Kawaihau community group receives $75,000 to combat substance abuse

A Kapa’a organization has received a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce substance abuse in the Kawaihau District, the island’s most populated district, and one that includes are area that extends from Wailua to the greater Kapa’a area.

The grant was announced by the office of Rep. Patsy Mink, and will be granted through the federal Drug-Free Communities Support Program.

The Kawaihau Community Leadership Coalition will administer the grant, which is aimed at increasing the awareness of young people, parents, and the entire community about the problems and risks of substance abuse.

Using funds from the grant, the Kawaihau Community Leadership Coalition plans to sponsor a drug-free and safe community event, establish after-school programs, support drug-free workshops and clinics for substance abuse treatment and provide substance abuse training for community volunteers.

In its fourth year of operation, the DFCSP program has proven to be a positive impact on the community, Mink said in a prepared statement. Promotion of the program includes posting drug-free banners, putting signs up on fences and walls, declaring events drug-free, hosting discussions on the issue at civic and church activities, providing work-site training, soliciting community involvement and taking other preventive activities.

“Substance abuse is a serious concern in Hawaii,” said Mink. “With the total number of treatment admissions for drug and alcohol abuse increasing over 50 percent from 1994 through 1999, this funding goes to support an innovative project to instigate greater community involvement to combat substance abuse.”

The current partnerships between DFCSP and the Kawaihau Community Leadership Coalition will expand as the coalition enters into its fifth year of the program.


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