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MADISON — The Department of Public Instruction awarded $886,495 in grants to programs that will help reduce and prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs among students. Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) program grants will support work in 68 school districts throughout Wisconsin.
"Many of our funded schools will take a comprehensive approach to addressing AODA issues by employing multiple strategies. There is recognition of the need to look at students' use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco in the larger context, encompassing the mental health and well-being of the school community as a whole," State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said.
AODA program grants support teaching of skills and information along with necessary resources to prevent alcohol and drug use. These grants use multiple strategies and link resources from home, community agencies, and the school.
Both individual school districts and consortium projects, in which clusters of neighboring schools work together, could apply for the competitive grant awards. The grant recipients include 42 individual school districts and another 26 districts, which applied as part of four consortiums. Grants may be renewed for one additional year of funding through the 2021 school year.
In the latest results from the Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey, drawing on student responses gathered in 2017, use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana were all lower than they were in 2001, as was the prevalence of binge drinking and the number of students who said they were offered, given, or sold drugs at school. However, these numbers were still in the range of 8 to 24 percent. The 2017 survey was the first to ask students about prescription painkiller usage (such as opioids); 11.2 percent of students reported the unauthorized use of these medications. Results from the 2019 Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey are expected this fall.
A list of grant recipients is posted on the Alcohol and Drug Abuse webpage.