Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
Both houses of Congress seem to be of like mind regarding the future of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) program: eliminate the formula-based state grants portion of the program and shift a portion of the funding to competitive national grants.
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to zero out the $295-millon SDFSC state grants program and add $84.6 million to the national grants program, which would receive $224.9 million in FY2010 under the Senate plan. Earlier, the House Appropriations Committee also voted to end the state grants program, while adding $54.7 million to the national program.
The Obama administration recommended ending the SDFSC state grants in its budget plan, as well. The program has long been criticized as being too diffuse to be effective, with thousands of school districts nationally getting sometimes tiny shares of the grant money to run school-based prevention programs. Over the years the program's budget has been trimmed, but the formula grants were never quite killed off.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and other advocates are urging supporters to call their representatives in Congress to request that the funding be restored.