Marlborough to receive $15,000 for drug and alcohol awareness program

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Marlborough – Mayor Arthur G. Vigeant and State Representative Danielle Gregoire announced that the City of Marlborough will receive $15,000 in funding for drug and alcohol awareness from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The funding will be used, in part, to help support the Marlborough Youth Commission’s efforts to establish a city-wide campaign involving local businesses, students, parents and youth organizations to better educate the community on the dangers and consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.

“It is essential that we, as a community, do all we can to put our children in the best possible position to make educated decisions in life,” Vigeant said. “This funding will allow our Youth Commission to reach students outside of the classroom and engage the greater Marlborough community to join our efforts to create a safer, healthier environment for the city’s youth. I’m grateful for Rep. Gregoire’s support and efforts on our behalf.”

Rep. Gregoire reached out to the Mayor’s Office earlier this year to identify ways she can support the administration’s goals and initiatives at the state level.

“This funding was a top priority of mine going into budget debate this year,” she said. “With opiate abuse on the rise, it is critical that we do all that we can to ensure the safety of our young people. I am hopeful that this money will allow our community to educate students and parents on the dangers of substance abuse and will ensure that our businesses eliminate the sale of alcohol and tobacco products to minors.”

Kelley French, chair of the Marlborough Youth Commission, said she and her colleagues have been working for close to two years to assess the needs of the city’s youth population. They identified drug and alcohol education/awareness as one area that needed greater attention.

“The Youth Commission strongly believes that a city-wide, community approach to drug and alcohol awareness is the way to go. One of our first projects will be a student driven logo design contest that we hope will be the symbol of this effort for years to come,” French said. “This funding is essential to our future plans.”

The funding was secured through the Fiscal Year 2015 budget and comes from the Division of Substance Abuse Services under the Mass. Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Senator Jamie Eldridge also lent his assistance from the Senate side of the state legislature, which helped reinforce the priority of these funds.

The Mayor’s Office will be seeking City Council acceptance for these funds in the coming weeks as contractual paperwork with the state is finalized.