Individual Grant Awards

Project Details


The mission of the Paterson Coalition Against Substance Abuse (P-CASA) is to foster collaboration among key community sectors in an effort to increase the capacity for environmentally based substance abuse prevention activities throughout the community. To meet the goals of the DFC Grant Program, P-CASA will: 1) increase community collaboration throughout Paterson’s 1st and 4th Wards; and 2) reduce alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drug/over-the-counter (OTC) medication abuse among the city’s youth aged 12–17, who are predominantly of African American and Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. Our objectives in meeting these goals are guided by the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), and with DFC support we seek to improve the assessment, capacity-building, planning, implementation, evaluation capabilities of our Coalition by 10% in Year 1. We also expect to see a 10% reduction during Year 1 in alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drug/OTC medication use as a result of various youth-led initiatives, such as a social marketing/social norms campaign, community outreach and prevention-related education activities, policy advocacy efforts, with these results being sustained over the duration of the initiative. P-CASA intends to reach between 5,000 to 7,500 individuals annually (youth, peer, and parents/caregivers), with approximately 37,500 being served over the five-year project period. With the help of an influential in-city network (including students, parents, civic associations, faith-based organizations, schools, social service agencies, law enforcement, and media), P-CASA has already moved Paterson toward many positive outcomes: reduced access to alcohol for minors; greater awareness about the dangers of adolescent substance use; and policy-change efforts surrounding alcohol distribution throughout the city. But there is much more work to be done. Paterson residents accounted for 49% of the 4,372 drug treatment admissions in Passaic County, NJ, in 2016; 27.1% of residents live below the poverty line in this economically disadvantaged community; high unemployment rates (12.7%) outpace state (6.3%) and national (5.5%) averages; high school dropout rates are among the highest in the state. P-CASA surveys provide even more detail about how difficult life is for the youth who live within the city: 30% of Paterson youth said they used alcohol before the age of 13; 20% used alcohol in the last 30 days; 60% purchased alcohol from liquor stores; and 40% admitted to having adults purchase their alcohol; 43% of Paterson youth don’t believe marijuana increases their risk of harmful consequences; a significant spike in marijuana use was observed from 9th (8.5%) to 10th (30.5%) grade with slightly more than 21% of male youth having smoked marijuana over the past 30 days; and there is growing popularity of prescription drugs among teens. Despite these concerns, P-CASA has demonstrated that cultivating opportunities for community stakeholders to support the healthy development of young people can contribute to increasing pro-social norms and reduced substance use rates.

Effective start/end date1/01/18 → …


  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: $125,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.