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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of West Virginia

Monday, May 11, 2015

Drug Free Clubs of America honored for innovative commitment to drug prevention

Drug Free Clubs of America honored for innovative commitment to drug prevention

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Drug Free Clubs of America was presented today with the 2015 Community Outreach Award from United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, in recognition of its commitment to drug prevention.

In 2005, a dedicated group of firefighters in Cincinnati, were determined to find a way to loosen the grip of substance abuse in their community. Their vision was to remove the powerful temptation of peer pressure and make it easy for young people to make informed, healthy decisions. They founded Drug Free Clubs of America and developed a creative program. Students that join drug free clubs are subject to periodic, random drug tests. Schools, restaurants, and businesses provide those students with discounts and other incentives to remain drug free. Perhaps most importantly, Drug Free Clubs members are provided with a tangible membership card that students can show when they are faced with the fierce temptation of peer pressure.

Today, Drug Free Clubs of America is a thriving non-profit organization with chapters throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. In 2010, Wheeling Central Catholic High School opened the first Drug Free Clubs chapter in West Virginia and recently became the second school in the country where students choosing not to participate in Drug Free Clubs are in the minority. This year, over 750 West Virginia teens are members of Drug Free Clubs. Wheeling Park High School has the largest chapter in West Virginia with over 230 student members.

Drug Free Clubs has developed a variety of creative partnerships in West Virginia. In 2012, West Liberty University became the first higher education program to offer a scholarship to any student who was a member of Drug Free Clubs for all four years of high school. Student leaders from Drug Free Clubs chapters in the northern panhandle have partnered with the United States Attorney’s Office to produce an innovative series of drug awareness videos.

The United States Attorney’s Awards ceremony took place at the United States Post Office and Federal Courthouse in Wheeling and included remarks from U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey and U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. A variety of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies were represented along with community leaders, volunteers, and advocates.

Updated January 8, 2016