The United Way of the Wabash Valley on Tuesday announced a new grant opportunity available from its Substance Use Disorders Impact Council.

The United Way is soliciting proposals to expand prevention programs that focus on understanding the risks of substance use and/or programs that help to de-stigmatize substance use disorders through educational programs or campaigns.

United Way is making available up to $100,000 in funding to be provided over two years. Applicants will be allowed to apply for up to a maximum of $25,000 (per year) for investment in 2020 and 2021.

Organizations interested in applying can find the full request and all proposal documents on the United Way website at Letters of intent, the first step in the application process, are due Feb. 28.

Dr. Randy Stevens, a family practitioner with Union Health and a member of the Substance Use Disorders Impact Council, explained the grant opportunity.

“Our council has released two previous grants in 2019 that focused on treatment for those that are suffering from or in recovery from substance use disorders," Stevens said in a new release. "This grant instead focuses on two primary facets that we know can make a difference in our community, risk education for prevention and the stigma surrounding substance use.

"According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old. We must educate the children in our community on the risks associated with substance use in order to help curb use in our community.

"In addition, we know that there are many people who are suffering in silence because of the stigma surrounding substance use. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that only 19% of people who need help actually seek treatment. We want to help break the stigma of substance use and provide a bridge to get those who are suffering and their families the receive the help they desperately need,” Stevens said.  

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