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Norwood organization awarded White House grant to battle substance abuse

Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 19:52:22-04

CINCINNATI — ASAP Norwood, a local organization working to prevent substance abuse, received its largest grant to date to help battle the drug epidemic.

Comprised of Norwood residents and leaders who work to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in the city, the organization was awarded a Drug Free Communities grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The effort certainly takes a village, but it works to affect everyone in the community.

"Part of this is trying to break the cycle, which is really hard if you grow up in a home where that's all you've known," said Josh Stoxen, a pastor in Norwood.

ASAP Norwood is a community coalition comprised of 12 sectors that work to advocate substance abuse prevention in Norwood. They work to combat the challenges of a location between two highways, where the influx of drugs into the community is larger, educate youth and community members and provide Narcan to adults who come to them asking for help.

The $125,000 five-year grant is the largest the coalition has ever received, allowing the organization to jump into their mission with a fresh perspective on what they're able to do for people.

"Secure funding for five years allows us to take a risk, allows us to do things maybe we wouldn't do or try," said Deb Robison, a 22-year Norwood resident in the organization. "Things we wouldn't try, because the money is there, the sustained commitment is there."

Youth Voice co-coordinator and member of ASAP Norwood Glenna Edwards said she's all too familiar with how this kind of funding and commitment can help change lives -- for her, this group comes full circle.

"I grew up in a home where there were alcoholics and some prescription drug misuse," said Edwards. "I often wonder about what would've happened to me if there weren't caring adults in my life who said there were better ways to do things and protect your brain."