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Arizona to begin expansion of on-campus drug prevention programs with new funding

PHOENIX — Arizona high schools can start applying for state funding to create or expand on-campus drug prevention programs, according to the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family.

The Governor’s Office announced in January it would allocate $3.6 million to target substance abuse in high schools.

Now, schools can apply to receive that funding and address the problem of substance abuse from within.

“This is a new opportunity schools have not had before,” said Debbie Moak, director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family.

Moak said the issue of substance abuse is bigger than most Arizonans realize, with 90 percent of all addition starting in the teenage years.

In Arizona alone, on average kids try their first alcoholic beverage at 12, smoke marijuana for the first time at 13 and start abusing prescription drugs at 14.

But Moak said this funding is aimed to prevent kids from becoming another statistic. “It’s really all about preventing that first use,” she said.

Moak said parents who are interested in seeing these programs implemented in their child’s school should raise awareness to school administrators. High schools can apply for the funding online.      

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