Oregon City Together receives $20,000 grant for youth opioid prevention efforts

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The Oregon City Commission voted unanimously Nov. 15 to award Oregon City Together, partnered with the Oregon City School District, a $20,000 grant for youth opioid prevention efforts.

Funding for the grant came from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Oregon City Together, already known in the community for its drug addiction prevention efforts, applied for the funds to help create a new youth prevention program. The organization intends to use a intervention method to focus on youth mental health issues, due to the strongly documented connection between mental health and addiction.

According to the application, “Prevention strategies for youth are strengthened when they involve and engage youth as equal partners ultimately providing benefits for both the program and the involved youth. Thus, the primary element of the OCT project is a community-wide mental health promotion effort developed by youth for youth.”

The campaign will focus on students at Oregon City Service Learning Academy to develop a mental health promotion campaign that will be shared with students city-wide.

“OCSLA was chosen primarily because of its emphasis combining academic classroom curriculum with meaningful work and community service experiences,” said application materials.

The grant program is administered by the Oregon City Police Department, and is a program that has the full backing and support from the department’s leadership.

“Opioid addiction is one of the single largest issues facing not just Oregon City, but most cities, today,” said OCPD Chief Shaun Davis. “We are seeing a larger increase in drug overdoses and tragically, overdose deaths which many are attributed to Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. Many of the other issues a community faces have a nexus to drug addiction.”

The campaign is anticipated to run through June of 2024. Subsequent reports on the outcomes of the campaign will be delivered to the City Commission.


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