The West Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council, part of the prevention division of the West Feliciana Sheriff’s Office, has received a grant from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Behavioral Health to implement the Louisiana Partnership for Success Program.

West Feliciana Parish is part of the statewide grant-funded program of $11.3 million over five years to enhance community collaboration to reduce substance use among youth and young adults with a focus on underage drinking and prescription drug misuse and abuse, according to a news release.

The funding level of the parish grant is based on approved activities.

The Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council, established in 1984, is supported by volunteers, local businesses, community leaders, school officials and members of law enforcement.

Drug education programs are provided throughout the year, and the mission of the council is to educate and inform children and families in the St. Francisville community as well those throughout the parish about the dangers of drug and alcohol use and the importance of making good choices, the release said.

Council Director Ivy Cutrer, a former chief deputy, and Assistant Director Luanne Vaccaro carry out the council’s activities, programs and events.

Jacqueline Schott has been hired as the LaPFS grant program coordinator to work with the council on planned prevention initiatives.

“This funding will allow the council to implement additional strategies to reduce substance use among our youth. We will be seeking strong community engagement and commitment,” Cutrer said.

Capital Area Human Services will provide fiscal management and administrative support for the grant-funded program.

For information, contact Cutrer at wfso@bsf.net, Vaccaro at lvaccaro@wfpso.org or Vivian Gettys, CAHS director of prevention services, at vivian.gettys@la.gov.

“As a rural parish, we face unique challenges to reaching our youth, so the LaPFS funding to build capacity in our community to address youth substance use will be key to our success,” said Amy Betts, a CAHS board member and member of the council.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our agency to partner with the West Feliciana Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council to address the problem of substance use and create community-level change in the interest of public health and safety,” said CAHS Executive Director Jan Kasofsky.

The Drug and Alcohol Awareness Council will develop a first-year action plan that uses an evidence-based, multistrategy approach, the release said.

The council will launch the West Feliciana LaPFS program with activities, including public events and a media campaign, to provide information and to invite participation from community members.