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DuPage County Health Department News

Posted on: November 1, 2019

PLT Receives Funds to Continue Youth Substance Use Prevention

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DUPAGE COUNTY—The DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team (PLT) has been awarded a Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grant, which will provide the coalition with five more years of funding to continue working to prevent youth substance use.

The DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use. Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local substance use problems.

“The renewal of the Drug Free Communities grant indicates both the impact of the PLT over the past five years as well as proving the need to continue working to prevent youth substance use in DuPage,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director, DuPage County Health Department.

Since the PLT received its first DFC Grant in 2014, significant strides have been made in youth substance use prevention. The rate of DuPage County 12th graders reporting past-30-day alcohol use decreased six-percent from 2014 to 2018. During the same time period, according to data collected through the Illinois Youth Survey, the number of 12th graders reporting past-30-day use rates of prescription drugs not prescribed to them decreased two-percent.

The PLT has also advocated for many prevention policies, such as Tobacco 21 and civil-style social host ordinances to reduce underage drinking parties. Recently, the coalition has focused on the prevention of youth vaping and marijuana use and has worked with many local policymakers regarding recreational marijuana prevention policies.

For more information about PLT or to learn how to get involved, visit


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