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Volunteer organizations dedicated to the prevention of ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) abuse in their communities.

Municipal Alliances are local planning and coordinating bodies established in all 21 Counties responsible for conducting a needs assessment, setting priorities, developing plans and implementing evidence based substance abuse prevention programs and initiatives that meet the needs of their local communities. Middlesex County currently has 19 participating local Alliances, with programs and initiatives available to all County residents by implementation of countywide programs developed during the planning process.

In 1989, by an act of the New Jersey Legislature (P.L. 1989, Chapter 51), Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA) was established as an independent planning and coordinating body covering state, county and local efforts regarding alcoholism, tobacco and other drug abuse. The GCADA Council has three core functions:  policy and planning; public awareness and education; and, the administration of the Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Program.
The 1989 legislation gave authority to the counties to administer the Municipal Alliances and establish the Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA) and County Alliance Steering Subcommittee (CASS). Municipal Alliances determine the needs of their communities and develop prevention plans to address identified priorities. The plans are submitted to the county where they proceed through a review and approval process involving the CASS, LACADA and Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The Municipal Alliance Committee (MAC) is established by the local governing body. The members are appointed from a broad cross section of stakeholders in the community. Members include representatives from the governing body, education, health, law enforcement, civic, religious, and business organizations. From the inception of the Municipal Alliances, community volunteers have been the backbone of the program and they are parents, coaches, peer leaders, youth, seniors and others.
Funding for the Municipal Alliance Program comes from the Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction (DEDR) Fund for the purpose of being returned to communities and used for local substance abuse prevention activities. County funding is distributed based on a formula that primarily focuses on population. Local funding is distributed based on formula, programmatic and fiscal compliance.

For further information on the Middlesex County Municipal Alliance Program, please contact Charoulla Castanos-Beaton, Middlesex County Municipal Alliance Coordinator at 732.745.4065 or or your local Alliance Coordinator by contacting your Mayor’s Office.

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