Substance Use

Project Unite! is the community-based substance abuse prevention task force that guides the our community’s work.  Our top priority areas for preventing and reducing youth substance use are underage drinking, youth marijuana use, and youth prescription drug abuse.  Learn more about our work in each of these areas below:

Underage Drinking

Healthy Androscoggin addresses underage drinking in the community through strategies to reduce retail and social access to alcohol. This includes supporting the Androscoggin County Alcohol Enforcement Team to conduct retail underage drinking law compliance checks and party patrols.

Healthy Androscoggin is currently able to provide retailer server/seller trainings to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors.  If you are interested in learning more about a retailer server/seller training, please contact Corrie Brown at brownco2@cmhc.org  or 795-5990.

To learn about alternative State-approved Server/Seller trainings, including online trainings, go to the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery operations at http://www.maine.gov/dafs/bablo/liquor_license/training.htm

Another strategy is to educate and share information with parents and adults on the risks to youth from underage drinking. The Parents Who Host, Lose the Most campaign educates parents on the laws, risks, and consequences of hosting underage drinking parties.  Additionally, Healthy Androscoggin can provide education to students in schools regarding the health effects and dangers in using alcohol.

Marijuana

Healthy Androscoggin distributes information and provides free trainings and presentations on marijuana, its impact on youth and public health.  The most recent Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (2015) indicates that 33% of Androscoggin County high school students have used marijuana. Topics include impairment, impact on health, marijuana addiction, impacts on development and future success, and effects on the brain.  These presentations can be provided to multiple audiences including parents, parent organizations, community leaders, civic organizations, teachers and educational professionals, and many others.

Contact Substance Use Prevention Manager, Corrie Brown at 795-5990 for more information on how to bring a training or education session to your area or organization.

In the Spring of 2013, former Healthy Androscoggin’s Substance Abuse Prevention Manager, Scott Gagnon, spoke at a Community Education Statement on the impacts of youth marijuana use on public health.  Scott talked about the risks of youth marijuana use to their safety and success.  View the statement here:

 

Prescription Drug Misuse

One approach to prevent prescription drug and medicine misuse is to prevent individuals from accessing prescription drugs that have not been prescribed to them.  According to the 2015 MIYHS, over 400 Androscoggin County youth have misused a prescription drug. Healthy Androscoggin partners with several community organizations to sponsor a twice annual medicine take-back day. This is an event where residents can clean out expired, unused, and unwanted medicines and have them safely and securely disposed in a way that provides minimal impact on the local environment.  Local events are part of the National Take-Back Initiative coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Healthy Androscoggin also plays a leadership role in educating parents and other adults on properly securing medicines they are currently taking. Parents are also encouraged to role model safe medicine handling to adolescents and teens, including following doctor’s orders when it comes to dosage. Click the video below to learn how you can help prevent prescription drug abuse at home. The video is also available in French and Arabic at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiS0NTsq_aAaN82sEa3sFjw

School Substance Use Policy

Healthy Androscoggin has expertise to provide schools in Androscoggin County with technical assistance for the review and/or revision of school or district substance abuse policy. Having a current and updates school substance abuse policy is an important tool for preventing and reducing substance abuse among students. Healthy Androscoggin has staff who have been fully trained to utilize the Your Substance Abuse Policy: A Comprehensive Guide for Schoolscreated by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. If your school would like to receive technical assistance using this model, please contact Corrie Brown at 795-5990.

 

Substance Use Resource Guide

Healthy Androscoggin, with the support of Project Unite! created a  guide with the intention of providing a resource for those who think they, a friend, or a family member might have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.  It includes quick and easy-to-read reference lists of local support groups and treatment providers.  We encourage you to share this resource guide with anyone who might benefit from it.

Click the following to download a copy: Substance Resource Guide-May 2017

 

Links and Resources

Below are links to federal and state organizations with more information on substance abuse and substance abuse prevention including materials for youth, parents, schools, community organizations, and professionals.