- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Officials say a $12.4 million federal grant will allow Vermont to expand statewide a program aimed at reducing substance abuse among 12- to 25-year-olds.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont Department of Health officials announced the funding on Monday at the Statehouse.

The Regional Prevention Partnership program is already at work in six Vermont counties and was made possible by a $3.6 million federal grant, which expires this year.

The new grant will expand the program to include Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Essex/Orleans, Franklin, and Windsor counties.

Leahy’s office says the five-year strategic plan will boost resources at the state, regional and community levels to reduce underage drinking, marijuana use and prescription drug abuse.

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