SCOPE Health Council received a five year federal grant that will bring $125,000 per year into Socorro County for substance misuse prevention.
SCOPE will use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant to target underage alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, with a specific focus on e-cigarettes, said SCOPE Coordinator Sam Winter.
“With the younger kids it’s really good to educate them young. Kids are being exposed a lot sooner than we think to a lot of these substances,” said Winter.
The grant will fund purchasing a curriculum to use in local schools and hiring three people.
SCOPE will need a project director to make sure the grant operates appropriately, a full time project coordinator and a part time prevention specialist.
“A lot of these unfortunately are not just kids with substance misuse. These kids are doing it as a coping mechanism to battle some of their other traumas,” she said.
“If we can show them that there is a better way, show them that there is mental health help available, show them that these coping mechanisms are not a viable option then hopefully we can turn some of these things around.”
The grant term begins Oct. 1.
SCOPE also regularly offers free Narcan trainings and has free drug lock boxes available at their office in The Hub.