FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUN STREET CENTERS RECEIVES $625,000 TO COMBAT UNDERAGE DRINKING AND DRUG USE IN SALINAS
SALINAS, CA (September 24, 2014) – The OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY announced Friday that Sun Street Centers will receive a $625,000 federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse, especially among minors. The Drug Free Communities matching grant is for $125,000 a year for 5 years and supports the PARTS Coalition (Preventing Alcohol Related Trauma in Salinas). PARTS is a coalition of volunteer community members, local high school students, parents, and health organizations creating environmental strategies that will reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuses in Salinas.
This matching Drug Free Communities grant is created to help spur local support to combat substance abuse in our city. Matching partners include Monterey County Behavioral Health; The Harden Foundation; The Monterey Peninsula Foundation; The Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation; and the sponsors and ticket buyers of the annual Castle of the Dead Haunted House and Pumpkin Patch. Director of Behavioral Health, Dr. Wayne Clark, stated “we need to deal with alcohol and drug prevention efforts now instead of the impact on homeless issues later.”
Recent health strategies implemented by PARTS and its youth component, Safe Teens Empowerment Project (STEPS) include, the Prescription Drug Take Back campaign in April, the Youth Summit last Summer, The Monterey County Social Host Ordinance to mirror the Salinas Ordinance, National Night Out in August, and the Kick Butts Campaign this Spring.
Our current Chair is Jim Lugg, retired from Chiquita/Fresh Express. Our previous Chair was recently deceased retired Deputy Police Chief, Vic Collins, who devoted 20 years to volunteering to help reduce substance abuse in our city. PARTS meets the second Thursday at Sun Street Centers’ prevention office, at 128 E Alisal St, from 12-1:30pm.
Special appreciation goes out to Congressman Sam Farr and his staff who lobbied in Washington DC for Salinas to get this grant last year after we were denied review. “Sun Street is working every day in our community to reverse the downward spiral created by underage drinking and drug abuse,” said Congressman Farr. “With this grant, Sun Street can help more young adults get the treatment they need to live healthier, more productive lives.”
Local juvenile alcohol and drug arrests, DUIs, juvenile drug overdoses, and alcohol, tobacco and other drug use has decreased steadily every year since 2008, According to local law enforcement statistics, California Highway Patrol, local emergency room reports, and the California Healthy Kids Surveys, respectively.