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Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Local Drug Crises Grants



Application Deadline: Apr 1, 2021


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Awards funding to communities to prevent and reduce the use and misuse of opioids, methamphetamines, or prescription medications among youth ages 12-18. Works with community leaders to identify local opioid, methamphetamine, and/or prescription misuse and limit youth access to substances. Aims to create sustainable, community-level change by changing the culture, context, attitudes, consequences, and decision-making associated with youth substance use. Program strategies and activities include:

  • Raising awareness of youth opioid, methamphetamine, and prescription drug use through educational presentations, workshops, seminars, public service announcements (PSAs), brochures, social media, web communication, and other forms of outreach
  • Strengthening the skills of participants, members, and staff to promote community education and patient safety through training and technical assistance activities, including workshops, seminars parenting classes, strategic planning retreats, and model school programs
  • Supporting increased involvement in healthy, drug-free alternative activities, including mentoring, support groups, youth clubs, and referrals for service
  • Improving systems and processes to increase access to prevention services for youth by incorporating components such as transportation, housing, education, safety, and cultural sensitivity into program initiatives
  • Altering consequences around youth behaviors in order to incentivize positive practices and disincentivize negative behaviors
  • Reorganizing the physical design of a community to reduce risk and enhance protections for youth against opioid, methamphetamine, and prescription drug use
  • Informing community partners about policy changes that can reduce access to and availability of substances to youth, including changes to workplace initiatives, school policies, legal procedures, public policy actions, and systems change

Additional information about expected program strategies, short-, intermediate-, and long-term outcomes can be found in the funding announcement on

Applicants are encouraged to implement strategies that focus on underserved populations and those at higher risk of certain forms of substance use and misuse, which include:

  • Black and Hispanic youth
  • LGBTQ+ youth
  • Non-English speakers
  • People with limited health literacy
  • Tribal youth
  • Youth in rural areas and other geographically underserved communities

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $50,000 per year
Project period: 5 years
Estimated number of awards: 60
Estimated total program funding: $15,000,000

Who Can Apply

The statutory authority for this program, Section 103 of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, limits eligibility to domestic public and private nonprofit entities that are current or former Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program recipients.

Eligible applicants are community-based coalitions addressing local youth opioid, methamphetamine, and/or prescription drug use or misuse. In addition, any entity may apply that the Administrator determines to be appropriate or is part of/associated with an established legally recognized domestic nonprofit. Examples include:

  • State and local governments
  • Federally recognized tribes
  • State recognized tribes
  • Urban Indian organizations
  • Public or private universities and colleges
  • Professional associations
  • Voluntary organizations
  • Self-help groups
  • Consumer and provider services-oriented constituency groups
  • Community and faith-based organizations
  • Tribal organizations

Applicants are also required to document rates of misuse of opioids or methamphetamines that are higher than the national average over a sustained period of time.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • Operating Costs and Staffing • Training Providers

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the online application process can be found in the funding announcement on


For programmatic or technical questions:
Wendy Heirendt

For grants management or budget questions:
Daniel Jackson

Rural Awards

Rural communities that received funding in FY 2021 include:

  • Health Care and Rehab. Services of Southeastern Vermont, Inc. in Bellows Falls, Vermont
  • Professional Care Services of West TN, Inc. in Covington, Tennessee
  • Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, Inc. in Brodhead, Wisconsin

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Health Education for Community and Patients • Methamphetamine • Opioids • Pain Management and Opioid Prescribing • Prevention • Substance Use Disorder • Youth