Rep. LaHood secures $125k to prevent youth substance use in Tazewell County


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18), announced Wednesday that the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has awarded $125,000 to the Tazewell Health Department’s Tazewell Teen Initiative (TTI) as part of their Drug-Free Communities Support Program.

This funding will support efforts by the Tazewell Teen Initiative to prevent youth substance use, reduce teens’ access to alcohol, and raise awareness about the dangers of opioids and other drugs. 

The funding awarded to Tazewell Teen Initiative is great news for Tazewell County and will help keep young people in central Illinois safe. I applaud President Trump and his team for recognizing that local problems need local solutions by supporting Tazewell Teen Initiative’s efforts through this funding. I’ll continue to work with this Administration to reduce youth substance use in central and west-central Illinois.

Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18)

“The goal of TTI is to make Tazewell County a safe and drug-free place for our youth,” said John Shallenberger, Chair of Tazewell Teen Initiative. “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract drug use in our community, and this funding will help do just that.”

“Tazewell Teen Initiative started when we had 15 deaths in 15 months in 2005-2006,” said Sara Sparkman the Communications Manager for the Tazewell Co. Health Department. “So we’ve been working to continue to be able to work in the community, to build awareness, do some prevention activity to make sure that kids are not drinking. Unfortunately some of the data shows us that right now more teenagers are driving under the influence of marijuana than alcohol. That’s something we want to change with this funding.”


The Tazewell Teen Initiative is a community coalition under the Tazewell County Health Department that provides training to community members, raises awareness on prescription drug medication abuse, reduces access to alcohol, and increases public awareness on the dangers of drugs.

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.

Rep. LaHood has made addressing the opioid crisis a priority for his office, hosting round-tables across the district with local stakeholders, including Peoria, Springfield, and twice in Quincy. Rep. LaHood has also voted in favor of legislation, such as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act, both of which expanded resources to combat the opioid epidemic.

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