White House Drug Policy Office Awards Grant to Local Coalition to Prevent Youth Substance Use in Pequannock Township, NJ

September 2, 2016
Rockaway, NJ – Morris County Prevention is Key (MCPIK) has been awarded a Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to continue funding of the Pequannock Township Coalition (PTC) for the next five years. The grant will provide funding to PTC for preventing youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, and alcohol.

The DFC program provides grants of up to $625,000 over 5 years to community coalitions that facilitate citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are composed of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, the media, and others working together at the local level. The Pequannock Township Coalition was founded in 2010 and received initial DFC funding in 2011. This grant provides an additional 5 years of funding.

“Our mission is to prevent and reduce youth substance use through communication, education, and community wide change,” states Phyllis Minicuci, Project Coordinator. “Evidence-based environmental prevention is a powerful tool to counteract prescription drug misuse and other youth substance use in our community. We will use this funding to help youth in Pequannock make healthy choices about substance use, and to advocate for policy changes that reduce youth access to, and availability of, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.”

The Coalition has collaborated on policy changes such as placement of a permanent 24×7 medication disposal drop box at the Pequannock Twp. Police Department, and more recently a 2nd mobile collection unit, prevention initiatives such as the local Parents Who Host Lose the Most and Prevention Pinwheels campaigns, and has developed other community awareness campaigns to shift the community norm away from the inevitability of underage substance use or underage substance use as a “rite of passage” for youth.

Any Pequannock Twp. community member who wishes to be involved is welcome. The Pequannock Twp. Coalition meets once a month at the Pequannock Twp. High School. For more information, please call 973-625-1998 or email pminicuci@mcpik.org.
Morris County Prevention is Key is dedicated to the promotion of health and wellbeing of our community, prevention substance abuse, addiction, violence and related issues through heightened awareness, advocacy, education, programs, services, information and referrals.
Media Contact: Phyllis Minicuci, Project Coordinator, pminicuci@mcpik.org, 973-625-1009


The Pequannock Twp. Coalition welcomes new members

The Pequannock Twp. Coalition welcomes new members. Orientation/Information sessions are held twice a month. Please RSVP by calling Phyllis Minicuci, Coordinator, at 973-625-1998 for dates, times, and locations


Pinwheels at Pequannock High School represent young lives lost

POMPTON PLAINS — Forty Pequannock Township High School students from three clubs placed 500 pinwheels across the front lawn of the school Thursday — a day before the homecoming football game — to spread awareness about the dangers of underage drinking.

The Pinwheels Prevention Project, new to Morris County, is designed to visually represent the 5,000 Americans under the age of 21 who die as a result of drinking each year.

“Each pinwheel represents 10 deaths due to underage drinking,” said Phyllis Minicuci, project coordinator for the Pequannock Township Coalition. “It’s a very powerful statement and I’m proud of the students. They stepped up and did a terrific job.”

The statistic, from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, breaks down grimly: 1,900 lives are lost in motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 in homicides, 300 from suicides, and hundreds more from injuries caused by drownings, falls and burns.