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Safe Streets Wichita Lands Grant To Fight Drug Use

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Safe Streets Wichita will receive a $125,000 grant annually for the next five years to prevent illegal drug use in Wichita.

More than 72,000 people died last year in the United States due to substance abuse. Safe Streets’ goal is to prevent or reduce that type of abuse.

That’s done by heightening awareness of the problem and other methods — for example, putting prescription drug disposal lockboxes at secure locations and coaching at-risk youth to live positive lifestyles, said Danielle Ramirez of Safe Streets.

“Not everybody starts abusing drugs for the same reason, so we can’t expect to have one solution to this problem," Ramirez said.

One key to prevention is community awareness and support, she said.

“Almost everybody has seen the negative effects it can have in people’s lives,” Ramirez said. “So for us to really take a stand as a community and say, ‘OK, here’s what we’re going to do to cut down on this,’ is really powerful.”

Safe Streets Wichita is part of Partners for Wichita, which operates out of St. Paul’s Lutheran church, 925 N. Waco. Its goal is to “assist, build and contribute” to the Wichita community.

Andrew Linnabary is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.