $100,000 in federal grants to focus on local drug crises and emerging drug abuses, Sen. Steve Daines said Friday.

The Substance Abuse Prevention Alliance in Great Falls and the Lincoln County Unite for Youth Coalition will each get $50,000 for communities’ efforts to combat local drug use, especially among youth.

“Montana’s meth and drug epidemic has taken lives and destroyed families,” Daines, R-Mont., said. “These critical funds will help Montana combat drug use and rebuild impacted communities.”

Daines said Montana had a 427 percent increase in methamphetamine violations from 2010-2015 and the 11 drug task forces in the state all reported meth as the primary drug encountered.

He also noted that 46 percent of children’s out-of-home placements with Montana’s child protective services agency that have parental substance use indicated involve meth, more than double the rate of any other drug.

The Alliance for Youth leads and coordinates the Substance Abuse Prevention Alliance.

The Alliance for Youth states its mission “is to connect community resources and provide opportunities for families, children and teens in order to advance healthy youth development.”

Its “‘Prevent Youth Substance Abuse Project’ aims to reduce youth alcohol, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine use and misuse of prescription drugs and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of substance abuse prevention efforts.”

It coordinates efforts among groups dealing with substance abuse such as United Way of Cascade County, Cascade City-County Health Department, the Great Falls Public School District and Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.