AmeriCorps, Senior Corps Awards $14.9 Million to Address Nation’s Opioid Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Oct 24, 2018

Investment will support 1,800 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers in all 50 states

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service, announced it has invested more than $14.9 million in opioid-related AmeriCorps and Senior Corps projects to address the current epidemic. The federal investment supports 1,800 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers in all 50 states.   

CNCS funding is provided to nonprofits, faith-based, and community organizations working to expand the reach and impact of substance abuse education, prevention, and recovery efforts. Working in police stations, hospitals, schools, and other locations, the AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers supported with this funding build the capacity of anti-drug organizations by raising funds, recruiting volunteers, and local task-force planning and coordination efforts.

AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers also serve as recovery coaches, build capacity for anti-drug organizations, expand drug abuse education, promote the safe disposal of medication, conduct drug screenings and assessments, help prevent relapse and recidivism, and more. A list of opioid-focused programs and locations can be found here.

“The opioid epidemic will take an all-hands-on-deck effort and everyone has a role to play,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “By using our nation’s greatest resource – the American people – we can begin to make an impact on this costly crisis, one small step at a time. I’m proud that national service is a part of the solution to this public health emergency.”  

CNCS recently released a new mini-documentary about its work to combat the opioid epidemic. It spotlights three CNCS-funded programs: the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition RSVP program, the Rio Arriba Opioid Support and Outreach VISTA project, and the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative AmeriCorps program, each of which is taking a different approach to address its community’s unique needs.

This year, the agency is reinforcing its commitment to the issue by joining the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 27. This twice-yearly event provides an opportunity for Americans across the country to do their part in the fight against opioid misuse simply by safely disposing of unwanted prescription medications.

For the past two years, the agency has prioritized opioids and substance abuse programming in its funding competitions and program guidance. Opportunities for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps funding are currently available.

For more than two decades, CNCS has supported substance abuse prevention strategies by employing positive youth development through in-school, afterschool, tutoring, and mentoring programs that help youth stay on track, graduate ready for college or career, and refrain from risky behaviors, including illegal drug use.

AmeriCorps programs are recruiting now for new positions that will help prevent and reduce opioid abuse or support recovery from drug addiction. Those interested in serving can learn more by visiting joinAmeriCorps.gov.

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