A $125,000 Drug Free Communities Support Program grant will allow the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of Jackson County to continue its efforts to curb drug use among young people across the Upper Cumberland. In announcing the grant Congressman Bart Gordon said, “Youth living in rural areas can be especially susceptible to drug and alcohol use if they feel there aren’t other activities they find interesting. This coalition helps make sure there are lots of alternatives to fill that void.”
Supporters say the coalition works to promote drug-free activities for young people in Jackson County and across the region, collaborating with educational groups, faith-based groups and local law enforcement to reduce youth substance abuse. The coalition brought on new staff this year and has expanded its efforts to work with more of the surrounding counties, including Clay, DeKalb, Overton, Macon, Putnam and Smith Counties. Because fatalities among teens are highest around graduation week, the coalition sponsors Jackson County's Project Graduation, a lock-in event which had a high participation rate this year. Officials say they hope to use the grant to build on the success of Project Graduation to create similar events surrounding the prom.