Military News

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Grand Forks AFB DRP wins 25th Annual SECDEF Community Drug Awareness Award

by Airman 1st Class Bonnie Grantham
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

10/1/2015 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The Grand Forks AFB Demand Reduction Program operated by the 319th Medical Group here was recently named the winner of the 25th Annual Secretary of Defense Community Drug Awareness Award.

The award recognizes the best anti-drug program operated on a military installation for that year. Factors that contribute to the award include community outreach and educating service members and their families of the dangers of substance abuse.

"For every dollar you spend in prevention right now, you save two to twenty in the future," said David Frisch, the former DRP program manager. "Prevention is a key to keeping drug use down and educating people."

The award covers the fiscal year 2014 - Frisch's last year in the position - Frisch's last year in the position.

"I loved it," he said. "I love doing substance abuse prevention and working with the kids and active-duty members on base."

Frisch started from scratch when put in charge of the DRP almost a decade ago.

"We built the program up because no program like that existed at the time, "said Frisch. "Over the years we built the program up and then I received a call for nominations one year so I decided to write a package. The wing sent it up and the first year we put in we got second place. I've put in eight packages and we've been at Department of Defense-level eight times and we've won six of them."

At the time of the award, Frisch and Tom Sumner, the DRP drug testing program administrative manager, were the only people running the program. They worked closely with Behavioral Health and programs such as ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment) and Family Advocacy to ensure they were using their resources wisely amongst each other.

"Dave Frisch worked diligently to make sure the program operated at the highest standard," said Karen Grayeyes, the Family Advocacy outreach manager here. "He and Tom won more than one award for their hard work. Dave was active with drug education on base and downtown, always sharing resources and supporting other base agencies such as Family Advocacy and Mental Health in their outreach efforts."

The DRP also actively participated in the Grand Forks AFB Red Ribbon Week by passing out 3,000 ribbons to schools on and off base.

Grand Forks AFB leadership lauded the outstanding accomplishments of the DRP.

"It takes a tremendous amount of leadership, dedication and excellence to win an award of this caliber," said Col. Robert Cook, 319th Air Base Wing vice commander. "Our program was cited as a model for other organizations to follow, demonstrating how innovation and hard work can achieve effective results among the community."

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