CAP Receives Major Funding Boost


Riverhead CAP received funding to support youth prevention programs through two new grant awards. The first is through SAMHSA’s Partnership for Success (PFS) grant which will provide $375,000 a year for five years. The second is through Suffolk County Opioid Settlement funds. This grant provides $225,000 a year for three years.

Partnership for Success

The goal of the PFS grant is to prevent and reduce the onset and progression of substance misuse and its related problems. This is achieved by strengthening community-level prevention capacity to address substance abuse prevention concerns. CAP’s partners include Riverhead Central School District, Northwell Health, Riverhead Police Department, and Suffolk County Office of Health Education. The partnerships will strengthen prevention infrastructure within the Riverhead schools and community.

“The purpose of the PFS grant is to create sustainable prevention and early intervention services in Riverhead,” said Felicia Scocozza, CAP executive director. “We know that the three most important environments affecting young people’s development are families, schools, and communities. This funding will allow us to address all three with a strategic approach.”

CAP was one of only nine community organizations (and five states) nationwide to receive this funding.

Opioid Settlement Funding

In addition, CAP was one of 34 organizations in Suffolk County to receive support through Opioid Settlement funds. The funds will increase prevention and education around opioid misuse. They will also sustain efforts to reduce the availability of prescription medication and opioids in the community. In 2014, CAP and its partners through the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth began an aggressive medication take-back strategy as part of its 10-year federal Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant. Those funds will sunset at the end of 2023. To date, the coalition has collected over 11,650 pounds of medication, preventing potential abuse and accidental poisonings.

According to Scocozza, these two new funding streams will increase evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs in Riverhead schools. They will also expand Riverhead youth programs; provide resources, community education, and retailer outreach around safe adult marijuana storage; train school and local medical personnel in SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) in partnership with Northwell Health; increase parent outreach and participation in prevention efforts; and increase bilingual support and services.

“On behalf of the Riverhead Central School District, I congratulate CAP on receiving these distinguished awards,” said Superintendent Dr. Augustine E. Tornatore. “We deeply value our partnership with CAP. The services they provide have a markedly positive influence on our students and the entire community. We look forward to all of the exceptional programs they will put this funding toward.”

prevention and Early Intervention

Research indicates that most youth that engage in substance use will not develop a substance use disorder. However, there is a link between early initiation of alcohol and marijuana use and opioid misuse in young adulthood. According to the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, “the development of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorders, is often preceded by a variety of other problems including academic failure, antisocial behavior, anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress. One of the most effective approaches involves the implementation of early intervention strategies that prevent problems from occurring or tackles them head-on when they do appear before problems worsen.”

In addition to early intervention strategies, the brief also identified two evidence-based approaches to identify at-risk youth. The first, SBIRT, will be implemented through this grant. CAP provides the second, Youth Mental Health First Aid training, under a previous grant from SAMHSA.

Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski was instrumental in supporting CAP’s application for Opioid funding.

“I applaud and congratulate Riverhead CAP for securing funds for their ongoing programs, including monies from the Suffolk County Opioid Settlement,” said Legislator Krupski. “These awards reflect the organization’s effectiveness in the schools and their importance to the entire town. I am gratified these grants will help CAP continue its important work in preventing drug abuse and addiction in young people living in the Riverhead community.”