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:


Healthy Androscoggin, Project Unite! and the Androscoggin County Alcohol Enforcement Team, and other community partners have worked together tirelessly to reduce underage drinking in Androscoggin County.  This hard work has paid off in recent years. In 2000 about 1 in 3 youth between 6th and 12th grade reported using alcohol in the past 30 days.  In 2015, that number is down to 1 in 5 or about 20% of all high school youth 3.6% for middle school youth in Androscoggin County.

Various community partners have come together to share tips, advice, and tools for alcohol use and underage drinking.

Lisbon Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) provides some information for youth. The video is also available in French, Somali, and Arabic at

Advocates for Children provide more tips for parents. The video is also available in French, Somali, and Arabic at

Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson offers some thoughts and information on binge drinking.


Do you have any tips or strategies you’ve used that have been successful?  Please share them with us.


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  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


Marijuana Use is NOT Harmless. Marijuana is an addictive drug that is linked to health and safety issues, and one that has public health and policy concerns, especially for the youth of Androscoggin County and Maine.

Marijuana is a harmful drug. It is stronger than in the past, contains dangerous chemicals, and can be laced with other drugs. Teens who use marijuana can’t know for sure what they are putting into their bodies and how it will affect them. The most recent Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (2017) indicates that almost 35% of Androscoggin County high school students have used marijuana. By preventing youth marijuana use, we help Androscoggin County teens have safe, healthy and successful futures!

Healthy Androscoggin distributes information and provides free trainings and presentations on marijuana, its impact on youth and public health. 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. 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.

Permanent medicine drop boxes are available year round in seven communities in Androscoggin County and you can dispose of unwanted medicines whenever the appropriate facility is open.  Boxes are located in these communities


Lisbon- Police Department, 300 Main St.

Sabattus- Police Department, 190 Middle Rd.

Greene- Sheriff’s Office, 19 Patten Rd

Mechanic Falls- Police Department, 108 Lewiston St.

Auburn- Police Department, 60 Court St.

Turner- 19 General Turner Hill Rd.

Poland- Town Office, 1231 Maine St.

*Items not accepted include: needles/sharps; inhalers; items containing mercury; electronic equipment (such as a blood glucose monitor)

Safe Storage and Disposal in the home

  • Unless the directions say otherwise, do NOT flush medications down the drain or toilet because the chemicals can pollute the water supplies, rivers, and lakes.
  • If you must dispose of medications in the household trash, mix the drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, and put them in containers, such as empty cans or sealable bags, to make sure the drugs aren’t found and abused by someone else.

Sharps Drop-off/Needle Exchange Sites in Maine:

Maine General Medical Center
6 E Chestnut Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Portland Needle Exchange
103 India Street
Portland, ME 04101
Some pharmacies will sell a 10 pack of needles without a prescription. A person must be at least 18 years of age and provide an ID. Please contact your local pharmacy for more details.

How can I find more information about disposing of Sharps?

  • Call your trash or public health department, listed in the city or county government (blue) pages.
  • Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at
  • Ask your health care provider or local pharmacist if they can dispose of your used needles.


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

Medicine Disposal Day

The most recent Free Medicine Disposal Day was on Saturday, October 28, 2017.  Thanks to the community’s efforts, sites throughout Androscoggin County collected 2,586 lbs. of medications!

Line of cars

Final boxes_Volunteers

The next Medicine Disposal Day is scheduled for APRIL 28, 2018

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.